Entry 1616 — “Under Wire”

October 30th, 2014

The following visimage is Under Wire, by Rachel Farbiarz, that appeared in a piece by her in the Spring 2014 issue of The Intentional Quarterly, which I recently was sent to review:

Under Wire

It’s here because I like stuff like this, and like maps, which I at first thought this was (of Great Britain)–and, actually, as it has to suggest.  It’s also here because once again I’m too out of it to do more to get an entry done then steal an image or text from some where and use it here.


Scientific American Blog Relocated

October 29th, 2014

My Scientific American Blog is now here–with a complete table of contents.

AHOY!  I finally got Entry 18 done.  It is now here.    Comments Welcome! Please let me know of any typos or gross factual errors. Warning: it’s me at my abstrusest worst–for over 8,000 words.

Later note: From time to time, I will be revising Entry 18.  I hope eventually to correct all the many mistakes in the version first posted.

Entry 1615 — Another Elderly Fart Medical Report

October 29th, 2014

Lately I’ve felt off to the side of my null zone, as deep in whatever zone I’m in as I sometimes get into my null zone but feel differently.  I’m not sure how to describe it.  I guess it’s a state of suspension or disorientation.  I feel okay emotionally but separated from genuine life  An exaggeration, for sure, but I really am separated from what I consider full human physical activity.  I’m able to walk, but sometimes in a strangely gingerly way.  But if I take one step into a run, I feel like I’m about to fall down.   It’s as though my feet can’t keep up with what my brain is telling them to do.  And sometimes even walking is difficult, sometimes I have to tell my feet how to walk, one step at a time.  A pinched nerve in my back seems to be the main medical explanation.

I just saw my, ahem, orthopedic man yesterday, and he felt my back problem was worse than my gp had thought.  I got the impression he would have me seen by a back specialist immediately if one had been available.  The one in his outfit had a six-week backlog, so I’ll have to wait till 11 December to see him, which is fine with me.  It will give the physical therapy I had my fourth treatment of this morning a chance.  My gp had thought we should try it, then turn to a specialist if the pt was ineffective.

Today I had some kind of electrical-shock treatment (I think).  My many leg muscles that are too tight were zapped.  I felt different afterward, but am unsure whether I feel better or not.  Meanwhile, I got exercises to do at home yesterday thought I was too tired to start then, and maybe too tired to do today.  But I’ve been out on my bike twice, and walked a mile.  Later I started another mile-walk, but my leg began hurting quite a bit, and I’m not supposed to keep going if that happens, so I quit.  (I’m the type that wants to keep going no matter what, so it was hard to quit.  Amusingly, I’m not the type that wants to start something that will be painful.)

I haven’t had much pain from my problem–except at night when my left knee (and my problem is with my left side) hurts so badly, I need a sleeping pill to sleep.  My pain pills don’t seem to help.  Even with the sleeping pill, I don’t get much sleep.  Not surprisingly, I don’t feel like doing much writing during the day, when I’m not at a doctor’s or pt clinic.  So, basically, I’m nowhere.  But I’ll keep this blog going, however boringly.



Entry 1614 — Self-Centeredness

October 28th, 2014

It’s absurd to criticize someone for being self-centered since we all are; what counts is thus how large a self one has.  After writing that I wondered if perhaps I was wrong about all of us being self-centered: was is possible that some of us are unselved?  Another possibility is one’s being uncentered.  According to my theory, that’s quite possible.  So what is meant by “self-centeredness” as a kind of defect I now see could be the subject of a book.  First thought: that it is something afflicting a person whose concerns are excessively egoceptual.  And/or socio-egoceptual–i.e., concerned with one’s relations with others as opposed in one respect to one’s self alone and in another respect to the socioceptual, which has to do with others, only.



Entry 1613 — The Awarenesses

October 27th, 2014

Interestingly, the following attempt to make a list of the awarenesses I hypothesize is from my 3 November 2009 blog entry, almost exactly five years ago. Also interesting that it immediately gives what may be the proper name for what I had been calling, and still usually call, “the fundaceptual awareness.”

