Sunday, September 18, 2005

Fata Morgana

This time it was Robert, who sparked my text, asking:
“Do you believe that people are capable of functioning without the lies of nationalism and religion? These seem to be the myths and opiates that fuel the states' ability to control it's people.”

I rephrased the question to “Do you believe that people are capable of functioning with the lies of nationalism and religion?” and i had to control myself not to write a book. Because pondering about information, information processing systems and the strategy of the latter to detect information in a random world i understood that the whole human life is nothing else than information and information processing.

So i started to see history with other eyes – the DNA? Just a (successful) progress in storing information about the own body. The language? Just a (successful) progress in communicating information between humans. And suddenly i knew that i had to study the earliest findings of human culture, because they would tell me about the thoughts of the early humans with culture as “information processing system between autonomous units”, therefore telling me about their competence to master information.

It was marvellous. Listen and be amazed: Since 400,000 years humans used things the archaeologists couldn’t really understand, decorated with parallels and squares, lines and circles. Because i looked for tracks of information i tried to understand the reasons why people created such things.

The usual wisdom was to categorize the findings in weapons and tools, ornaments and religion, just because?

Yes, just because its natural, self-evident, a matter of course: things are either for use of killing or working, decoration or voodoo-stuff.

300,000 years ago we find round disks with a hole in the middle, 100,000 years ago graves with eggshells, pieces of antlers and the color “Red”. Ornaments are used more and more and then, 40,000 years ago, humans buried their dead with flowers and burial objects and the colors “Red” and “Black”. 20,000 years ago they finally invented division of labor.

Yes, guys, it was not Adam Smith or another European or American: it was a village somewhere in South Russia (Sungir) who realized that with the fabrication of statuettes it can live without hunting and gathering. They build settlements (37 * 21 m), where the factor of about 0,57 gives you a hint about how they constructed their settlements: by using equilateral triangles. Btw: a factor found in many ancient buildings.

And the “division of labor” had the same results as in modern times: more and more efficiency. The ancient people, 20,000 years ago, produced the statuettes in a line of 10 workplaces, using prefabricated parts. 20,000 years ago we find proofs of teamwork and use of mathematics, orchestrated processes and “not useful” things leading to the conclusion, that there had to be a fully implemented trade system.

So question: What do you need if you work in teamwork? You have to communicate between the team partners, you have to plan the job, you have to have bluepints and quality control, because if you don’t do so, your clients may not be satisfied – and you stay hungry.

Therefore, you have to have instruments to measure. To measure at work, to measure after work – to measure and to control. New instruments. Instruments not needed before. And not thought about before, so they may have been a little awkward in the beginning.

And – naturally- they were not made of stainless steel. But they were not made for decoration and for religion and not made for killing – they were made for work. A new kind of work.

To make a long journey short i just want to mention two things: first i found many “ornaments, maybe used for religion”, looking like simple measurement tools and second: you need no “god of cleanliness” if you have a bathroom in your house. Actually that is what some archaeologists think about the Indus Valley Civilization, just because the people there had bathrooms in their houses and a big public bath.

Searching for tracks of information i wondered more and more about the unimaginativeness of the modern scientists, about their inability to abstract from their own lifestyle.

They all use bathrooms in their houses and don’t pray to the “Great Lord of Soap”, they all use laptops and cell phones and no one would believe it is for “ornament” or “religion”. But 20,000 years ago they had no laptops and cell phones – so all they could have was weapons and cookware, ornaments and religion?

Self-evidence, matter of course.

That’s what the conclusion of the archaeologists had coined. Not the facts itself, but their own believings how it had to be in times, when people lived as hunters and gatherers. Primitives don’t have sophisticated tools and ideas.

But that “primitives” invented writing and science, division of labor and mathematics. 20,000 years ago.

The early humans had to be primitive, because they didn’t use the internet, that’s a matter of fact? But something like “self-evidence” doesn’t exist.

Even the natural laws had a beginning, the true moon will leave us, mothers can decide (per thoughts) about the sex of the child (Sarah Jones, University of Kent, published in"Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biology Letters"), people, who never learnt the “number 10” can’t count until 10.

