Tuesday, 13 May 2014


BRAINology 101++:  The Bytes

Midwives hold the newborn baby girl named
Danica Camacho, the seven billionth baby,
Fabella Maternity hospital. Manila, 31 October 2011.
Source and some background information are at

A brief look at Wikipedia informs us, that “All people today are classified as Homo sapiens.  Our species of humans first began to evolve nearly 200,000 years ago in association with technologies not unlike those of the early Neanderthals.  It is now clear that early Homo sapiens, or modern humans, did not come after the Neanderthals but were their contemporaries.  However, it is likely that both modern humans and Neanderthals descended from Homo heidelbergensis.”                           

On a recent visit to Munich I saw Gunther von Hagens’ exhibition KÖRPERWELTEN; it is an absolute MustSee if it should ever be shown anywhere near you. Elsewhere it is also known as BODY WORLDS or LE MONDE DE CORPS, [catalogue by Arts and Sciences, Heidelberg, 2013] From the blurb of the bodyworlds store: “Never before has an exhibition moved the public as profoundly and changed the view of personal corporeality as strongly as has...

During those 200,000 years of the existence of Homo sapiens all those ~110 billion of our ancestors were invariably gestated and born by the female half of the species, that wonder of evolution revered throughout history as Venus – whether by, or of, Willendorf, Milo, Urbino, Botticelly, Courbet, Giorgione, Velazquez – to name some well-known European examples, not doubting there being many more names and versions of reverential idols of our genesis in cultured regions of other continents and traditions.   

In my earlier posting – BRAINology…The Bits I briefly related some considerations regarding the physical aspects of our existence as humans, with the summary that “The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around,” in the words of Thomas Edison, and emphasizing the need, and obligation, to maintain the body in good health – “..ut sit mens sana in corpore sano” – so that a sound mind may be enabled to function.  After all, it is the sapiens part of the definition of our species that appears to be the singular evolutionary reason for our unique (as far as we can ascertain so far) existence in the whole of the cosmos.  What an obligation to live up to!

And similarly to our bodies being constituted from what we have inherited through genes, and were nurtured by the umbilical cord during gestation, or followed later by what we ingested through mouth and nose, so our minds similarly are formed from genetic instructions followed by what we have learnt through processes akin to osmosis even during gestation, and later mainly via our five senses.  Let me call all thoughts and memories that we carry around individually, however they may have got there, as memes.   

The capacity, and the wish to learn – to discover things – is inborn in every human brain: 
“In fact, there are interesting generalizations about language that are worth studying, but universal grammar is the study of the genetic basis for language, the genetic basis of the language faculty….  So that means, for example, if an infant from a Papua New Guinea tribe that hasn’t had contact with other humans for thirty thousand years comes to Boulder, Colorado, it will speak like any kid in Colorado, because all children have the same language capacity.  And the converse is true.  This is distinctly human. There is nothing remotely like it among other organisms…. The newborn is barraged by all kinds of stimuli. If you put, say, a chimpanzee or a kitten or a songbird in that environment, it can only pick out what’s related to its own genetic capacities. A songbird will pick out a melody of its species or something from all this mass because it’s designed to do that, but it can’t pick out anything that’s relevant to human language. On the other hand, an infant does.  The infant instantly picks language-related data out of this mass of confusion. In fact, we now know that this goes on even in the uterus. Newborn infants can detect properties of their mother’s language as distinct from certain – not all, but certain – other languages.
And then comes a very steady progression of acquisition of complex knowledge, most of it completely reflexive. Teaching doesn’t make any difference. An infant is just picking it out of the environment. And it happens very fast, in a very regular fashion. A lot is known about this process. By about six months, the infant has already analysed what’s called the prosodic structure of the language, stress, pitch – languages differ that way – and has sort of picked out the language of its mother or whatever it hears, its mother and its peers. By about nine months, roughly, the child has picked out the relevant sound structure of the language….”

So advises Noam Chomsky, quoted here from Chapter 7: learning how to discover, in POWER SYSTEMS, Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Books, London, 2013.

Another remarkable illustration of the innate human drive to learn is related in Der Spiegel of December 28, 2012: “A US aid organization has handed children in the remote Ethiopian village of Wenchi tablet computers in an experiment aimed at enabling them to teach themselves. They are now speaking their first words of English -- without ever having encountered a teacher.”  Read the full story here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/ethiopian-children-handed-free-tablet-computers-to-teach-themselves-a-874936.html

Beyond such early ‘natural’ learning we all of us reading this are likely to have experienced statewide organized formal schooling of many kinds, varieties of knowledge and skills, spread over levels from the three ‘Rs’ – reading, ‘riting, ‘rithmatic – to highest academic levels and beyond.  It is probably fair to say that no two human brains were ever anywhere near identical in memetic make-up forming an internal model of the world to help us steer throughout life in the external myriad of individually situate realities in which we find us.

