Mapping Beauty

General discussion about the Elder Race, Life, the Universe and Everything.
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Gopi
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Mapping Beauty

Post by Gopi » Tue May 29, 2012 12:33 pm

I would like to address two ideas here... one is that of map-sharing, which has been discussed before, and then the idea of beauty and how it fits into it.

What do we mean by map sharing? That means, a portion of the world is connected together by means of certain concepts, and to extend the view of the world, one has to identify the areas which are facing the unknown, and then provide pointers which lead into that.

Now this "map" can be of any set of experiences, and that would depend on our senses. If we have the sense of touch alone, say, then we obtain a map of touch. Add to that the map of sight, or the map of smells, and the map gets more complex. So in the first place, maps are multi-layered. At any one point of time, we can focus our attention on one aspect, as is done today in cartography... we have a map for metal abundances, or forest cover and terrain, or temperature differences, or even political boundaries.

The points to take away are that each map can be complete in itself, and that the details of one map ADD or modify the details of another, but not contradict each other, unless some false assumptions creep in. When I say complete, it does not mean "finite", maps can be infinitely large or small, or finitely so. If things appear to contradict, that is the leak we have to fix, and take care of. Now, the basis for making a map, say a contour map of the landscape, is called the "assumption". This is the assumption we speak of in any theory, and have to examine.

Let us take an example, of the eclipse. The moon and the sun appear to be of equal size, to the eye. In the eye map, the fact that the sun and moon are the same size is a TRUTH. However, when combined with the data from the sense of touch, which adds the depth properly to the idea of size, we realize that the TRUTH is different... or is it? What is happening here is that "size" is being used in one sense with the eyes, (2D) in another sense with the touch (3D). Our notion of size depends on the relation we make in between the senses.

So, the tricky part is that while moving from one map to the other, we need to take the relations afresh, and mould both of them into our world view. And now we can say, if I use the eye, I get this, if I use my arm, I get that. So, now the context, AND the observation, are accounted for, and we can attain to greater truths.

Does that mean a being with one sense organ does not see the truth of the matter? No, the eye IS seeing truly, it has to say that the moon and the sun are the same size from its point of view. Truth is not contradicted, but elaborated with another sense. Otherwise we would be waiting for an infinite number of senses to develop before obtaining the truth about anything.

This brings us back to assumptions... what are the true assumptions of any theory? The true assumption of any theory is not a free floating CONCEPT, but a concept linked to an OBSERVATION. Only observations can be assumed, but concepts have to be figured out. Concepts cannot be "given". We can choose one type of observation (say sense of touch) and build a theory of the world, but ANY assumed concept is very shaky from the start. This parallels the trouble one has with RS, RS2 and Mathis-matics... as long as the initial assumption is a concept applied to a direct observation (such as the velocity concept with Larson, or the difference concepts of Mathis) the theory stands on firm ground in all its development. The moment something is assumed (not inferred), not entirely taken from observation, the theory falters.

Another thing to understand is that one cannot simply assume that one map contains all the right concepts, and the second map has to apply the SAME concepts. This is the problem with current thought, the sense of touch and sight is assumed to reign supreme, and everything else is seen as a subordinate realm, which can be explained in terms of sense and touch. That does not make any logical sense, and is just a symptom of laziness. For example, take the political map, and the physical map of the world. Now try explaining the physical map in terms of the political (a mountain came up there because the people disliked each other) or vice versa (people here made a country because a river ran across it). While it might be true that people built great walls and used rivers as boundaries, one cannot assume such a relation throughout. Thus there can be many layers of truth, each one adding on to the other, but trying to derive one layer from the other is not justified at all.

And how many observations are needed to form a concept? That depends on the development of intuition in the human, and hence varies. That cannot be given beforehand either -- for some, a single observation will open up vistas of truth and a flow of concepts (ideas) and some others keep seeing the same thing but never "get it". It will also depend on the time.

However, there is a differentiation in intuition, just like there is in sensation. In sensation, we have the eyes ears...etc. Similarly, one portion of intuition is the "sense for truth". Most of the people who have found their way to these fora, have come because they have developed that sense to a certain extent, having applied to the world over and over. Another among the "intuitions" is the "sense for beauty".
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Re: Mapping Beauty

Post by Gopi » Tue May 29, 2012 12:59 pm

Taking off from there, when do we know which map to refer to? How do we know that a "sense of beauty" exists at all, independently, and that it is not just a combination of other truths that we know?

The clue that we get is when the concepts fail to grasp the entirety of the situation. For example, in Larson's "Beyond Space and Time", he clearly points out that different laws are at work in the biological realm, but they do NOT contradict material laws because they operate in the realm of chance. But "chance", just given like that, is an assault on our sense for truth. Just imagine, you ask "why is the sky blue?" and you get the answer "by chance". Is that satisfactory? Logic would rebel against it.