What is a matter of course today, can be meaningless tomorrow – and vice versa.

That’s simply because of the nature of information as process. Processes start and end. As long as the process lasts you can use it to foresee the future.

But you should never be too sure of your knowledge. It may become a Fata Morgana, an image of another place and another time.

Information gives you probabilities, not certainties.

Information is repeatable, identifiable – is process, not eternal state. It heralds you the future as it might be, but...
it promises you nothing.

But without stability, how will you have “natural things”, “self-evidence”?

State and religion are nowadays the most coining element of each human culture, so it is “a matter of course”, that the early humans must be religious and patriotic, too? Why? Because we don’t understand their stuff? Are chimps religious? Surely not. So somewhere in the evolution of humankind there must be the point where religion and state were invented. We can’t just say: “because nowadays government and religion rule the human mind, it has to be the same in the past”.

Processes can end – and have to begin.

Disks with holes could be used for building tents, ornaments with regular structures could be used to “stamp” your belongings, used as “names”, as information about the identity of the owner, triangles could be used to measure angles, bathes could be used to wash yourself.


We are so convicted of many things, that those convictions color the whole big picture of the world we live in. Convictions are useful if they describe some existing patterns in our world, like instincts and emotions, like the physically optimized brain of children: if they are “default solutions” for some real existing structures, they fulfill the function of “symbols”: to characterize an event or object by some key signals: short and precise we are able to analyze a situation including those key signals.

That’s why instincts and emotions, convictions and prejudices are so valuable.

If, yes if they are correct.

Otherwise convictions, self-evidences are just that: Fata Morganas, leading us to nowhere.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for another amazingly thought creating piece Again. You have me thinking again, you have me questioning again.

I often wonder why it is that us modern day people put down 'fear' as the motivation of almost all things created by 'primitive' man. Including the creation of totems, ancestor worship, the creation of Gods from the inability to understand nature's storms and thunder and lightening. Fear of hunger, and wild beasts of prey, of invading hordes, they say, lead to the invention of weapons. Fear of hunger lead to the invention of cultivation and farming. Fear of being alone and weak lead to the creation of urban centers in the primitive world with high walls. Fear of inexplicable diseases lead to the discovery of medicinal herbs and plants to prolong life.


This line of thinking gives the impression that all of man's greatest achievements were caused by fear. And what is fear but an instinct?

The same fear has lead to wars and strife. The very things that man created to cope with his fears has become the source of man's greatest terror.

If man was unafraid of the unknown, would he have made up this higher power that he calls his God? And if he had not developed his complete faith in his God, would it have lead to strifes between various religions? Then, would we have had the crusades, would the Moghuls have swept the plains of Asia converting their masses to Islam? Murdering, looting and pillaging along their way as they went.

So if fear of the unknown makes man a social animal, and the same fear makes him kill his own kind. Does it mean complete understanding, i.e. total access to information, will stop his violence?

10:26 AM, September 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the by-products of the division of labour (Indian context) :)

The origins of the Indian caste system stems from the Division of Labour. I'm sure you know of the 4 varnas (castes) in Hinduism. The Brahmins were the priests and scholars, born of Brahmas head. The Kshatriyas or the warriors came from his arms. The Vaishyas- traders and artisans came from his thighs wnd the Shudhras- the untouchables came from his feet. They were the cobblers, sweepers and such. The unclean professions.

As you can see, the basis of the caste system arises from economic class, from people's professions- from what they did for a living. Even before Christ was born, the Hidnus had decided that they wanted these divisions in their social life.

If you were in Administration- you were a kshatriya. If you were a Technician , you were a Vaishya. If you were the Janitor, you were a Shudra. And your Professors would be the Brahmins I guess.

10:38 AM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger Human said...

Peace to you and yours Again.
No I do not know MK's new site please e-mail to me -
the info on that or ppost on my blog. My concern is for spammmers and trolls.

Also I will come and read up and catch up on your site here and then I may have something to add here. We just got home from a weekend getaway(the hotel we stayed at has www access).
tomorrow I take my elderly pa-inlaw on the weekly shopping trip so I have to hit the hay soon (its 10:40pm now) so I'll visit and read my e-mail in the evening If I get the chance. Right now I have 15 non spam e-mail mssgs racked up and I have to respond to them tonite.