Ministries of Education continually produce laws to regulate institutions and teaching methods in keeping up with evolving societal needs and best evolving knowledge of methods and of tools for learning and teaching, from blackboards and chalk, to paper and pencils, on to telescopes and microscopes of which the biggest and most expensive for looking at the smallest ‘bits’ possibly is the CERN [European Organization for Nuclear Research] facility straddling the border between France and Switzerland.  

Let me recap something I wrote in an earlier context [Thinking About the Organization of Design, at http://cleanenergypundit.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/tyger-cubs-in-course-of-preparing-to.html ]:

Benevolent legislation remains useless until the technology, the wealth, is created adequate to individual needs. And that, definitely, needs designing.

Biologists tell us that
"Life or the livingness of a substance or conglomeration of substances can be defined as the measure of the rate at which it can increase the organization of its surround­ings with which to increase the level of its own organization", in the words of Isaac Asimov.

That is not different from Fuller's definitions of real wealth,
"…the total organized capacity of society to deal with `forward event controlling', that is with future con­tingencies".

At both levels of organization — biological or social — we deal with open systems: organizations that depend and interact with their environment.

The most important characteristics of open systems are summarized by the Law of Requisite Variety as stated by W. R. Ashby [“Self-regulation and requisite variety” in SYSTEMS THINKING, F E Emery ed., Penguin Modern Management Readings, Harmondsworth, Penguin Books, 1969]:

"Let 'D' stand for all external disturbances impinging on an organization or system; (R) for any regulator; (T) for a table of moves, i.e. a list of disturbances against which are set a list of possible regulating responses; (E) for the outcome which the regulator is to hold stable or within certain limits for the system to survive.

                    “It will be easily seen that for the outcome to be held stable, the
regulator’s responses (R) must at least be equal to the variety of disturbances (D) 
reaching the system. For any survival margin to exist, (R)’s variety of 
responses must exceed all possible outside influences. "                  

"Only variety in (R) can force down the variety due to (D) —  only variety can destroy variety, and keep a system stable or alive".

This concept lies at the root of our understanding curiosity as the source of creativity.

"The second way to read this diagram is to consider (R) as a transmitter:

from which can be seen that (R)'s capacity as a regulator cannot exceed (R)'s capacity as a channel of communica­tion".
This concept forms the basis of our understanding what we mean by competence.

This brings me to a further observation by Noam Chomsky op.cit. which may illustrate Ashby’s Law of Requisite Varitey:

“The conflicts about what education ought to be go right back through the early Enlightenment. There are two striking images that I think capture the essence of the conflict. One view is that education should be like pouring water into a bucket. As we all know from our own experiences, the brain is a pretty leaky bucket, so you can study for an exam on some topic in a course you’re interested in, learn enough to pass the exam, and a week later you’ve forgotten what the course was. The water has leaked out. But this approach to education does train you to be obedient and follow orders, even meaningless orders.”

All akin to the famous  Nuremberg Meme Funnel  to produce instant geniuses or devotees:

A modern version Funnel control is Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, written in 1932, now not only still in print,  but also within reach of genetic engineering.

But Chomsky continues:
“The other type of education was described by one of the great founders of the modern higher education system, Wilhelm von Humboldt, a leading figure and founder of classical liberalism. He said education should be like laying out a string that the student follows in his own way. In other words, giving a general structure in which the learner – whether it’s a child or an adult – will explore the world in their own creative, individual, independent fashion. Developing, not only acquiring knowledge. Learning how to learn.
That’s the model you do find in a good scientific university. So if you’re at MIT, a physics course is not a matter of pouring water into a bucket. This was described nicely by one of the great modern physicists, Victor Weisskopf, who died some years ago. When students would ask him what his course would cover, he would say, ‘It doesn’t matter what we cover. It matters what you discover.’
I should say that I learned about this not from books but from experience. I was in a Deweyite experimental school. That was the way things worked. It seemed very natural. I only read about it later.”

Lucky Naom Chomsky!  But he still had to do all the discovering – it doesn’t just happen by itself – it needs determined searching to find things out.