 My list begins with the Protoceptual Awareness. It begins there for two reasons: (1) to get rid of the halfwits who can’t tolerate neologies and/or big words, and to ground it in Knowlecular Psychology, my neurophysiological theory of psychology (and/or epistemology).  The protoceptual awareness is one of the ten awarenesses I (so far) posit the human mind to have.  It is the primary (“proto”) awareness–the ancestor of the other nine awarenesses, and the one all forms of life have in some form.  As, I believe, “real” theoretical psychologists would agree.  Some but far from all would also agree with my belief in multiple awarenesses, although probably not with my specific choice of them.  It has much in common with and was no doubt influenced by Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences.

The protoceptual awareness deals with reality in the raw: directly with what’s out there, in other words–visual, auditory, tactile, olfactory, gustatory stimuli.  It also deals directly with what’s inside its possessor, muscular and hormonal states.  Hence, I divide it into three sub-awarenesses, the Sensoriceptual, Viscraceptual and Musclaceptual Awarenesses.  The other nine awarenesses are (2) the Behavraceptual Awareness, (3) the Evaluceptual Awareness, (4) the Cartoceptual Awareness, (5) the Anthroceptual Awareness, (6) the Sagaceptual Awareness, (7) the Objecticeptual Awareness, (8) the Reducticeptual Awareness, (9) the Scienceptual Awareness, and (10) the Compreceptual Awareness.

Note: I sometimes include the Urceptual Awareness on my list.

The Behavraceptual Awareness is concerned with telling one of one’s behavior, which this awareness (the only active awareness), causes.  For instance, if someone says, “Hello,” to you, your behavraceptual awareness will likely respond by causing you to say, “Hello,” back, in the process signaling you that that is what is has done.  You, no doubt, will think of the brain as yourself, but (not in my psychology but in my metaphysics) you have nothing to do with it, you merely observe what your brain chooses to do and does.  But if you feel more comfortable believing that you initiate your behavior, no problem: in that case, according to my theory, your behavraceptual awareness is concerned with telling you what you’ve decided to do and done.

The Evaluceptual Awareness measures the ratio of pain to pleasure one experiences during an instacon (or “instant of consciousness) and causes one to feel one or the other, or neither, depending on the value of that ratio.  In other words, it is in charge of our emotional state.

The Cartoceptual Awareness tells one where one is in space and time.

The Anthroceptual Awareness has to do with our experience of ourselves as individuals and as social beings (so is divided into two sub-awareness, the egoceptual awareness and the socioceptual awareness).

The Sagaceptual Awareness is one’s awareness of oneself as the protagonist of  some narrative in which one has a goal one tries to achieve.

The Objecticeptual Awareness is the opposite of the anthroceptual awareness in that it is sensitive to objects, or the non-human.

The Reducticeptual Awareness is basically our conceptual intelligence.  It reduces protoceptual data to abstract symbols like words and numbers and deals with them (and has many sub-awarenesses).

The Scienceptual Awareness deals with cause and effect, and may be the latest of our awarenesses to have evolved.

Finally, there is the Compreceptual Awareness,which is our awareness of our entire personal reality. I’m still vague about it, but tend to believe it did not precede the protoceptual awareness but later formed when some ancient life-form’s number of separate awarenesses required some general intelligence to co:ordinate their doings.



Entry 1612 — Sabrina Feldman and Shakespeare

October 26th, 2014

I’m writing this entry pretty much entirely for myself.  It’s to be a list of my awarenesses and sub-awarenesses.  I need to write it, and print it, and tape it to a wall because I can never remember what they are, and sometimes what I’m calling a particular one.  I also want to get this entry done quickly so I can spend the rest of the day reading my friend Sabrina Feldman’s second book concerning the man she considers the True Author of the Shakespearean Oeuvre.  She’s by far the most intelligent person writing books against my boy Will.  She’s also nuts, but more interestingly nuts than the other “authorship-skeptics” because advancing an interesting candidate, Thomas Sackville, co-author of Gorbudoc, which is considered the first blank-verse play in English.  In the process, she brings up quite a bit of interesting data about the times, in particular, a hilarious idiotic court case that Shakespeare seems to parodied in Hamlet.  In her first book, The Apocryphal Shakespeare, she does an entertaining job introducing all the plays at one time or another attributed to Shakespeare but not consider his by most scholars.  Her thesis is that my boy Will did write them, but did not write the ones in the First Folio (although he may have added parts to them.  I love her ideas, and she is much more willing to think about arguments against them than most authorship skeptics are.  I helped her a bit with her first book and have agreed to edit her second.

Guess what, I have begun my list, but am quitting here.  I just have to change my title from “The Awarenesses” to “Sabrina Feldman.”