Thanks for reaching out and I hope to have my own blog straightened out soon. your fellow Human

7:42 PM, September 18, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was an early morning feast for the senses. You make me think.

10:12 PM, September 18, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

I often wonder why it is that us modern day people put down 'fear' as the motivation of almost all things created by 'primitive' man

that's only, because WE are mostly driven by fear

actually, the ancient cultures - living near nature - loved nature, didn't fear it. Remember the "Great Goddess Earth", a loving, caring mother?

Isn't that a joke? We, living in urban cities, fear winters and storms more than those living in houses, where windows just were "wind-eyes", just holes (or, as i guess, living in tents like Red Indians)

fear was not the motivation of the early humans - if you look at the cavern paintings of Chauvet you find many things but nothing looks like the paintings of fear.

And we know the paintings of fear, look at the pictures of war, children paint

Actually, if our archaeologists would use their common sense, not their own life to explain behavior of early humans, they would be able to create a much more plausible "big picture"

e.g. all that stuff with family: it couldn't be, that fatherhood explains you culture before about 8,000 years ago, because humans simply didn't know about fatherhood at that time. The first proofs of knowledge about fatherhood could be found 5,8000 B.C in Catal Hüyük (the first city/village we know in Turkey)

e.g. all that stuff with worriors. Before about 5,000 years ago (3,000 B.C) you can't find weapons for war. All weapons were made for hunting - AND (!) like some Red Indian - the symbols of the weapons (horses) proves you, that the humans respected the animals and didn't want to kill the souls (horses are symbols for souls)

God? is a creation of agriculture - a creation of the teachers you need, if you use mathematics and orchestrated job processes

Souls? Are far more older - the horses of the paintings of Chauvet: are symbols for the souls of dead peoples, because? They walk into the left side - the symbol of the soul (horses) moves to the left (the end of time-side, symbolized by the end of the suns course: the west)

why the horses are symbols of souls? Because the souls was seen as something "beautiful and noble" - and the beauty and nobility of horses (imagine, long before humans used it in housing) was the characteristic point, which made them "useful" for symbols of souls

no fear - remember: self-evidence doesn't exist. You can use it ONLY, if the conditions (in which self-evidences were "found") remain stable - if not: you have to follow the track of the information!

and the urban cities? Where not created by "fear of being alone", that's as ridiculous as the "Great Lord of Soap", because humans are herd animals since millions of years. Actually, if you look at "division of labor" you have to communicate and you have to orchestrate processes, you have to "manage" it - and if you know, what information is, you know, that the most efficient architecture for an information processing systems is "the fly" or better a "butterfly", a figure created of 2 triangles meeting at one single point (the point of decision)

cities were just the local representation for the "single decision" point - to shorten ways between the managers and traders

and medicine? Created of fear? The lions of the cavern paintings (lions are yellow representing sun, light, fire - symbols for home and protection, but via fire also for some violence) are symbols for medicine (you see it in Bastet, the Egyption cat goddess of medicine and defense/war) - the first figure of humankind, about 30,000 B.C, was a mixture of human and female lion - a symbol for medicine. Not fear led to the invention, but simply the need to help their people. Male persons were often wounded badly during the hunting, female persons need midwifery - and medicine, invented about 30,000 B.C. may easily have been the factor, why the Cro Magnon "overwhelmed" the Neanderthal (about that time the latter vanished) - not by war, but simply by better surviving methods


If you were in Administration- you were a kshatriya. If you were a Technician , you were a Vaishya. If you were the Janitor, you were a Shudra. And your Professors would be the Brahmins I guess.

that's the 4 basic competences of Tarot/the star signs: Technicians/Practices and Methods, Managers-Warriors/Execution and Realization, Teachers/Knowledge and Decision, Peasants/Ressources and Supplies

but the matrix of tarot shows you, that the inventors of Tarot didn't thought it to be repressive, actually the matrix demands that each individual has to stay independent, dependency let you fall victim to the "devil"(15). Fitting perfectly to the sentence of the Minankabau: "no one belongs to another" - simply meaning, that humans are not made for slavery or obedience

but Tarot is not the only proof for the development of knowledge, transforming to "castes"

the sacraldrift is to be seen everywhere: look at the horses and the lions of the cavern paintings, representing ideas and competences...