One of the paragons for ‘finding things out’ is, of course, Richard P Feynman; not only because he is a grandmaster of the art but because he could also write and talk about it masterly for us to share in his ‘Pleasure of Finding Things Out’:

Penguin Books, London, 2007

I would like to share, and hopefully inspire you to become a  ‘finder-outer’ yourself, by quoting short excerpts of the range of topics covered in the thirteen chapters of this collection of writings and lectures, as inducements for your further reading.  Before I do this, I would also want to mention who induced me to Feynman, namely Freeman Dyson through reading his The Scientist As Rebel [New York Review Books, 2006] – “From Galileo to today’s amateur astronomers, scientists have been rebels”, writes Freeman Dyson. “In their pursuit of Nature’s truths, they are guided as much by imagination as by reason, and their greatest theories have the uniqueness and beauty of great works of art…”  advises the description on the back cover. Apart from Richard Feynman, this book by Dyson also introduced me to Vaclav Smil about whom I have written earlier.  But back to the Pleasure of Finding Things Out:

Chapter 1
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out

“…You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.  I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong”

Chapter 2
Computing Machines in the Future

“…If we somehow manage to make an atomic size computer, it would mean that the dimension, is a thousand to ten thousand times smaller than those very tiny chips that we have now…..The energy requirement for a single switch is also eleven orders of magnitude smaller…so there is plenty of room for improvement… and I leave this to you… as an aim to get to.”

Chapter 3
Los Alamos from Below

of which the introductory description reads:  ‘And now a little something on the lighter side – gems about wisecracker (not to mention safecracker) Feynman getting in and out of trouble at Los Alamos: getting his own private room by seeming to break the no-women-in-the-men’s-dormitory rule; outwitting the camp’s censors; rubbing shoulders with great men like Robert Oppenheimer, Niels Bohr, and Hans Bethe; and the awesome distinction of being the only man to stare straight at the first atomic blast without protective goggles, an experience that changed Feynman forever.’

Chapter 4
What Is and What Should Be the Role of Scientific Culture
in Modern Society

The introductory description:  ‘Here is a talk Feynman gave to an audience of scientists at the Galileo Symposium in Italy, in 1964. With frequent acknowledgements and references to the great work and intense anguish of Galileo, Feynman speaks on the effect of science on religion, on society, and on philosophy, and warns that it is our capacity to doubt that will determine the future of civilization.’

Chapter 5
There is Plenty of Room at the Bottom

From the introduction:  ‘In this famous talk to the American Physical Society on December 29, 1959, at Caltech, Feynman, the “father of nanotechnology,” expounds, decades ahead of his time, on the future of miniaturization….’

Chapter 6
The Value of Science
Of all its many values, the greatest must be the freedom to doubt.

The introduction:  ‘In Hawaii, Feynman learns a lesson in humility while touring a Buddhist temple: “to every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.” This is one of Feynman’s most eloquent pieces, reflecting on science’s relevance to the human experience and vice versa.  He also gives a lesson to fellow scientists on their responsibility to the future of civilization.’

Chapter 7
Richard P Feynman’s Minority Report to the Space Shuttle Challenger  Inquiry

From the introduction:  ‘When the space shuttle Challenger exploded shortly after its launch on January 28, 1986, six professional astronauts and one schoolteacher were tragically killed. …A commission was formed, led by Secretary of State William P Rogers and composed of politicians, astronauts, military men, and one scientist, to investigate the cause of the accident and to recommend steps to prevent such a disaster from ever happening again. The fact that Richard Feynman was that one scientist may have made the difference between answering the question of why the Challenger failed, and eternal mystery…’

Chapter 8
What is science?

The introduction:  ‘What is science? It is common sense! Or is it? In April 1966 the master teacher delivered an address to the National Science Teachers’ Association in which he gave his fellow teachers lessons on how to teach their students to think like a scientist and how to view the world with curiosity, open-mindedness, and, above all, doubt.  This talk is also a tribute to the enormous influence Feynman’s father – a uniform salesman – had on Feynman’s way of looking at the world.’

“….I think we live in an unscientific age in which almost all the buffeting of communications and television words, books and so on are unscientific. That doesn’t mean they are bad, but they are unscientific. As a result, there is a considerable amount of intellectual tyranny in the name of science….”

Chapter 9
The Smartest Man in the World

The introduction:  ‘Here is that wonderful 1979 interview of Feynman by Omni magazine. This is Feynman on what he knows and loves best – physics – and what he loves least, philosophy. (“Philosophers should learn to laugh at themselves.”) Here Feynman discusses the work that earned him the Nobel Prize, quantum electrodynamics (QED); he then goes on to cosmology, quarks, and those pesky infinities that gum up so many equations.’

Chapter 10
Cargo Cult Science:  Some Remarks on Science, Pseudoscience, and
Learning how to not fool yourself
The 1974 Caltech Commencement Address
The introduction:

Question: What do witch doctors, ESP, South Sea Islanders, rhinoceros horns, and Wesson Oil have to do with college graduation?
Answer:  They’re all examples the crafty Feynman uses to convince departing graduates that honesty in science is more rewarding than all the kudos and temporary successes in the world. In this address to Caltech’s class of 1974, Feynman gives a lesson in scientific integrity in the face of peer pressure and glowering funding agencies.