I made it, “Sabrina Feldman and Will Shakespeare.”  Tomorrow ‘s entry will have my list.


Entry 1611 — Interpretation of Poems, Part 2

October 25th, 2014

I came up with a few more possible layers:

13.    The ethical layer.  I at first thought ethics would be in the ideational layer, but am now not sure.

14.    The anthroceptual, or the human relations layer: character, as opposed to plot.  At this point it occurs to me that maybe I ought to link each layer to an awareness or sub-awareness in the cerebrum as I have here.  I could also rename the ideational layer the “scienceptual layer.”  Will think it over.

15.     The allegorical layer, or the only layer those questioning the authorship of Shakepeare’s sonnets are really interested in, the one—if it exists—that arbitrarily attaches real people and places to objects in a poem.  Perhaps I should make two layers out of this, the sane allegorical layer, for poems like Spenser’s Faery Queene that use straight-forward allegory, and the psitchotic allegorical layer for poems a lunatic has found to be allegorical.

Actually, this layer should be called the allegorical paraphrasable layer, because it is everything a poem is thought to be under its surface.

Because I have it readily at hand, here’s a rough full paraphrase of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 18 I did to show Paul Crowley how sane interpretations of poems are made.  Needless to say, I found no allegorically paraphrasable layer.

> 1.   Shall I compare thee to a Summers day?

“Would it be a good idea to make a comparison of you to a day in the most pleasant of the four seasons?”

Note that my explication is a paraphrase of the line that takes the DENOTATION of every word into consideration and tries to make linguistic sense.  It is concerned primarily with what the surface of the poem means.  It ought to deal, too, with any clear-cut connotations of the text it concerns, as well as any secondary meanings, if any.  In this case, I find no connotations worth mention, and there is nothing in the line (or, to my knowledge, outside the line–that is, in the background layer, which should be consulted by one making a paraphrase of a poem) to indicate it means anything more than it says.

> 2.   Thou art more louely and more temperate:

“You are superior to the summer’s day mentioned in both beauty and temperament.”  Ergo, In other words, there’s really no comparison between you and a summer’s day: you’re much the better of the two.
Again, there is nothing in the text to indicate it means anything more than it directly says.

> 3.   Rough windes do shake the darling buds of May,
“Unruly, harmful movements of air upset the delicate early blossoms of summer flowers.”  Note: May may have been thought a part of summer in Shakespeare’s time.  Or May’s buds may still be present by the true beginning of summer.

> 4.   And Sommers lease hath all too short a date:

“And that season does not remain in charge of nature for very long: its “contract” to do so is short-term.”
This line and the previous one point out in some detail the defects of a summer’s day, but, implicitly, not of the addressee.  There is nothing in them to suggest they mean anything else.

> 5.   Sometime too hot the eye of heauen shines,

“There are times when the sun is unpleasantly too high in temperature,”

> 6.   And often is his gold complexion dimm’d,

There are also frequent times when the sun is overcast.”

Again, two lines providing further details of what makes the summer’s day inferior to the addressess, who–we are led to believe–has no equivalent of temperatures that are either too hot or not warm enough.  And who is never “grey” in disposition.

> 7.   And euery faire from faire some-time declines,

“Every good thing is subject to decay, and therefore must lose some of its best qualities.  “In summation, each good thing in a summer’s day must eventually retreat from its peak, or lose its best qualities,”

> 8.   By chance, or natures changing course vntrim’d:

“the victim of some random event (like being trodden on by some animal) or of the normal way the natural world behaves (turning stormy, for instance).

Ergo, we have two more lines finishing up telling the reader what is wrong with summer–and, it is strongly implied, NOT with the addressee.  So far, not a hint that anything other than the surface meaning of the words (beautifully) used is intended.

> 9.   But thy eternall Sommer shall not fade,

“Your never-dying prime season, however, won’t ever decline”

> 10.  Nor lose possession of that faire thou ow’st,

“or surrender the beauty of appearance and disposition, and other excellences you are in possession of”

Two more straight-forward lines, these ones claiming the addressee will not fade in any manner the way a summer’s day inevitably will.

> 11.  Nor shall death brag thou wandr’st in his shade,

“Nor will the ruler of the realm those who die be able to boast that you have entered his realm”

> 12.  When in eternall lines to time thou grow’st,

“when in ever-living lines of verse you continue to flourish and perhaps even improve,”

Again, a straight-forward set of lines, these bringing in the speaker of the poem’s second main thought, which is that poetry can make one who is its subject immortal.  I admit to not yet knowing exactly what “to time” means, but I believe I have given the most plausible meaning to every one of the other words in the poem.