after a while, people forgot that those were symbols - and made it to Goddesses: Bastet, Sakhmet, the celtic horse goddess

since gods mean churches and rituals and priests they simply mean: power, power of the cults, power of the priests, the symbols/meaning vanished, left back the rituals (and the ritual makers!) and the gods and goddesses until those gods and goddesses "merged" - creating a central power for one central church/caste of priests

12:46 AM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

again, a PS - you see, why i have to write books and blogs, so much words ;-)

Fear of being alone and weak lead to the creation of urban centers in the primitive world with high walls.

and again - a "matter of course" - which is a "matter of course of our times": urban centers with high walls

the early cities didn't have high walls, at least not stable enough to survive the times like their houses - the Indus Valley Civilization gives us proofs of houses with baths, but no walls - i know from just one wall: against the see (pirates i think)

Catal Hüyük - houses, but no walls. Even Jericho: houses, but no walls, at least the first "versions": Jericho was founded more than 10,000 ago, but the first walls we can find: about 6,000 B.C.

backs the hypothesis (not mine only!) of cities as centers of management and trade, doesn't it? Because in the first time of management, people work together - in teamwork. Than the "centered" ones start to realize that they have some power - and they start to grab, start to stop sharing wealth with the team partners, start to create "castes" and therefore start to become rich. But richness is attractice and especially attracts criminals, so you start to need to protect your richness - you start to need walls

the first signs of protection, walls as stable at least as the houses, can be found about 5,500 B.C.

again - our lives as role model for the past failed. What is self-evident, inevitable, matter of course FOR US can be without any meaning for other times and places.

Self-evidence doesn't exist, it's that simple

And especially Europeans should know that: we had lions and heat (about 25,000 years ago), than mammoths and ice (about 10,000 years ago), and have now deers and comfortable warmth

everything changes - how can we think, that human behavior does not?

3:03 AM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

please e-mail to me

if you didn't do it until now, please check your email

3:05 AM, September 19, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In a strange way, your explaination makes me think that the more we "know", the more we fear. When it really should be the other way aroud.

By the way, how do you know so much? It is simply fascinating some the things you write about
- you're making me rethink everything I know- and that makes me insecure- I guess in a way I'm starting to fear your thought flow because it is changing my perception. You're a great guide- thanks :) But are sure you're not a teacher or something?

I shall go sit in my little corner and think over your words some more.

4:04 AM, September 19, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

In a strange way, your explaination makes me think that the more we "know", the more we fear. When it really should be the other way aroud.

the more we know the more we understand how limited our resources/competences are, the more we understand how huge, big and infinite the universe is - and how small we are, how easy it is to hurt us and to kill us - and that creates fear - and the desire for protection. That's the way, how the gods were created

"Religion is based, I think, primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, as I have said, the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes" Bertrand Russell

By the way, how do you know so much?

i've lived some time and read many books - and i can't help myself but pondering about everything. I can't just walk through people, i have to watch their faces and ask myself, who they are - i flew over california and were reminded of Harappa because of the regular acres and reminded of Sumer, because the water barons surely have the same origin and power as the Sumerian water barons.

I guess it's just the way i set priorities - since i was a child i wanted to understand, but all my thinkings why the human world is so unjust and so unfair, did end in some kind of circles and contradictions. So i read and watched and noticed more and more to understand that basic stupidity of humankind - to be so intelligent to be able to fly to the moon, nevertheless so stupid to kill your own children, your own home in a suicidal firestorm. Remember, i'm German - i'm part of the nation of Immanuel Kant, David Hilbert, Emmy Noether, Johannes Keppler and Johannes Gutenberg - and Himmler and Goebbels and Auschwitz and...

i guess, no other nation has to solve such a big riddle: how could that be?