So, what we see here is that we get data from different senses, and we make concepts based on the intuitions we receive from the inner senses. In other words, the way we elaborate a particular map might depend upon data from a single sense organ and our thinking, but the way we COMBINE the maps depends on intuitions. Intuitions help us hop from one to the other, it helps us transition from one map to the other. It is the sense for truth (a result of the practice of intellectual logic) that enables us to sift through various theories of the world, but it is not the only one. Something can be true, but it can also feel ugly, as if it is not in the right place, as if something is really wrong. As they say "the ugly truth is that..." How does that leave us? It leaves us feeling helpless, draining us of energy in some way. Basically, that is the intuition of beauty working in a rudimentary way obtained from the feeling. There is a lot in the world today that assaults our sense of beauty, even if it does not assault our sense for truth. Poking further, it is not the truth alone that bring about the assault, but the fact that we cannot do anything about it. In other words, it is our own initiative that we feel is being pushed back... that is our creativity.

Hence, we come across a sense that is not entirely passive, but is also a partially active one. It is similar to the sense of truth, truth is not simply given to us, but the sense of truth can sense something if only we also seek the truth, where research comes in. Similarly, the sense of beauty can develop only when we also seek beauty, and that is where creativity comes in.

Before coming now to the objective nature of beauty, maybe you can take a look at this:

http://mileswmathis.com/sophia.html
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Re: Mapping Beauty

Post by LoneBear » Tue May 29, 2012 9:24 pm

Gopi wrote:Before coming now to the objective nature of beauty, maybe you can take a look at this:
http://mileswmathis.com/sophia.html
Madame Bovary and Pride and Prejudice can't hold a candle to The Dirty Dozen!

Quite interesting reading your description on maps. I've rewritten this reply 6 times now, because I am having difficulty producing a map to describe my internal map, which is highly abstract. Thinking back though the millennia to when I was a child, I see that my maps have changed considerably over the years, and seems to be in this progression:

Childhood: map is a living, organic structure of symbols and motifs, from which patterns are build to help with the generation of persona, to interact with the living world outside. Not really any difference between thinking and feeling, and willing to accept any impressed patterns.

Schooling is primarily thinking, so that organic map gets diagrammed out into sensory maps, as you described, so there is a strong correlation between the internal and external relations. At the same time, since the diagram is created for a specific condition, many diagrams must be created for many situations and conflicts arise between the maps. Once says "go this way", the other says "go that way", because they are fixed perspectives of the original, organic map. (I suspect that this gives rise to the theory of cognitive dissonance).

I still have that collection of maps stuck in slots in the wall of my psyche. The largest collection seems to come from Junior and Senior years of High School, where you are getting in the social and dating scene and all you've got are "thought maps", with no "emotional maps" around to help you ask someone out for a date.

College started to integrate those maps back together into a larger, static picture, by finding the common overlays. That internal housekeeping gave more room to think, so to speak.(The period I went to college was somewhat unusual for American history, as all the Vets had just returned from Vietnam and went back to college to make something of their life. Half the class was older people from the military, that demanded they be taught something, so the whole feel to academia was "to learn." A long cry from "Animal House.")

To have a job and career in an industrial country needs those static maps, so you can just keep repeating the same locations. This is the environment Gopi is describing.

The quest for spirituality tries to bring feelings into maps, but it doesn't seem to work. Hence, you get all the new agers that obsess with timelines and events. I know I used to. You want to make "thinking" sense out of "feeling" material, so you only extract the parts that can be quantized. But then you start recording dreams and meditations, which start producing feeling maps, and eventually find that there is a conjugate relation between the two.

That realization trashes the static map system, because feelings refuse to stay in the same state. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor at that time that showed me that I was just looking at two perspectives of the same thing (two different "ordering sequences"). Once a person recognizes that within themselves, they seek the commonality and guess what... back to the "organic map" you had when a child.

If you've every studied Pythagoreas, you'll see his monad-dyad-harmonia structure. One becomes two, that merges into a harmonious unity. That is what I have seen "maps" do... the original, organic map, splitting into the thinking then feeling maps (dichotomy between science and religion), then the merging back to a more natural, organic map that has elements of "all of the above."

If I put a "timeline" to it... birth to 5th grade (10 years old) was the "organic map." After that, it became more thinking maps. High School is when I realized I was missing emotional maps, but chose Vulcan logic over making emotional maps. A number of pros and cons there. College and my early business career was all diagrammatic, though I did have a good social life that was totally fantasy-based in SciFi to balance. I was in my mid-30s when I started to rediscover the organic map again, which was greatly accelerated when I ran across Dewey Larson and his Reciprocal System, which has the same "map" dichotomy--the natural and coordinate reference system. The system has been becoming more organic since then, but over the last few years, I've realized that there were two of these mapping systems--a conscious and unconscious one, so I'm now working on that integration.

Gopi likes to pick on me because I like to make diagrams of everything, but that's the way I "share maps." I take my organic map, apply filters (assumptions) that are selected based on what I know about the person I am attempting to communicate with and take a snapshot, which results in a diagram and descriptive text for electronic communication, as I seldom get the opportunity to actually sit down and talk with people these days.

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