> 13.      So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

“Until such time as human beings are unable to keep alive by taking in air or there are organs sensitive to light,”

> 14.      So long liues this, and this giues life to thee,

“the poem you have been reading or listening to will endure, and it will grant you immortality.”

That does it.  My explication accounts for every word in the poem except “to” and “time,” and even those can be accounted for as having something to do with resisting what time does to all things.  It is also completely plausible AND sufficient, for those with any ability at all to appreciate poetry.  (Of course, there’s much more to any poem than an explication of its sanely paraphrasable layer.) To show it has an allegorically paraphrasable layer (or further meanings of the kind just revealed) requires evidence of them in the from externals like the notes of the poet saying such meanings are there, or poems by other poets that seem on the surface like this one but have some significant hidden under-meaning, or permit a second explication that comes up with such a hidden under-meaning that is as smooth, coherent, and reasonably interesting as the primary meaning I’ve just shown the poem indubitably to have.

The third course is the only one you have available, Paul–because we have no notes or anything else relevant from the author or from anyone else to indicate any hidden meanings, nor are there any poems in the language (or any language, so far as I know) that are like the kind of poem you claim this is.  I am absolutely sure that you cannot provide an explication that reveals a smooth, coherent, reasonable hidden meaning.  In fact, I’m pretty sure you will claim it’s not necessary to–the poet was too complex for any academic or even you fully to explicate.

That would be nonsense, and clear evidence that your interpretation is defective.  But not to you.  Nor will you ever accept my claim that it is an argument against your interpretation


Entry 1610 — The Interpretation of Poems

October 24th, 2014

Essay on the Interpretation of Poems
(First Draft)

One way of dividing verosophers, it seems to me, is into those who are able to construct permanent understandings of a given subject, and those who constantly construct understandings that they immediately forget.  Well, they don’t wholly forget them, but fail to remember any of them well enough to grasp it.  That’s me.  I continually re-construct my various theories, only to make them pretty much all over again six months, a year . . . or five years later.  My incredible defectiveness as an organizer helps.  More often than not, I can’t find previous versions of understandings.  That seems the case right now.

There is an advantage to this, I believe: it is that I, at least, do remember a sort of underunderstanding that returns each time I build a new version of a given understanding.  This, I claim, makes me superior to those whose first construction of an understanding is more or less permanent in the long run due to my not being able to restrain myself from wobbling often into substantial improvements of my understandings they are locked out of.  I would not call them rigidniks, just perhaps too close to being that.  Meanwhile, I doubtlessly am too far from being that, at least some of the time.

The freewending verospher versus the academic verosopher.  Then there is the psitchotic verosopher.  Such a character can be either excessively prone to freewendry or to academicality.  The one I’ll be introducing here is one who is amusingly anti-academic—but nevertheless himself the victim of an academicality of almost unbelievable magnitude.  One thing I’m sure of is that if I am psitchotic (and I will never rule out the possibility), it is due to my being excessively freewendrical.

Note: I am here speaking of the “sane insane.”  Both I and the psitchotic you’ll be meeting are sane enough to stay out of mental institutions, and seem rational enough to others.  Both of us are normal—but possibly normal to an excess.  That is, according to my theory of psychology, everyone is a mixture of three normal character-types, the rigidnik, the milyoop and the free-wender, and becomes a neurotic or psitchotic due to being too entirely one of these types but does not become psychotic, or nuts across the board.  To put it simply, psitchosis results from a single gland’s being under- or over-active; psychosis from greater defects spread throughout the brain.

There.  400 words and I haven’t gotten to my topic, the interpretation of poems.  I will now, with a list of what I’m calling the layers of a poem until I can come up with a better name for them.  For now, I’ll stick them on my list as they occur to me.  I hope in my return to my understanding

I may at least be able to find this list and better organize it.  Anyway, here goes:

1.    The background layer.  This consists mainly of what the person analyzing a given poem knows of its author, the poem’s form and . . . the poem’s title, if it has one.  Its presentation—as an inscription on a monument rather than on a page in a book, for instance—may be part of this layer, too.  (Oops, before I forget, I must tell you that this essay will be concerned with poems one encounters in a book, not oral poems.  What I say can be readily applied to oral poems, I believe, but I am not up to showing how over and over again.)