and than, as i had understood information (just for my job, to explain an SOA-architecture, i had developed) - it was like a storm. Understanding information means understanding information processing systems - and in the end understanding how information processing systems (like our brain) are able to detect information in a random world. And that means: how humans learn, how they see the world, why they have an "Ego" - and why they are both intelligent and stupid

- you're making me rethink everything I know-

that's not me - that's physics ;-)

to understand things can make you "rethink everything" you know. Remember Einsteins Relativity Theory or Max Plancks Quantum Theory?

and that makes me insecure- I guess in a way I'm starting to fear your thought flow because it is changing my perception.

fear, again ;-)

but believe me, that's only the first step out of the "matter of courses", of all the self-evidences and "inevitabilities" you have learnt like a prison of your soul and mind. Insecurity will leave you after a while, when your brain realizes - HOW STRONG IT IS. Your brain can understand the universe, it can understand EVERYTHING based on information. Isn't that great?

But are sure you're not a teacher or something?

not really ;-)

just a physicist

6:24 AM, September 19, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

------But are sure you're not a teacher or something?

not really---------

Well, you are now- I'm learning a lot on your blog. ;D

8:14 AM, September 19, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Today my head is empty of words. It is busy digesting yours. You have an amazing mind, but you know that.

Barnita asked if you were a teacher. I would say you are and we all are in our own ways.

I just learned about caste systems from Barnita on her blog. She teaches me things I didn't know.

Robert makes me think and laugh and his passion endears him to me.

I've been jmf's fan for more than two years. I never question what he says because it rings true. If ever it didn't, I would say so.

UT is the ultimate enigma. He's both informed and hip and he knows more than he tells. His humor kindles mine and I'm learning French from him.

I can only pass on my own thoughts which I question constantly, especially when rereading something I've written but I know I've taught the "kids" a lot and they were/are my core readers, which is why, though capable, I write in the demotic so it's understandable to them.

Fevers do weird things to my mind. I was just going to say Bravo and sign it Morgan le Fay but then my fingers started moving ahead of my mind and well you know the rest.

PS I've been waiting for a mail, but whenever you have time.

10:11 AM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JMF rules!!! UT's a nice guy too. In fact when I first started visiting WB, there were just 3-4 people whose comments I'd keep an eye out for- JMF, UT, GP, Bonfire- this was during old WB. They wrote the most frequently and JMF as usual had his links there. That was fun. But I think I'm liking GS better- no spam and no trollls, only friends. :)

5:59 PM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnita: It's too bad you didn't get to experience the original WB. It was the best and JMF definitely led the pack and I always wondered why he didn't have his own blog or site. UT wasn't there then, but Bonfire was and I like him, too.

I refused to sign up for the newest because I did that with Relevanta, which was a total disaster and I didn't like the points system or rating things.

I'm glad GP finally pulled the plug and took it off life-support.

11:57 PM, September 20, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was there during the old WB- only GP used to post. I wasn't around during that Relevanta thingie though.

Are you in touch with Bonfire now though- he mails me occassonally when India pops up in the international news to ask of the Indian version of facts I guess.

3:52 AM, September 21, 2005  
Blogger Again said...

oooops, i guess, it's unpolite not to look after the guests ;-)

but it's amazing what happens in Germany, amazing and thrilling - and depressing

our elections last sunday did lead to some ugly proofs of greed for power

i was very disappointed about Schröder, especially after he had offered the early elections - as if he was interested in the will of the people <sigh>

Fevers do weird things to my mind

sick again - or still? Sorry to hear that, hope it's not too serious

I was there during the old WB- only GP used to post.

but as long as he did, he did it really well

he did it so well, that i couldn't remove the link-text on my german blog - i still mention WB

i often felt, as if George Paine wouldn't be too glad about all the lefties and foreigners there, remember well the happiness about condie or mannning

9:47 AM, September 21, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, GP used to write what seemed to come from his heart- wether it did or not- I don't care anymore. But I remember thinking, Thank God for guys like him. He was also a motivating writer

Excuse me today- I've got another allergy- can't stop sneezing- it's messing my head and my vision. And my nose looks like-well- a circus clown's nose.

10:30 AM, September 21, 2005  

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