“…In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another…
We’ve learned from experience that the truth will out. Other experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll disagree with your theory…
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that. After you’ve not fooled yourself, it’s ease not to fool other scientists. You just have to be honest in a conventional way after that…”

Chapter 11
It’s as Simple as One, Two, Three

The introduction:  ‘An uproarious tale of Feynman the precocious student experimenting – with himself, his socks, his typewriter, and his fellow students – to solve the mysteries of counting and of time.’

Chapter 12
Richard Feynman Builds a Universe

The introduction:

‘In a previously unpublished interview made under the auspices of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Feynman reminisces about his life in science: his terrifying first lecture to Nobel laureate-packed room; the invitation to work on the first atomic bomb and his reaction; cargo-cult science; and that fateful predawn wake-up call from a  journalist informing him that he’d just won the Nobel prize. Feynman’s answer: “You could have told me that in the norming.”

Chapter 13
The Relation of Science and Religion

The introduction:

‘In a kind of thought experiment, Feynman takes the various points of view of an imaginary panel to represent the thinking of scientists and spiritualists and discusses the points of agreement and of disagreement between science and religion, anticipating, by two decades, the current active debate between these two fundamentally different ways of searching for truth.  Among other questions, he wonders whether atheists can have morals based on what science tells them in the way that spiritualists can have morals based on their belief in God – an unusually philosophical topic for pragmatic Feynman.’

“I put it up to the panel for discussion.”   Thus endeth Chapter and Book.

ooo 0000000000 ooo

Amongst the many other Feynman books in the series of Penguin editions there is a later collection of lectures given in 1963, titled The Meaning of it All with its three chapter headings

·         The Uncertainty of Science
·         The Uncertainty of Values
·         This Unscientific Age

which throws more light on how to navigate through life’s uncertainties, remembering the thought from Chapter 1 quoted earlier, “You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.  I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.”, together with that other consideration from Chapter 10: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool. So you have to be very careful about that.”

The best way to cope with the uncertainty of ‘brain bytes’, or memes [‘meme’ rhymes with seem, deem or dream] is to remember the definition of information given by Vlatko Vedral in his DECODING REALITY – the universe as quantum information [Oxford University Press, 2010]:

“So in summary the modern definition of information is exactly this: the information content of an event is proportional to the log of its inverse probability of occurrence:

I = log 1/p

This definition is very powerful because we only need the presence of two conditions to be able to talk about information. One is the existence of events (something needs to be happening), and two is being able to calculate the probabilities of events happening. This is a very minimal requirement, which can be recognized in just about anything that we see around us. In biology, for example, an event could be a genetic modification stimulated by the environment. In economics, on the other hand, an event could be a fall in a share price. In quantum physics, an event could be the emission of light by a laser when switched on. No matter what the event is, you can apply information theory to it. This is why I will be able to argue that information underlies every process we see in Nature.”

 And the interactions of ‘bits’ and ‘bytes’ certainly are natural processes – inside and outside of brains. 

An earlier description, by Tom Stonier in his INFORMATION and the INTERNAL STRUCTURE of the UNIVERSE, An Exploration into Information Physics [Springer Verlag, London Ltd, 1990] appears refreshed by Vlatko Vedral’s book.

Anyone who has bet on horses, has invested in stocks or shares, has taken out an insurance, or from the other side of the coin, is a bookmaker or part of an insurance company, is familiar with weighing probabilities as in Vlatko Vedral’s formula. This formula covers, of course, all probabilities between 0% and 100% and it is especially illuminating when considering these two endpoints.

Anything claimed or asserted to occur with 100% certainty under any circumstances would make the result for information content ‘I’ equal to log 1/1 = log 1 which is zero. That would leave anything so estimated or asserted something to be simply believed without question, or to be discarded as unusable; it would certainly not offer any survival value when considered in the light of Ashby’s diagram described earlier.  Or it could give rise to doubt – and that would bring us straight to the pleasure of finding out – unless the powers that be might make it unpleasant, unrewarding, or lethal (Galileo compared to Giordano Bruno, say).

If I have understood even from what little I have read, it appears nothing in the whole of the Universe can be ascertained with 100% certainty – Schrödinger’s cat won’t let us. 

On the other hand, nothing could be declared as absolutely impossible, with p=zero, or the value of information ‘I’ would become infinity.

You see, one thing is, I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing.  I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.” advises Feynman; seems none of us can do any better. But if Karl Popper is anything to go by, we can at least find out which of our memes are wrong – shedding some of our meme-obesity.

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love”
said Einstein, reminding us that the human mind is capable of more than mere rationality – there are hopes, dreams and emotions, doubts and the capacity to invent questions, music, art, literature, fiction and science fiction, and beliefs adopted pro tem to get on with the business of living.  Yes, I am a firm believer -- in humanity being able to understand  the universe  and ourselves sufficiently to find means and methods for surviving in health and with enjoyment on Earth beyond the next inevitable ice age.

An ‘informative, thought-provoking and entertaining’ book of  the world of art is written by John Carey, ‘who (to quote from the front cover) has been at various points in his life a soldier, a barman, a television critic, a beekeeper, a printmaker and a Professor of Literature at Oxford…’:      WHAT GOOD ARE THE ARTS?     [Faber and Faber Ltd, London, 2005].

I mentioned earlier that it was Freeman Dyson with his book THE SCIENTIST AS REBEL who made me not only aware of Richard Feynman, but also pointed me to Vaclav Smil, who in turn also touches on the role of religions in his GLOBAL CATASTROPHES AND TRENDS – The Next Fifty Years [MIT Press, Cambridge Mass.,  London England, 2008]. It contains in Chapter three unfolding trends over the next fifty years of the ‘New world Order’. Amongst separate descriptions of possible trends in various specific regions of the globe, Smil also devotes one section  to ‘Islams’s Choices’ with points of view not seen elsewhere.  They need to be read in full in their context as I find them too complex to summarize.  

A brief  look at the global bulk of religions may be appropriate.  How many religions are there in existence?  Best estimates put the number around four thousand two hundred (4,200). 

Most, if not all of us, will have been raised in one of these, and adhered, changed, or disengaged during adulthood, or adopted lesser or more fervent adherence.

Because consciousness and conscience exist only in the singular, in the last resort, everyone has to personally decide which, or none, of these meme constructs to follow; 
and not only that, but even within,  possibly in most of them, there are choices to be made 
between extreme stances. 

To wit :
[found on TED Talks and added on 12 September 2014]

"If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path? 
Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful and, ultimately, inspiring."


[found on change.org and added on 21 January 2015]

“The Muslim who risked his life at a Paris kosher market to save seven Jews

On Friday [7 January 2015] a string of terror attacks roiled France, 24-year-old Mali citizen Lassana Bathily was at work in the underground stockroom of a kosher market named Hyper Cacher near the Porte de Vincennes in eastern Paris. He heard gunman Amedy Coulibaly enter the store and open fire, killing four customers, it was later learned. Then, according to witnesses interviewed by the Associated Press and accounts in French media, Bathily ushered more than a dozen customers downstairs. He then killed the lights and turned off the stockroom’s freezer.
“We were locked in there,” the Muslim man told French channel BFMTV, as the New York Times reported. “I told them to calm down, not make any noise, or else if he hears that we’re there, he can come down and kill us.”
By Terrence McCoy January 12 in   The Washington Post


Karl Popper describes Judaic/Christian extremes in his published talk [given at the Liberales Forum, St Gallen University, 1989, published in  THE LESSON OF THIS CENTURY, With Two Talks on Freedom and the Democratic State [Routledge, London and New York, 2003].  From the last chapter of this book, here a brief excerpt:


… The most important of the ten commandments says: Thou shalt not kill!  It contains almost the whole of morality. For example, the way in which Schopenhauer formulated his ethics is only an extension of this key commandment.  Schopenhauer’s ethics is simple, direct and clear. It says: do no harm or injure anyone, but help everyone as much as you can.

But what happened when Moses first came down from Mount Sinai with the tablets of stone, even before he could utter the ten commandments?  He found a heresy that deserved to be punished with death, the heresy of the Golden Calf. Then he forgot the commandment ‘Though shalt not kill’ and shouted:

‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me!’ […] ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel. Put your sword on your side, each of you […] and kill your brother, your friend, and your neighbour!’ […] and about three thousand of the people fell on that day.
(Exodus 32:26-28)

That perhaps was how it all started. What is sure is that things kept on in that way – in the Holy Land and then here in the West, especially after Christianity became the state religion. It is a terrible history of religious persecution in the name of orthodoxy. Later – above all in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries – other ideological themes and beliefs were invoked one after the other to justify persecution, cruelty and terror: the themes of nationality, race or class; political or religious heresy.
The idea of orthodoxy and heresy harbours the pettiest of vices – ones to which we intellectuals are particularly susceptible, the vices of arrogance, thinking we are always right, pedantry, intellectual vanity. These are petty vices, not as serious as cruelty. But even cruelty is not altogether unknown among us intellectuals. In this too we have done our share. We need only think of the Nazi doctors who, some years before Auschwitz, were already killing off old and sick people – or of the so-called ‘final solution’ to the Jewish question….”

So much for a brief reminder by one of the best meme-field illuminators of the 20th Century as to how much meme-clearing is still required.

Let me recap from the introduction to Feynman’s Chapter 6: ‘In Hawaii, Feynman learns a lesson in humility while touring a Buddhist temple: “to every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell.” ‘  If I regard the description of Popper’s appeal for intellectual responsibility just quoted, as a description of how ‘the gates to hell’ came to be opened so spectacularly during the 20th Century – and similar gates to hell still open, as any newspaper almost daily finds headline descriptions for,  we need to look also for memes that might open ‘the gates to heaven’.

But before, a brief reminder of the hells from memeocides and physical, psychological incl. economical, memeomaiming on Earth, still extant from religious memeocracies alone (apart from power-political memeocracies) is mentioned on a slide from Reality Check #5 at

If you can practice your religion without fear of aggression or murder,
then you are luckier than another three billion fellow human beings.

The memes that open ‘the gates to heaven’ are actually easy to find once you found your way to means of sorting the chaff from the wheat by employing the one overriding Occam’s Razor:

Primum est non nocere
The supreme consideration is: do no harm

For my own practical purposes I have, so to say, put this single-bladed Occam Razor through a prism and found a composite of seven blades which I use as ” ...my own ‘Traffic Signs’ in my ‘Whole-Earth-Sat-Nav’ through the Buckminster Fuller’s CRITICAL PATH as a pointer to Democracy needing what appears to me like a never-ending minimum seven-voices, ricercar-like unending spiralling quest that might help mankind to ‘make it’ to the next interglacial.” My reasons are  mentioned at:

·         “Libraries are not just depositories of books, but cornerstones of democracy. True democracy – based upon the informed consent of the governed – cannot exist without full free and public access to knowledge”. 
Deborah Jacobs, Seattle City Librarian

·         “For only a short time, in most countries, has the individual human had the right of trial by jury. To make humanity’s chances for a fair trial better, all those testifying must swear ‘to tell the truth, all the truth and nothing but the truth.’….. If we don’t program the computer truthfully with all the truth and nothing but the truth, we won’t get the answers that allow us to ‘make it’ “.
Buckminster Fuller CRITICAL PATH, Hutchinson, 1981

·         “Truth is a purely human construct but facts are eternal.”
Alexius Meinong

·         “There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is generally adopted.”
Arthur Schopenhauer

·         “The Creation speaketh an universal language, independently of human speech or human language, multiplied and various as they may be. It is an ever-existing original, which every man can read. It cannot be forged; it cannot be counterfeited; it cannot be lost; it cannot be altered; it cannot be suppressed. It does not depend upon the will of man whether it shall be published or not; it publishes itself from one end of the earth to the other.”

·         “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act”.
George Orwell

·         “Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve.”
Karl Popper
[… who deserves special mention by referring if only to these five tokens from his legacy, from The Logic of Scientific Discovery [1934], to The Open Society and its Enemies [1945], to Conjectures and Refutations [1963], to the latest and most important: The Lessons of this Century [1997] and All Life is Problem Solving [1994,1999]

Let me finish by quoting the incomparable Feynman with the last paragraph from his collection of three 1963 lectures published as THE MEANING OF IT ALL already referred to earlier with his result of searching for the ‘good’ memes.  I myself, have not read any Encyclical I hasten to add, but I have no reason to doubt Feynman’s views on the subject:

          “I therefore consider the Encyclical of Pope John XXIII, which I have read, to be one of the most remarkable occurrences of our time and a great step to the future. I can find no better expression of my beliefs of morality, of the duties and responsibilities of mankind, people to other people, than is in that encyclical. I do not agree with some of the machinery which supports some of the ideas, that they spring from God, perhaps, I don’t personally believe, or that some of these ideas are the natural consequence of ideas of earlier popes, in a natural and perfectly sensible way. I don’t agree, and I will not ridicule it, and I won’t argue it. I agree with the responsibilities and the duties of people. And I recognize this encyclical as the beginning, possibly, of a  new future where we forget, perhaps, about the theories of why we believe things as long as we ultimately in the end, as far as action is concerned, believe the same thing.
          Thank you very much. I enjoyed myself.”

And yet, consciousness and conscience remain to exist only in the singular, and every individual remains responsible for the maintenance of the memefield each of us has been 'Funnelled' with.

"All that we are is the result of what we have thought: 
it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. 
By oneself evil is done; by oneself evil is left undone.
Rule your mind or it will rule you."


The events in Paris on 7th January 2015 have highlighted the results of choices made from the evil aspects of Nuremberg Funnel procedures to an extent that all of the species  Homo Sapiens have been insulted, so that

je suis
tu es
il est
nous sommes
vous êtes
ils sont


Article by
Aayan Hirsi Ali:

“We have to acknowledge that today’s Islamists are driven by a political ideology, an ideology embedded in the foundational texts of Islam. We can no longer pretend that it is possible to divorce actions from the ideals that inspire them.

This would be a departure for the West, which too often has responded to jihadist violence with appeasement. We appease the Muslim heads of government who lobby us to censor our press, our universities, our history books, our school curricula. They appeal and we oblige. We appease leaders of Muslim organizations in our societies. They ask us not to link acts of violence to the religion of Islam because they tell us that theirs is a religion of peace, and we oblige.

What do we get in return? Kalashnikovs in the heart of Paris. The more we oblige, the more we self-censor, the more we appease, the bolder the enemy gets.

There can only be one answer to this hideous act of jihad against the staff of Charlie Hebdo. It is the obligation of the Western media and Western leaders, religious and lay, to protect the most basic rights of freedom of expression, whether in satire or any other form. The West must not appease, it must not be silenced. We must send a united message to the terrorists: Your violence cannot destroy our soul.”

Ms. Hirsi Ali, a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, is the author of “Infidel” (2007). Her latest book,
“Heretic: The Case for a Muslim Reformation,” will be published in April by HarperCollins

Posted on this blogsite on Tuesday, January 20, 2015:
Article by Soeren Kern:

““A 120-page research paper entitled "No-Go Zones in the French Republic: Myth or Reality?" documented dozens of French neighbourhoods "where police and gendarmerie cannot enforce the Republican order or even enter without risking confrontation, projectiles, or even fatal shootings."

In October 2011, a 2,200-page report, "Banlieue de la République" (Suburbs of the Republic) found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs are becoming "separate Islamic societies" cut off from the French state and where Islamic Sharia law is rapidly displacing French civil law.

The report also showed how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim preachers who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law.

The television presenter asks: "What if we went to the suburbs?" Obertone replies: "I do not recommend this. Not even we French dare go there anymore. But nobody talks about this in public, of course. Nor do those who claim, 'long live multiculturalism,' and 'Paris is wonderful!' dare enter the suburbs."”

“Stringent guidelines from educational publishers, that warn textbook authors off touching on topics from pork to horoscopes to avoid offending students in other countries, have come to light amid widespread criticism.

Their emergence follows the news earlier this month that publisher HarperCollins had pulped an atlas designed for use in Middle Eastern schools after outrage over its omission of Israel from the map. HarperCollins said at the time that the decision reflected “local preferences”, with the inclusion of Israel “unacceptable” to its Gulf customers.

The insistence that mentions of pork products in educational material designed for use abroad is also prohibited was revealed by Jim Naughtie on Radio 4’s Today programme, when he read out a letter he had obtained from Oxford University Press to an author, prohibiting the mention of “pigs plus sausages, or anything else which could be perceived as pork” in their book.

“Now, if a respectable publisher, tied to an academic institution, is saying you’ve got to write a book in which you cannot mention pigs because some people might be offended, it’s just ludicrous. It is just a joke,” said Naughtie, prompting a chorus of outrage in the Daily Mail, which quoted Tory MP Philip Davies describing the situation as “nonsensical political correctness”.

But according to authors, the guidelines are well-known and widely used by educational publishers, encompassing a range of “taboo” subjects…..”

reeks of dhimmi quislingism 

“Mock Islam and expect a punch, says Pope”
FrontPage headline in The Times on Friday January 16 2015

Urbi  Orbi  Dhimmi

Egyptian President Al-Sisi at Al-Azhar:

“We Must Revolutionize Our Religion”


and we must face up to Reality:

> Swiss member of Parliament Oskar Freysinger ...truth with passion that
> few politicians in most countries speak. Maybe an awareness of what’s
> happening will dawn on both sides of parliament in all European
> countries, before it’s too late....


A limited background bibliography from what I find on my bookshelves:

Richard P Feynman
SIX BASIC PIECES   The Fundamentals of Physics Explained, Penguin Books, 2011
QED  The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Penguin, Penguin Books, 1990
Don’t you have Time to Think? , Penguin Books, 2006
SURELY YOU’RE JOKING MR FEYNMAN? , Vintage Books, London, 1992

Freeman J Dyson
A MANY-COLORED GLASS  Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe,
University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville and London, 2007

Erwin Schrödinger
WHAT IS LIFE? +  MIND and MATTER, Cambridge University Press, 1967

Stephen Hawking & Leonard Mlodinow
THE GRAND DESIGN  New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life, Bantam Press, Transworld  Publishers, London, 2010

Peter Atkins
FOUR LAWS THAT DRIVE THE UNIVERSE, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007

Joseph Plummer
TRAGEDY & HOPE 101 - The Illusion of Justice, Freedom and Democracy, Brushfire Publishing, Grafton OH USA, 2014

R Buckminster Fuller
NO MORE SECONDHAND GOD and other writings, Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale, Illinois, 1963
CRITICAL PATH, Hutchinson, London Melbourne Sidney Auckland Johannesburg, 1983

Noam Chomsky
HOW THE WORLD WORKS, Hamish Hamilton, London, 2012
POWER SYSTEMS, Hamish Hamilton, London, 2013

Joseph A Klein
GLOBAL DECEPTION, World Ahead Publishing Inc, Los Angeles CA, 2005

Alan B Jones
HOW THE WORLD Really WORKS,  ABJ Press, Paradise CA, 1996

Bat Ye'or
EURABIA - The Euro-Arab Axis - Land of Dhimmitude, Land of Islam, Farleigh Dickinson University Press, Associated University Presses, Cranbury NJ, 2005
THE DHIMMI - Jews and Christians undr Islam, Farleigh Dickinson, Associated University Presses, Cranbury NJ, USA, (1985), 2005
ISLAM AND DHIMMITUDE - Where Civilizations CollideFarleigh Dickinson, Associated University Presses, Cranbury NJ, USA, 2005

Karlheinz Deschner
GOD AND THE FASCISTS, Prometheus Books, New York, 2013
Ten Volumes + Index Volume, Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg, 1996 - 2014 

John Cornwell
HITLER'S POPE - The Secret History of Pius XII, Viking Penguin Group, London, 1999

Melanie Phillips
LONDONISTAN - How Britain is Creating a Terror State Within, Gibson Square, London, 2006

Ali Dashti
TWENTY THREE YEARS - A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad, Mazda Publishers, Costa Mesa, California, 1994

Christopher Hitchens
GOD IS NOT GREAT, Atlantic Books, London, 2007

Aayan Hirsi Ali
INFIDEL - My Life, Simon & Schuster UK Ltd, London, 2007

Edward de Bono
I AM RIGHT YOU ARE WRONG, Viking, London, 1990

Bruce Baser
WHILE EUROPE SLEPT - How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, Doubleday, New York London Toronto Sydney Auckland, 2006

Andrew G Bostom
THE LEGACY OF JIHAD - Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, foreword by Ibn Warraq, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, USA, 2005 

Oriana Fallaci
THE RAGE AND THE PRIDE, Rizzoli, New York, 2002
THE FORCE OF REASON, Rizzoli, New York, 2006

Paul Fregosi
JIHAD IN THE WEST - Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries, Prometheus Books, Amherst, NY, USA, 1998

Christopher Booker & Richard North
THE GREAT DECEPTION - Can the European Union Survive?, CONTINUUM, London, New York, 2003, 2005

Dore Gold
HATRED'S KINGDOM - How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, Regnery Publishing Inc, Washington DC, USA, 2003

Raphael Israeli
ISLAMIKAZE - Manifestations of Islamic Martyrology, Frank Cass, London Portland OR USA, 2003

Edward Mortimer
FAITH AND POWER - The Politics of Islam, Random House, New York, 1982

Robert Spencer 
THE MYTH OF ISLAMIC TOLERANCE - How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, USA, 2005
THE TRUTH ABOUT MUHAMMAD - Founder of the World's Most Intolerant Religion, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, USA, 2006

Jaya Gopal

Paul Sperry
INFILTRATION - How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington, Nelson Current, Nashville Tenn, USA, 2005

Ibn Warraq
WHY I AM NOT A MUSLIM, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, USA, 1995

Ibn Warraq edited with translations
WHAT THE KORAN REALLY SAYS - Language, Text & Commentary, Manas Publications, New Delhi, 2006

Paul L Williams
THE DAY OF ISLAM - The annihilation of America and the Western World, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, USA, 2007

David Selbourne
THE LOSING BATTLE WITH ISLAM, Prometheus Books, Amherst NY, USA, 2005

E F Schumacher
A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED, Sphere Books ABACUS edition, London, 1978

C H Waddington
TOOLS  FOR  THOUGHT,  Granada Publishing Ltd, Paladin edition, Frogmore, 1977

Norbert Wiener
THE HUMAN USE OF HUMAN BEINGS, Doubleday Anchor Books, New York, 1954