2.    The sensory surface of a poem: what it looks like to the eye, sounds like to ear, and perhaps feels to the tactile sense, or even smells—meta-verbally.   I distinguish the sound and visual appearance of words acting as words from their sensory effect beyond that, which I call their meta-verbal appearance.  For instance, the word, “oh,” is heard verbally as a long o, but may be heard meta-verbally as a shriek, grown, mumble or any of numerous other enunciations; similarly it may seem visually just an o or, in a visual poem, be (meta-verbally) ten times larger than the rest of the poem’s letters, and orange instead of black.

3.    The melodational layer, or how a poem sounds verbally.  The sound of “oh” as “oh” spoken normally.  Alliteration, rhyme, assonance, euphony, etc.

4.    The narrative layer, or what story the poem tells, and I believe every poem must tell some story.

5.    The symbosensual layer, or the sensual imagery the poem’s words denote (symbolically), generally the visual images they represent, but also at times sounds (“the clang of a bell”) or even smells, the taste of food, the feel of satin.  I coined my awkward term for this because I feel it important to distinguish verbal images from actual images like the graphic ones that may turn up in visual poems.

6.    The ideational layer, or all the ideas that may be in a poem.

7.    The unificational layer, or everything in a poem that, en masse, acts  as the poem’s unifying principal (if it has one).

8.    The metaphorical layer, or what I call its metaphormations.

9.    The archetypal layer, or everything in a poem that gives it archetypal depth.

10.     The paraphrasable layer, or what a poem is, on the surface, about.  It can be a repetition of the narrative layer, but will often be quite a lot more.

11.    The allusional layer, or the sum of a poem’s allusions to other poems, or cultural material of any kind, and to parts of itself.  Some of this will have been in the background layer, but some not . . . I think, but won’t be sure until I’ve worked entirely through a poem using this list.

12.    The twelfth layer, which is the layer containing everything in a poem not in the other layers.

A proper full explication of a poem, or what I call a “pluraphrase,” will identify each of these layers in a poem, or a particular layer’s absence, and evaluate it.



Entry 1609 — The Volume of the Intellect

October 23rd, 2014

While thinking about getting back to my essay on formal education, I got to thinking about the difficulty of measuring the value of any kind of education.  That led me back to old ideas of mine concerning the volume of one’s intellect.  My thought is that an objective measurement of one’s intelligence would be very difficult, but a way that might help to make it in theory would consider one’s over-all understanding of existence as an object with three dimensions.  If so, one could simply measure it.  The larger the volume, the greater the intelligence it was the result of.

What I would begin with is a map of God’s understanding of existence–assuming existence is the same for him as it is for us.  I would divide it into several general understandings.  (1) understanding of the physical world–physics and, basically, all the other sciences . . .  I’m brainstorming . . . while trying out of another null zone of mine to jam something, anything, into this space so I will remain true to my vow of posting a blog entry every day.  Anyway, I’m interrupting myself almost immediately because an understanding of the physical world requires (a) visual knowledge, (b) verbal knowledge, (c) mathematical knowledge.  God will know what’s in the world, all of it.  Knowledge.  But that’s not enough for understanding.  Understanding means knowing how everything relates to everything else.

To begin again: An understanding of existence consists of (1) an understanding of the physical world which depends on one’s ability to reason mathematically, verbally and spatially–but that ability is not part of the intellect, only the understanding, if any, that it provides.   One builds an understanding of existence using math, words, and visualization.  This understanding thus has a measurable volume.  This might be called intellectual understanding as opposed to emotional understandings like music, visimagery and literature.  There’s also psychological understanding–how large one’s social life is–to put is simplistically: how many friends one has,  how long one has known them, and–most important–how deeply one’s relationship is to each of them.  But the complexity of the over-all group one is ultimately part of counts, too.

These are notes toward notes.  My goal is to show that basically the size of one’s intellect depends on how many subjects one is significantly involved with, and how deeply one is involved with each.  I know what I’m talking about,but am too tired to show it.



Entry 1608 — A Semi-Interesting Misstep

October 22nd, 2014

I’ve been feeling aimless the past two days or so, I think because I’m starting physical therapy sessions for my weird foots and back, etc.  Anyway, I tried an idea I’ve had for a while for my Athens poem but will not use: