Review of Clifford Geertz' Available Light (AL)
_______________________________________2000, 1st. ed, PUP, hard bound, 271 pages including index. -
1December2000 - 1November2001
By Doug Renselle
Add links to A Primer on QuPo
and Quantum~Complementary Insanity here. Doug - 9Dec2012.
12Dec2018 rev -Color highlight occurrences of disassembly. Doug.
"As the world becomes more thoroughly interconnected economically and politically, as people move about in unforeseen, only partially controllable, and increasingly massive, ways, and as new lines are drawn and old ones erased, the catalogue of available identifications expands, contracts, changes shape, ramifies, involutes, and develops."
Reviewer penchants accoutrement:
We use wingdings and some rich text format (rtf) fonts in this review. You should be able to see this wingdings smiley face: , and this rtf quantized 'o:' ¤.
Infrequently reader, in this review, when you see n¤, n¤r, and n¤t in our review below, we intend a quantum logic of subjective negation. Also, infrequently, you will see our use of words containing our quantized 'o,' e.g., 'n¤vel.' First, and sporadic other, occurrences of these Quantonics-unique language remediations shall be linked to their quantonic descriptions.
Our use of double quote marked words highlights uniquenesses and shows our respect. Our use of single quote marks of words and phrases depicts our locally declining respect for select classical concepts and disciplines. Too, we use single quote marks on formerly double quote-marked embedded or nested sentences included in larger quotations. We use italics on words and phrases which are out of language context, or terms which we wish you would consider their variant flavors, fullness, and potential notions as we have used them a sort of Wittgensteinian emphasis.
We use bold, color, hyperlinks, ellipses ( ), and brackets  to abbreviate, alter, highlight, extend, or comment quoted text, and we state each quote's page number and emphasis use. Otherwise all intraquote parentheses, quotes, italics, emphases, underlines, etc. are Geertz'.
Links to related material:
Shweder Letter Quantonics
Sharing his Biography
Shweder Review of Available Light, from 24Nov2000 issue of Science
Martin Ryder's page on Geertz See especially Malhotra, Yogesh. (1994). Yogesh's page is simply excellent and covers at a higher level many issues addressed quantumesquely in greater detail in Quantonics.
We found a link to Professor David Adams' syllabus at Norfolk State University, but Adams appears no longer at this URL. Search for 'quantum' at that link. Also try searches for "Geertz quantum." Many connections here. Adams apparently shares our intuitions of quantum Geertz. If you know where we can contact him, please apprise.
Anthropology: A 'scientific' study of origins, behaviors, and varieties of physical, social, and cultural evolutions of human beings.
|"Some cultures may be like formal systems, automobiles, digital computers, and ratiocinated organizations. Those cultures, in particular, tend only to offer more status quo momentum as they grow larger. In their deign of inanimate 'stability' and scaling sameness lies a self-inflicted Parmenidean apoptosis." Doug - for our review of Clifford Geertz' Available Light - 18Aug2001.|
"We are in It and
It is in us." Eugen Herrigel, paraphrased.1
"We are in Quality and Quality is in us." Robert M. Pirsig, paraphrased.2
"Our minds are in the world and the world is in our minds." P. 205. Clifford Geertz, paraphrased.3
"Our language is in our context and our context is in our language." Ludwig Wittgenstein, paraphrased.4
"We are in cultures and cultures are in us." Clifford Geertz, liberally quantum interpreted and quantum paraphrased.5
"We are autonomously in quantum coherence and quantum coherence is in all our autonomies." Mae-wan Ho, paraphrased.6
"Samsara is in nirvana. Nirvana is in samsara." Madhyamaka Karika 25.19, paraphrased.24
"We, both quantum autonomously while quantum
co-here-ntly, are animate in reality and reality is
animate in us."
Doug (borrowing from, extending, and quantum embellishing quotes above) - 4Oct2001.
We are n¤t anthropologists. We are n¤t experts in anthropology, sociology, humanities, history, n¤r ethnology. Our interests arise from our local perspective of how Anthropology, as an infant "soft" science, appears so much more naturally quantum scientific than other "hard" sciences do. Could we, we would answer a question, "Why is Anthropology apparently more quantum intuitive in its cultural study and research modes than currently as-taught hard science is in its fundamental methods?"
N¤r are we clerics. We reviewed William James' last book, Some Problems of Philosophy, but we have not read thoroughly n¤r studied deeply his other works. We follow Geertz' references to specific areas of James' Varieties of Religious Experience (VoRE) in order to review Chapter VIII. We see James in a much Different Light than Geertz appears to. James, to us, is a quantum Neo sapiens precursor. Geertz appears unaware of James' radical conversion from monism to pluralism during latter years of his life, and countless semantic and hermeneutic affects of that conversion on James' works. Succinctly, in our view, readers may not peruse VoRE as classical fundamentalists would and expect to fully exploit James' intended, more quantum, perceptual memetics.
Though, in all of Available Light Geertz uses "quantum" only one time, in this important review, we promote our quantum heuristics confidently. While we adhere our own quantum sensibilities we must simultaneously acknowledge presence, in all our work, of real quantum uncertainty. Therefore it is crucial that we offer our review comments as qualitatively descriptive and n¤t classically normative. We use 'is,' n¤t as an inanimate, classically-latched, normative assignment mean, but as an evolving Planck rate quantum copulum. Infrequently, to emphatically distinguish our quantum, from classical 'is,' we may parley 'issi.' Our negatives, as we apprise above, are mostly subjective. We base our comments upon accepted, though sometimes still conjectural, physial percepts (Baggott, Bohm, Bohr, d'Espagnat, Ho, Howard, Josephson, et al.), and upon empirical, quantum instrumentalist (i.e., memes as "tools"), and relentlessly evolving outcomes from countless journal (Nature, Science, Physics Today and APS' Letters, et al.) documented quantum experiments.
Reviewer's Semantic: 'anthropology'
Anthropo- is a multi-syllabic prefix signifying human beings sapiens wise of genus Homo. -ology is a multi-syllabic suffix whose classical scientific semantic is, " objective, ordered study of " So anthropology means classical study of human beings. Ostensibly all anthropology is 'scientific.' We infer then all anthropologists, ideally sharing the enlightenment's 'scientific' doctrine assume they must study humans classically, objectively. What does that mean?
It means, to us, that humans must be studied (observed) as objects, and that observation must proceed unilaterally, observer (anthropologist/investigator) watching observed (informants and target-culture) in a classically ideal, unilateral fashion. During observation, an anthropologist collects property-esque data about informants and cultures. An anthropologist collects said data on a know-ledge. To retain observational discipline, an anthropologist must keep a one-way semi-silvered, "I can sense you, but you cannot wholly sense me," mirror-wall between self and informants. As the investigator, s-he disjoins reason from passion, denigrating latter, while also disjoining theory from action, denigrating latter. We call this classical barrier, "SOM's wall." Experts call this particular 'scientific' method, "objective observation." Its anthropological father, as far as we know, is Franz Boas. Boas was 'enlightened.' Boas' protégés (Mead, et al.) portaged this 'method' through most of Earth's 20th century. Go, for example, to any university bookstore and pick up a text on anthropology, and you will find this methodology pontificated.
Geertz shows much discomfort with this approach, in Available Light. And for good reason. How can one adeptly 'study' anything without partially becoming what one is studying, and vice versa? How can one remain ideally separate from one's informants and their local cultures and yet understand them well enough to say one has a modicum of expertise?
As Pirsig pointed out so cogently regarding 20th century methods of psychiatry, paraphrased, "Modern psychiatric practice insists that one who assesses insanity may not know experientially what it is." Let's repeat that sentence substituting anthropology for psychiatry: "Modern [enlightened] anthropologic practice insists that one who assesses a culture may not know experientially what it is." And, indeed that is what Boas' methods impose. Geertz coalesces a similar assessment, "Anthropology, one of whose vocations, at least, is to locate demarcations, to discriminate breaks and describe continuities, has fumbled with [charting demarcations] from the beginning, and fumbles with it still." Chapter XI, p. 248. (Our ellipses, brackets.)
Left there, we might only assess Geertz as a classicist, fundamentally admitting an apparent global anthropological truth. Rather, he makes a quantum end run with anthropology's fumble, "Whatever we might wish, or regard as enlightenment, the severalty of culture abides and proliferates, even amidst, indeed in response to, the powerfully connecting forces of modern manufacture, finance, travel, and trade. The more things come together, the more they remain apart: the uniform world is not much closer than the classless society." Chapter XI, p. 248. We interpret Geertz' words in Quantum Light. We intuit his telling us, "SOM utopia is an inappropriate goal, and quantum reality will prevent us from ever achieving it. Why? Classical, 'enlightened' utopia 'is' exclusive monolithic state-icity, and quantum reality "issi" inclusive, absolute, relentless, unending heterolithic-heterophasic change."
But what really appears to be happening in anthropology? Geertz uses his own showing and telling rhetoric and prose to describe what he thinks is happening: irony, fiction, ambiguity, uncertainty, plurality, multiply-centered, etc. In our view, Geertz' use of these terms uncovers his own intuitions and instincts that anthropology cannot be practiced as a dogmatic, factitious, provincial, classical, parochial, objective discipline.
Indeed, with that adjectivally-refreshed mindset one may ask fecund questions: "Is a psychiatrist who has not experienced, vis-à-vis observed, personal insanity qualified to assess another's sanity?" (Pirsig asked that one. Bravo!) Analogously, "Is an anthropologist who has not experienced, vis-à-vis observed, a culture qualified to describe it?" And to not-so-subtly uncloak implicit specification of subjects' ineptnesses in those two prior questions, "If a Morgue and Staley stockbroker knows how to make money trading stock, why would he ever be brokering it?" We offer these queries as hallmarks of a kind of sophist paralogical irony which (we think) Geertz proffers, "Irony rests, of course, on a perception of the way in which reality derides merely human views of it, reduces grand attitudes and large hopes to self-mockery." Chapter II, p. 29.
Why is Geertz experiencing so much discomfort with current as-practiced anthropology? Why is he using those odd words and phrases to describe his own experiences as an anthropologist? Our answer is simple: SOM! SOM's classical thing-king methods.
Geertz appears to us as a n¤vel anthropologist who
akin philosophers Henri Louis Bergson, William James, Ludwig Wittgenstein,
possibly Alfred North Whitehead, and more than 100 years earlier
Johann Georg Hamann mid/late of life found themselves in
SOM's logical detention center, felt discomfited, and commenced
their own self-architected extractions, quantum leaps if you will,
out of it.
Why is Geertz using, as Pirsig says, " a most sparkling rhetoric7 " to describe his "ironic, fictional, ambiguous, imbalanced, disequilibriated, indistinct, noisily introspective, multiply-defined, hazy, suffused, turbulent, unclear, open, closure unattainable, discomposed, uncertain, erratic, uncertainty principled, disparate, conflicting8, uncertain surety, double-edged, acausal, ineradicably imprecise, deprovincialized, unsystematic, touching-faith, panoptical, morally asymmetric8, quixotic, incorrigible, partially truthed8, complicit, et al.," quantum memes which are entirely and extensibly complementary classical mythos' more enclosed methods of thought? We think Geertz may be one of 20th century's and Millennium III's first intuitive quantum anthropologists! We think he is an exemplar precursor for Millennium III's imminent n¤vel discipline which we call "quantum anthropology!" We choose to say with great confidence, "Geertz has already commenced touching quantum faith, with pinches of individual and evolving intellectual, social, biological, and inorganic autonomies all in multiversal quantum (vis-à-vis purely social) cohesion."
Given all that, you, reader, may understand how our review of Geertz' Available Light avalanched to a better part of a year's work and 85 soul wrought pages!
Available Light HotMemes -
Classical Anti Anti-Relativism Abdicates Semantic Value
Classical Causation Drives Out Awareness and Thought
Evolution Imputes Natural Action and Change
What does di versity mean?
The Glass Bead Game
A Bit CRude as Binaries
Whatings inexactly are we meanings?
Cultural Interrelationship Noncommutativity
There is No Everything to Know
Scientism is Mostly Just Bluff
One May Not Bootstrap Limited Knowledge to Complete Knowledge
Kuhn is a Threat!
He Had Prayed for Rain and Got a Flood
Tear Down Their Walls
Society Is Incapable of Making Individuals Free
In a Coherent Society Such Conflicts Do Not Exist?
Culture Is Nondesignable! Why? Culture Evolves!
Emotion is Crux!
Differences Comprise Similarity
Summary of our review:
Geertz tells and shows us that current, start of Millennium III, anthropology embroils itself in several major riddles:
His insights are potent! His first riddle illuminates modern anthropology's greatest threat: continued application of 'the enlightenment's' objective classical thinking in anthropological studies. His second riddle uncloaks a provocative solution to his first riddle, which Geertz (only partially) and some of his peers appear to fail to perceive: anthropological reality may not be adequately studied quantitatively as classical property-esque either/or excluded-middle schisms, rather anthropology is better qualitatively studied using complementary both/and included-middle Value interrelationships.
Readers should also consider Geertz' second puzzle in light of one particular analogue for science. Especially consider Thomas Kuhn's notorious book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which poses a scientific analogue of Geertz' second puzzle and offers a glimmer of what such a merger can do for a family of "hard" scientific disciplines formerly trapped in puzzle one's analytic embrace.
For those of you who want to understand modern anthropology and its young but vast underpinnings, Geertz' Available Light should become one of your dog-eared favorites in years to come.
Until we read Chapter XI of Available Light, we thought this book was very important for Millennium III people to ponder and savor. Having read Chapter XI, and juxtaposing its essence with Earth-events of September 11, 2001, we can say to you, now, near our end of this review (late October, 2001), that we think Available Light is one of Millennium III's most important and anticipative works!
"The European (and American) exceptionalism that seemed, at least to Europeans (and Americans) so plausible before 1989 we have nation-state, and they have not has become increasingly implausible since." Chapter XI, p. 256.
We urge our Quantonics community to ingest and acculturate Geertz' quantum anthropological epiphanies.
Geertz covers anthropology's spectrum well and he honestly and sincerely assesses its trials and tribulations, its challenges and opportunities. Geertz senses one of anthropology's major tribulations is a combination of both classical thinking/logic/reason and classical language. Geertz and some of his peers are keenly aware of classical thought's anthropologically applied limitations. Yet his peers appear to not yet tumble potential exoduses from their classical conundrums, except perhaps by persistence with more of same and some minor toe wettings in plural-parallel objective relativism with often dyslexic rhetorical and dialectical acrobatics embellished status quo appears anthropology's end-of-millennium-II's way to go. We see Geertz' own intuitions discounting and interrogating anthropology's unfortunate classical, hard-science-derived foundations.
To our delight, Geertz mentions Feynman, Gödel, Einstein, et al. Actually he mentions at least 195 prominent and less well-known but no less important folk. Among those we found several whom we believe offer fecund resonance with our own quantum-philosophical "modeling of nature" predilections:
Those few scholarly gentlemen, unanthro-apologetic as they are, offer n¤vel, more qualitative, pluralistic, quantum omni- and para-logical memes which can help solve Geertz' anthropological riddles. Their n¤vel memes jibe and at least partially alleviate Geertz' and his peers' classical paralogical conundrums. We attempt to demonstrate that for you, subsequently.
Could we, we would add a few favored names of our own to Geertz' extensive list.
Why would we add our own list to Geertz' Available Light list of folk who he thinks are important to anthropology? In our view various subsets of people listed above10 hold keys to nouveaux Quantum Think-king Modes (QTMs) which will bring anthropology forward as a genuine and n¤vel science and discipline, a Millennium III Phoenix arisen from ashes of antiquated Classical Thing-king Methods (CTMs). Once adopted, their memes allow anthropologists to set an example for other "soft" disciplines how important incipient quantum memetic upgrades are to "soft" sciences' future exegetic and exoteric successes, both political and anthropological.
As do most 'scientists,' Geertz excepted, anthropologists appear to, intra-paradigm, avoid questioning their own discipline's proto-core assumptions. Those assumptions find their antecedents in classical and passé customs of thought. For some anthropologists, cultural relativism is a new and advanced technique whose insights initiate partial mitigation of anthropology's classical ills. They appear not to understand that relativism is but a child of classicism, bearing almost all its parent's genes, except those whose spawn are plural, 'diverse,' and incommensurable, contrafactual-definite views. Using his own rhetoric, Geertz relentlessly reminds us that relativities among studied cultures remain classical (and maleficent) as long as they inure excluded-middles and their logically discrete "ethnocentric" separability. In Quantonics, we know that quantum reality is, due Heisenberg, "comtrafactual uncertain/indefinite."
Geertz' book is a collection of his papers which he presented at various times between 1968 and 1999, all but one newer than 1983. If that sounds like just another set of symposia notes, do not be fooled! Geertz' papers form neat, concise, well aligned and correlative topics and chapters in this book. Had he not forewarned us these were papers, we would just have accepted all as a good book which those of us interested in human culture and anthropology should read.
Initially, we were caught off guard by Geertz' formidable eloquence. One almost suspects him of practicing some kind of artificial intellectual Bobbi Streisand. Happily though, we quickly become aware of a fabulous rhetorician's vast vocabulary appropriately applied to his own art and its problematics7a. Warning: Keep your quantum stages coherent and your dictionary handy!
Geertz' Available Light offers his audience a preface and 11 chapters.
His preface prepares us for a fascinating anthropological journey which essentially abhors antiquated classical anthropological techniques: their dichotomies, their 'versus' mindsets, their naïve contradictions. He speaks of one and many as monism and pluralism and tantalizes us with hints of Jamesian "compenetration." He speaks of meaning as Wittgensteinian "use."
Yet, we think, throughout his chapters he scatters classical 'meaning as defined and static' coprolitic legacies. Geertz appears to somewhat defensively keep his monism and pluralism too provincial with classicism's subject-object wall strangely, almost chaotically, somewhat sporadically present. (Were he not to do this, his more classical peers might judge him poorly?) Geertz modulates among classical, classical-relativistic, and intuitive quantum semantic "uses." Viewed naïvely, he appears to be a man for all ethnographic seasons, yet subtly, genetically, he lets you know he favors, ultimately, very quantumesque views of many cultures.
Use these intrapage links to access Geertz' Available Light chapters:
Chapter I - Passage and Accident:
A Life of Learning (< 1 review page)
Chapter II - Thinking as a Moral Act: Ethical Dimensions of Anthropological Fieldwork in the New States (4 review pages)
Chapter III - Anti Anti-Relativism (4 review pages)
Chapter IV - The Uses of Diversity (5 review pages)
Chapter V - The State of the Art, Waddling In (17 review pages)
Chapter VI - The Strange Estrangement: Charles Taylor and the Natural Sciences (2 review pages)
Chapter VII - The Legacy of Thomas Kuhn: The Right Text at the Right Time (5 review pages)
Chapter VIII - The Pinch of Destiny: Religion as Experience, Meaning, Identity, Power (16 review pages)
Chapter IX - Imbalancing Act: Jerome Bruner's Cultural Psychology (5 review pages)
Chapter X - Culture, Mind, Brain / Brain, Mind, Culture (8 review pages)
Chapter XI - The World in Pieces: Culture and Politics at the End of the Century (12 review pages)
Chapter I - pages 3-20 - Passage and Accident: A Life of Learning A brief autobiographical sketch in which we learn Geertz' anthropological entrée was wholly serendipitous.
Geertz' academic emergence is pure quantum stochastic ensemble preconditions affecting both his and his wife's lives. Quantum uncertainty hilted to increasingly better sequential and heterogeneous outcomes.
Chapter II - Pages 21-41 - Thinking as a Moral Act: Ethical Dimensions of Anthropological Fieldwork in the New States
Geertz attempts to show how anthropology, especially its fieldwork, is highly misunderstood and why, especially what he refers as its "moral tension." Geertz describes, brilliantly, moral tension in fieldwork via an informant whom he allows to borrow his typewriter. Imagine Geertz' typewriter as analogous that coke bottle which a pilot threw from his plane over Africa in that yummy cult movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy. As that coke bottle became a jealously savored omni-utile "tool" in a primitive tribe, Geertz' typewriter achieves that level of import with one of his Ibsenesque informants. Ultimately, just as in the movie, a culture clash over access and use of cherished "tool" arises and causes moral tension twixt Geertz and his informant. We laughed when we imagined Geertz' advisor arriving and carrying off his typewriter to some distant abyss, and throwing that devilish thing into hell, while simultaneously getting both lost and irretrievably life-altered seldom to see UChic, Columbia, or Princeton again.
"Moral tension" in this case occurs when we view Geertz' (a US academic) and his informant's (a Javanese, ~A Doll's House) distinct islands of culture objectively bump into one another. Geertz sees this as inevitable. Why? Geertz and any other anthropologist studying in a foreign culture pretend to be in that culture while, both they and their informants know that pretense is only fictional role playing unless said anthropologists extensively immerse themselves in their informants' culture. Aroused, we have, "moral tension."
We tend to see Geertz' basic anthropological example as an exemplar of lack of mutual cross-acculturation, a lack of cultural coobsfection. That view of anthropological informants and cultures is impermissible in Boas' 'enlightened scientific' method's mandated arms length unilateral social observation. Not to say anthropologists are ignorant about mutual cross-acculturation. We, rather, hint that, to classical anthropologists, it appears both temporally and objectively inefficient. And perhaps, due their biases, few classical anthropologists appear to understand that cross acculturation may be needed. And certainly even fewer, as objectivists, yet know how to do cross acculturation. Why?
Franz Boas and his protégés are grossly responsible for currently predominant objective anthropological theory, in our opinion. His denial of any subjective Value in anthropological research precludes study and understanding of mostly predominant subjective Value in cross acculturation interrelationships. He says (we infer), "It (subjective Value) does not 'exist' scientifically, therefore do not study it." Yet, now we know that subjective, i.e., quantum c¤mplementary, Value is what is most important in anthropology it is what is most highly evolved and most highly current, pragmatic, and animate in any cross cultural interrelationships and more generally, in any interrelationships.
Geertz chooses John Dewey as an exemplar of classical issues of thought and thinking as ethical and moral acts. He shows how Dewey's views of thinking are much akin Boas' views of culture. Both view reality as classically objective, thus both see issues as objective. Indeed, Dewey does.
"When I try to sum up what, above all else, I have learned from grappling with the sprawling prolixities of John Dewey's work, what I come up with is the succinct and chilling doctrine that thought is conduct and is to be morally judged as such. It is not the notion that thinking is a serious matter that seems to be distinctive of this last of the New England philosophers; all intellectuals regard mental productions with some esteem. It is the argument that the reason thinking is serious is that it is a social act, and that one is therefore responsible for it as for any other social act. Perhaps even more so, for, in the long run, it is the most consequential of social acts In short, Dewey brings thinking out into the public world where ethical judgment can get at it." P. 21.
This is what one may expect when one views reality objectively. To view thoughts, directly as objects, in your reviewer's opinion is extreme classicism. It appears to us as direct application of formal mechanism to mind.
Furthermore, we know by experience that, we have thoughts which never devolve into "social acts." Many of our thoughts are incapable of actualization as "social acts." Most of our thoughts are gedanken experiments assessing what ifs, juxtaposing tentative behaviors with social mores. Of course, we admit that sociopaths ignore some outcomes of these what ifs, or do not even attempt them.
Perhaps Geertz sees intellect as Plato and Aristotle did: subservient to objective, substantial reality. But were he to do so, would he not have to see society subservient too? Or perhaps Geertz is only describing Dewey's perspectives of thought as classically objective.
And, for sure, Geertz goes on to show his disgust at such 'objectification' of thinking.
"Since Dewey it has been much more difficult to regard thinking as an abstention from action, theorizing as an alternative to commitment, and the intellectual life as a kind of secular monasticism, excused from accountability by its sensitivity to the Good." P. 22.
Why is Geertz even broaching Thinking As a Moral Act? "It is to contribute toward putting the debate over the moral status of social science on firmer ground, and not to propose my own experiences or my own line of work as canonical, that the following scattered and necessarily somewhat personal reflections are directed." Pp. 23-24. Geertz goes on for several pages making some complex nexuses to Indonesian cultures, from which arise some very desperate and bleak problems.
"The imbalance between an ability to find out what the trouble is, or at least something of what the trouble is, and an ability to find out what might be done to alleviate it is not confined it is pervasive." P. 28.
Geertz does not say so at this juncture, but we sense he intuits that this is where Thinking As a Moral Act becomes crucial, especially as it applies to social science, and social scientists' abilities to conjure Good solutions to these difficult conundrums. And he demurs, "However ineffective a scientific approach to social problems may be, it is more effective than the available alternatives: cultivating one's garden, thrashing about wildly in the dark, or lighting candles to the Madonna." And we agree. Science is Good because science seeks 'better' for everyone. But we see major problems here, due science's own fundamentalism. Our position may be stated simply in several classically formatted questions. What is moral? Who decides? What is ethical? Who decides? Are morals global? Or are morals diverse? Are ethics global? Or are ethics diverse? Who decides? Can Christians decide what is moral for sunni Muslims? Can sunni Muslims decide what is moral for Christians?
In our view, Thinking As a Moral Act must answer those questions before social scientists can choose 'better' solutions for poverty stricken cultures.
What do we see in those questions? Quantum irony. "Irony rests, of course, on a perception of the way in which reality derides merely human views of it, reduces grand attitudes and large hopes to self-mockery." P. 29. Geertz understands.
"But the sort of irony which appears in anthropological fieldwork, though no less effective in puncturing illusion, is not quite like any of these [previously exemplified ironies; see partial lists in several sequential paragraphs at top of page]. It is not dramatic, because it is double-edged: the actor sees through the audience as clearly as the audience through the actor. It is not historical, because it is acausal: it is not that one's actions produce, through the internal logic of events, results the reverse of what was intended by them (though this sometimes happens too), but that one's predictions of what other people will do, one's social expectations, are constantly surprised by what, independently of one's own behavior, they actually do. It is not literary, because not only are the parties not in league, but they are in different moral universes. And it is not Socratic, because it is not intellectual pretension which is parodied, but the mere communication of thought and not by intellectual dissembling, but by an all-too-earnest, almost grim, effort at understanding." P. 30. (Our bold. Our brackets.) From an anthropological perspective, here, Geertz describes essences of quantum reality. Lovely! Double-edged: complementary. Sees-through: compenetration. Acausal: stochastic uncertainty. Surprised: indeterminism. Different moral universes: quantum multiversal islandicity. Communication of thought: quantum included-middle, better, moral and ethical thinking! Wow! Bravo Professor Geertz!
(What if your reviewer had not read that November, 24, 2000 issue of Science which has Richard Shweder's review of Available Light? We shudder to think we would have missed this incredible man and his incredible work. Prior, we did not know of Clifford Geertz!)
We close our review of Chapter II with a quote of its last paragraph, "The call for the application of 'the scientific method' to the investigation of human affairs is a call for a direct confrontation of that divorce between sense and sensibility which has been rightly diagnosed to be the malady of our age and to the ending of which John Dewey's lifework, imperfect like any other, was unconditionally dedicated." P. 41.
Chapter III - Pages 42-67 - Anti Anti-Relativism "A scholar can hardly be better employed than in destroying a fear." Chapter III, p. 42.
Geertz tells us his purpose in this chapter is not to defend relativism but to attack anti-relativism. He says those who wish to escape relativism's 'evil' grasp do so mostly with a yearn for olden, classical, "pasteurized knowledge." We agree. However, he offers only one way out and his technique is backward to Victorian Boole. There is another way out of relativism! Forward via evolutionary ascension.
Geertz calls any attempt to return to past Victorian Boole an "antique mistake." Again, we agree. We need to cast out these demons of antique thought! Yes, bravo!
AL HotMeme: Geertz propounds an anti anti-relativism approach, a double negative approach which he avers "logical." If one is anti anti-abortion, he noodles, one is not necessarily pro-abortion. Geertz' solution, if he assumes negation is objective, is classical logic, and as we know in Quantonics, it simply does n¤t apply to general quantum reality. But what if he assumes negation is subjective? Then we can agree with his conclusion that "anti-anti" is not classically "pro." As Steppenwolf might exclaim, "Without denying abortion, deny abortion, and Without denying relativism, deny relativism!" If Geertz does assume our latter position, then he renders Aristotle's syllogisms invalid. He then agrees with us that reality is quantum-subjective and n¤t Aristotelian/Newtonian substantial/objective.
Why? Simply, quantum reality is quantum c¤mplementary. Quantum reality's middles are included cohorts call it variously, "interpenetration (Capra), compenetration (James), co-here-nce (quantum science), co-inside-nce (quantonics), intersolution/fusion (Bergson), Gestalt (Kuhn, et al.), etc." Included-middle logic (quantum logic; see Quantonics' innovative coquecigrues) imposes subjectivity on classical negation. That is why we have little alternative than to reject Geertz' anti anti-relativism solution if it assumes a classically logical position which abdicates any real semantic value in quantum reality. AL HotMemes
Also if he were to say his solution is a quantum both pro-classical-thing-king and pro-relativistic-thing-king, while removing their 'anti-' dichotomy simultaneously, we could better understand and commiserate his position. When we read Geertz, that is closer to what we hear, i.e., BOTHAND(polylogical-CR,unilogical-SOM) vis-à-vis EITHEROR(anti-anti-relativism, SOM). We think Geertz subtly intuits classical negation's subjectivity, but he invokes its classical legacy essence in his anti anti-relativism position. However, this third inferred approach loses a significant amount of quantum essence which quantum subjective negation offers.
Again, Geertz shows us that he understands, somewhat dyslexically, our complaint. "In this double frame, the double negative simply doesn't work in the usual way; and therein lies its rhetorical attractions. It enables one to reject something without thereby committing oneself to what it rejects. And this is precisely what I want to do with anti-relativism." P. 43. We think simple acceptance of reality's subjective nature, and concomitant intrinsic quantum subjective negation, eliminates Geertz' need for double negation.
AL HotMeme: Pirsig too has shown us that if we want to do what Geertz suggests we probably should consider a more quantum approach. Allow us to reuse Pirsig's example here. On classical cause-effect, Pirsig shows how we can be anti-cause-effect by being pro something extraordinarily similar. Instead of saying "A causes B," we can say, paraphrased, "outcomes Bs Value preconditions As." Our point about Geertz' anti anti-relativism is that we can do something very similar to what Pirsig did, and in our opinion, arrive at a much better outcome than an ambiguous (i.e., classical vis-à-vis quantum) double negative.
Note in our example, how a classical idea of causation objectively drives out any primal awareness and thought (recall Chapter II's title), where our paraphrased Pirsigean version demands them. How? "Outcomes Bs Value preconditions As" tells us that Bs have to be aware of and Value As to make choices about whats happens nexts11. That last quantum adept sentence is a perfect rhetorical description of what quantum scientists call "measurement." "A causes B" is a classical deterministic semantic where "outcomes Bs Value preconditions As" elicits plural quantum c¤mplementary and stochastic quantum valuation memes. In general, reality is more stochastic than causal, and ideal causality is usually an apparition, even though classicists insist it is scientific 'fact.' AL HotMemes
Continuing on his anti-anti-relativism vector, Geertz says, "It has not been anthropological theory, such as it is, that has made our field seem to be a massive argument against absolutism in thought, morals, and esthetic judgment; it has been anthropological data; customs, crania, living floors, and lexicons." P. 44. We agree. Objective 20th century anthropological theory is essentially:
But look at Geertz' last clause above. See his plurals? Modern anthropological studies found plurals! Not classical singulars and monads. Rather they found plurals and omniads. All this is clear and present evidence of classical science's absolute truth's demise. We must be very careful here, and recent history shows that most (relativists and anti-relativists) have not.
Anthropological data hints at parallel pluralism of "customs, crania, living floors, and lexicons," and from that many have leapt to an altered, yet still classically objective, plural-relativistic theory like this:
Now, won't you agree that instead of absolutist "OOO" (one, one, one) most intend relativistic "MOM" (many, one, many) when distinguishing absolutist anthropological theory from its relativistic successor?
Now here, reader, is real opportunity for an epiphany. Consider how MOM depends upon many relative, yet still objective, parallel views to assert its doctrine of relative truth. Think about that Now re-read our query. What is our most pragmatic (pragma means action) clause there? It is our clause " when distinguishing absolutist anthropological theory from its relativistic successor?"
What is our most pragmatic phrase in that clause? It is " relativistic successor." Why? Think about it What did relativism do to absolutism? It succeeded it! How did relativism succeed absolutism? Did it pre-exist, only to be discovered? If one retains a classical state-ic, immutable view of an objective one-time alpha-created reality, one must conclude that relativism was discovered.
AL HotMeme: But what if reality is not static, what if reality is animate. Further, what if reality is capable of evolution? Then can't we say that relativism evolved from absolutism? And in so doing, retained some of absolutism's errant DNA? Those are our views, your reviewers' views.
Now, you ask, where is any epiphany in all that? It is simply that classical absolutism and classical relativism both deny reality is pragmatic and animate. Yet evolution from absolutism to relativism imputes natural action and absolute change. Indeed pragma was reverse-engineered and thus corrupted in recent centuries to extract its historical implications of absolute flux in reality, and to make it a classically causal-effective concept. William James' absolute flux version of pragmatism, Henri Louis Bergson's absolute flux version of duration, Pirsig's absolute flux version of Dynamic Quality, quantum science's absolute Planck rate flux, and Quantonics "flux is crux," re-introduce pragmatic reality as absolute flux and re-introduce flux's agency in emergent evolutionary change as real. As a result we see quantum absolute flux pragmatism/paralogism/sophism, i.e.:
Anthropologically each culture is a quantum island with acculturated quantum-islandic individuals in it. Anthropologically, Earth is a quantum multiverse of many cultures. And all of that, driven by nature's absolute flux, is evolving continuously!
Our meme which we illustrate here is that a classical double negative is merely another classical deign of feign. It keeps practitioners and theoreticians in SOM's box, SOM's detention center of thought and reason. Being against anything is a classical act. Being for and with a quantum commingling, emerging, ascending reality is a 'class' act.
"What the relativists, so-called, want us to worry about is provincialism the danger that our perceptions will be dulled, our intellects constricted, and our sympathies narrowed by the overlearned and overvalued acceptance of our own society. What the anti-relativists, self-declared, want us to worry about, and worry about and worry about, as though our very souls depended upon it, is a kind of spiritual entropy, a heat death of the mind, in which everything is as significant, thus as insignificant, as everything else: anything goes, to each his own, you pays your money and you takes your choice, I know what I like, not in the south, tout comprende, c'est tout pardonner [all understand, that's all to pardon]."
Geertz finds provincialism a greater concern. We concur. Anti-relativists, most, appear as fundamental SOMites, afraid of other, afraid of difference, and as such, since reality is about ever- and relentlessly-changing differences, we must question their judgments. Provincialism from a quantum perspective is less an issue once one admits consensus as always tentative, inevitable waxing and waning of cultural islandicity, with cross-cultures compenetrating one another as real, and all miscible and omniadic.
As those SOMites see it, "The fear of relativism, raised at every turn like some mesmeric obsession, has led to a position in which cultural diversity, across space and over time, amounts to a series of expressions, some salubrious, some not, of a settled, underlying reality, the essential nature of man, and anthropology amounts to an attempt to see through the haze of those expressions to the substance of that reality." P. 59.
Geertz ends chapter III speaking of those SOMitic anti-relativists thus, "If we wanted home truths, we should have stayed at home." P. 65.
We ask, "About what kind of relativism do we speak, when we say, 'We are anti anti-relativism?'" Real quantum subjective negation is there, and it is n¤t going away, like it ¤r n¤t.
Chapter IV - Pages 68-88 - The Uses of Diversity, "Either Ethnocentricity Or Not?"
Geertz surmises in 'The Uses of Diversity,' and we concur, that ethnographers12 are commencing grand intuitions ("alien turns of mind[s]") of a n¤vel quantum subjective reality accepted as increasingly more open and real than its classically more objective and closed antecedent.
Our ethnographic Chautauqua, needed to arrive where Geertz is (quantum Casa Buenoisimo), is somewhat arduous. It is worth our time, however, since it allows us to understand how misguided early thinking on ethnocentricity was. Plus it adeptly abets our own predilections here in Quantonics.
AL HotMeme: On our first exposure to this chapter's title (with our contrived, double-quotes subtitle), we discern both Wittgensteinian (use) and classical (di versity) rutting semantics. Former, "use is meaning," and latter "dichotomy dogmatizes either/or." What does di versity mean? Does it mean either versity or not versity? Two versities? Well of course Wittgenstein is correct. Contemporary culture uses diversity not as a binary choice, rather as spectral and multitudinous choice. So, literally, cultural diversity means, as used, "many cultures." However, that is n¤t what formally hermeneutic "di" implies. In Quantonics, "di" informs a classical dichon. And, in Quantonics, we know that most classicists 'thingk' using dichons. So we want to warn you that we find classicists' use of "diversity" to mean "many" is suspect on its own face. We doubt that happens often. We should like to re-engineer our cultures' "use is meaning" of "diversity" to use is meaning "multiversity" or perhaps better "omniversity" where latter suggests a probability of some/many included-middle cultures. AL HotMemes
Somewhat agreeing with our previous paragraph, Geertz claims, " my purpose here is not to defend the prerogatives of a homespun Wissenschaft13 whose patent on the study of cultural diversity, if it ever had one, has long since expired. My purpose is to suggest that we have come to such a point in the moral history of the world that we are obliged to think about such diversity rather differently14 than we had been used to thinking about it." P. 85.
We concur, and affirm that Geertz offers alternatives which do oblige us to think rather omnifferently.
To start, he warns us that legacy anthropological approaches have their costs: "We may be faced with a world in which there simply aren't any more headhunters, matrilinealists, or people who predict weather from the entrails of a pig." I.e., teaching our world classicism's one great monistic truth has imposed extinction of many classically 'immoral' cultures. " the good old days of widow burning and cannibalism are gone forever." P. 68.
Then Geertz embarks on a treatise about "The Future of Ethnocentrism."
He begins by juxtaposing old Claude Lévi-Strauss and new Claude Lévi-Strauss with UNESCO on ethnocentricity. Old (ethnocentrism is racism) helped to justify UNESCO, and new (ethnocentrism is di/omniversity) finds Lévi-Strauss' former recommendations to UNESCO disgusting. Too, Geertz commingles Richard Rorty's views among Claude Lévi-Strauss' and UNESCO's. Bluntly, we can summarize UNESCO's views like this: ethnocentricity equates racism. As a result UNESCO thinks (and justifies its continuing existence based upon a concept that) our world needs one global, unified ethnicity to eliminate racism. Of course this position flies in any faces of cultural diversity.
Herein we see an ethnographic battle for world populaces' mind (singular mind, UNESCO), vis-à-vis minds (many minds and local-mental/-cultural diversity, Lévi-Strauss and Rorty). Lévi-Strauss and Rorty argue in differing ways, that (local) ethnocentricity is crucial to cultural diversity. And vast differences among a spectrum of cultures is a good meme. Their views both c¤mplement and abet nature's own quantum reality. UNESCO's self-serving, hegemonic, tiny-minded views align an old, worn, torn classical mindset whose wane is nigh. UNESCO does not understand that if it is normal for different humans to be locally distinct individuals, then it is normal for different cultures to be locally distinct societies. If it is normal for humans to interrelate one another, it is normal for cultures to interrelate one another. Moreover, if those preconditions are normal, it is normal for those normal interrelationships to be both relatively friendly and relatively unfriendly, and with multiversal degrees of freedom in their friendliness (tolerate, cooperate) and unfriendliness (suppress, defend).
Geertz sympathizes Lévi-Strauss' and Rorty's positions, while intuiting their views are still and yet naïve. Why? Ethnocentricity on its classical face is still pugilistic, warlike. So Geertz asks, "Is it good and moral to have many ethnocentricities warring among themselves?".
For us, in Quantonics, this is crux! Geertz is on an ethnographic Chautauqua's scent trail whose footprints we super-walk. That trail shows how devastating classical thing-king is and has been to cultural interrelationships world wide.
Why? Simply, classical thing-king is objective, causal-effective (classical being ontology), and property-esque quantitative, where actual nature is mostly subjective, affects-choices-consequences (quantum being ontology), and value-esque qualitative. And, absolute-classical-objectivity models nature state-ically. Nature is n¤t static, n¤r may we model her in that manner.
Unfortunately, in a process of insisting on an absolutely objective nature and concomitantly denying nature's intrinsic subjectivity, classicists have built a wall, a Maginot line twixt their own induced objective selves and nature's proemial subjectivity. That wall encloses classicists and entraps (paradigmatizes) most of what they do. We say their thing-king is in SOM's box. Now you may fathom how classicists see ethnocentricity as a box. Racism arises when classicists say their box, the box can only be one color/race. Religionism arises when classicists say their box, the box only has one god, and their god is the god.
Geertz appears to intuit what we just offered, and he arrives in a good place. He tells us that ethnographers are now seeing reality's more quantum subjective nature. What does that accomplish? It tears down that damned classical wall! It allows a pragmadigm shift of mindset ("alien turns of mind[s]"). It allows those of that n¤vel mindset to intuit rather than SOM's one closed, static ("semper fi"), analytic, dichotomous, lisr box of culture instead many both coherent and open, animate ("semper flux"), stochastic, complementary, commingling, intersolute, interpenetrating, fusing, both lisr and n¤nlisr quantum islands of cultures, ethics, and morals. We may use that n¤vel mindset to infer how nature is more ethno-islandic than ethnocentric.
And given that our cultural world is ethno-islandic, " there is also, and I think not least important, the rise in awareness that universal consensus trans-national, even trans-class on normative matters is not in the offing. Everyone Sikhs, Socialists, Positivists, the Irish is not going to come around to a common opinion concerning what is decent and what is not, what is just and what is not, what is beautiful and what is not, what is reasonable and what is not; not soon, perhaps not ever." P. 73. Why? Common opinion, like common sense (viz. classically cloned identical enlightened sensibilities) is common-ism. Reality is not common-istic! (Consider that Geertz' Master, Wittgenstein agrees.) No two physical constituents of reality are or can be identical to one another. No physical constituent of reality is identical to itself longer than a few Planck moments! Physical reality mutates too quickly for any classical notion of commonality to hold, in general. And then consider cultures whose natures are very unphysical, depending greatly on viral memes whose I3 ethereal mutations are even less stabile than physical reality only appears to be.
Geertz sympathizes both Levi Strauss' and Rorty's views but finds their outcomes somewhat disgusting because both " regard invidious distinctions between groups as not only natural but essential to moral reasoning " P. 73. His disgust, we think, rouses from their objectification of cultural groups and of moral reasoning.
As very quantum evidence, "An anthropology so afraid of destroying cultural integrity and creativity [measures of ethnocentricity], our own and everyone else's, by drawing near to other people, engaging them, seeking to grasp them in their immediacy and their differences, is destined to perish of an inanition for which no manipulations of objectivized data sets can compensate. Any moral philosophy so afraid of becoming entangled in witless relativism or transcendental dogmatism that it can think of nothing better to do with other ways of going at life than to make them look worse than our own is destined merely to conduce toward making the world safe for condescension." P. 74. (Our brackets and bold. We effaced a parenthetical.)
Geertz' "perish of an inanition" hints at quantum reality's overriding maxim: change or become extinct.
We love his use of "entangled." Quantum reality entangles its constituents via encounters. Once entangled, just as we see in cultures, quantum constituents preserve their entanglements independent of metric separation. So, too, previously- and however-entangled cultures quantum n¤nlocally affect one another.
His use of "condescension" denigrates classicism, as we agree it should.
AL HotMeme: "The trouble with ethnocentrism is that it impedes us from discovering at what sort of angle, like [E. M.] Forster's [Constantine] Cavafy, we stand to the world; what sort of bat we really are." P. 75. (Our brackets.) In other words, ethnocentrism, like most ISMs, places its practitioners in a box, a limited axiomatic mindset, an intellectual self-imposed detention center.
The social world is quantum, i.e., it " does not divide at its joints into perspicuous we's with whom we can empathize, however much we differ with them, and enigmatical they's, with whom we cannot, however much we defend to the death their right to differ from us. The wogs begin long before Calais." P. 76. His words here make us think of Hesse's use of The Glass Bead Game as an alternate title for his Nobel prize winning (1946) Magister Ludi. Classicists analytically divide reality, "at its joints into perspicuous," integrable and differentiable side-by-side, state-ic glass beads. As Geertz alludes, classicists play similar games in anthropology. His " wogs Calais" sentence regards English ~racist capture and 211 year reign of "across the channel" Calais, and permutes "England's problems start at home, not in Calais." AL HotMemes
And nearby Geertz discloses his own flavor of anthropology, "Both recent anthropology of the From the Native's Point of View sort (which I practice) and recent philosophy of Forms of Life sort (to which I adhere) have been made to conspire, or to seem to conspire, in obscuring this fact by a chronic misapplication of their most powerful and most important idea: the idea that meaning is socially constructed." P. 76. (Our bold.)
Geertz' phrase which we emboldened does not agree with Pirsig's Metaphysics of Quality, and thus by analogy does not agree with quantum science. Had he said "affected" vis-à-vis "constructed," our quote above would likely only appear as a way of allowing Geertz to disclose his own anthropology and philosophy to our readers.
Pirsig's MoQ says that meaning is dynamic Value interrelationships twixt Dynamic Quality and intellectual patterns of Value. As such we can say meanings are memes. Further, Pirsig's MoQ teaches us that patterns of Value evolutionarily form hierarchies. Pirsig arbitrarily chooses four levels for discussion, and Earth-chauvinistically layers them like this:
All of these patterns constitute MoQ's universe of actual known and knowable reality. Dynamic Quality interpenetrates all actual patterns of Value, latter when aggregated, Pirsig refers as Static Quality.
Had Geertz said "intellectually created/invented" instead of "socially constructed," we might not have quoted his sentence except for reasons given above. Construction is a classical act. Worse it is an analytic Glass Bead Game. It is in-form-ation. It is manufacturing of new using existing objects. Nature transcends naïve classical transposed-object manufacturing. Nature emerscentures reality! Geertz shows us how cultures and their social patterns are not transposed-objective, but he uses classical language which retains classical, objective and functional, process. Nature's processes are quantonic and emergent, n¤t objective and functional. Just as sentients emerge and change, societies emerge and change. Just as sentient intellect invents, with enormous DQ assistance, new societal memes and their meanings societies invent new cultures adopting and adhering those memes. Society emerscentures vis-à-vis constructs cultures. Intellect invents, among many others, n¤vel cultural memes. It would be good to know Geertz' reaction to our take on this.
Caveat: Most followers of Pirsig see his four pattern levels as anthropocentric. We do n¤t. Quantum reality scales. We see those patterns of Value (with some quantum extensions above and below his four layers) deeply playing nature's ~143 octave15 musical scale (SQ), plus her limitless semper isoflux scale (DQ).
There is much more to Geertz' Chapter IV than we can cover adequately in this tiny space. E.g., The Case of The Drunken Indian and The Kidney Machine, Geertz' assessment of limits of language constrains how we interpret our world, his view of our uses of cultural diversity, our world as more like a quantum bazaar than a classical cathedral, and his statement of purpose suggesting, " we have come to such a point in the moral history of the world (a history itself of course anything but moral) that we are obliged to think about such diversity rather differently than we had been used to thinking about it." P. 85.
Our biggest concern here is: we think human anthropology loses much of its 'ology' in a provincial sense that it needs scalable juxtaposition to other n¤n-anthropo 'ologies.' E.g., here in Earth: apes, birds, elephants, fishes, molecules, organs, plants, et al., and extra-stellar: Alpha Centaurians and Betelgeusians (imagined other ologies, just as exercises). We think cultures scale quantum reality, not just its human sub-spectrum, n¤t just in classical either genericity or specificity, but in a quantum both-all and-many of genericity/specificity.
We captured ample notes here, and will delight in any discussions our readers might advance regarding Geertz' many other fascinating memes broached in Chapter IV.
Chapter V - Pages 89-142 - The State of the Art, Waddling In
Geertz opens by bluntly telling us that no one really knows what anthropology is. His reason is that it is so many techniques, styles, memes and methods all jumbled together. And all that mess is evolving Which simply tells your reviewer that anthropology is quantum real. It shows Geertz that this is how anthropology has been from its inception and he offers that is how it probably will be. He says it is, " a triumph, and a genuine one, of life over logic." P. 90. To him, apparently, anthropology is more romantic and less enlightened. To our eyes, tired of gazing upon a vast Babel of classical, scientifically reasoned hyperBoole, this is a quantum holistic cultural remedy: Alka Seltzer over reflux. Studying emerging and animate life ascends ratiocination of it. Bravo!
However, scientific logic is still there, and offers some objective successes
Anthropology's great problematic is its dis ease with paradice
which arise from commingling both its Romantic and Enlightened
conjugates. Geertz sees them as centrifugally pulling anthropology
apart at its seams:
So, scientific anthropologists seek paradigms, and romantic anthropologists worry about moral issues of practicing, e.g., cultural diversity demands decency: both moral and ethical diversity. So how can a romantic anthropologist "speak for" any subject's culture without polluting study results with other-cultural implicit biases and unintentional perturbations?
This anthropological quantum conjugation of both romantic and scientific anthropology, and introspection it garners, to Geertz' keen sensibilities is 'better,' " if not the best anyway better." P. 96. Anthropology is questioning itself, as it (and as all romantics and scientists) should, and while at Millennium II's close it is confused, however Geertz tells us, "In our confusion is our strength." P. 97
In our review of Available Light, with our perspective as quantum as we know how to offer, Geertz' admission to anthropological confusion is, for us, quantum affirmation! Reality is quantum uncertain! Reality is quantum "confused." Reality is quantum contingent! Reality is, as Isaiah Berlin says in his The Magus of the North, " contrasts and conflicts between the categories of quantity [science] and quality [romance] " P. 125. (Our brackets.) Reality sometimes painfully and usually pragmatically favors quantum irrationality over classical illusions of ideal and ordered and lisr and radically mechanistic rational reason. Geertz' admission of anthropology's confusion uncloaks how a culture war, which started with French Enlightenment, virally infected anthropology's recent birth and still rages there and elsewhere.
"Anthropology is a conflicted discipline, perpetually in search of ways to escape its condition, perpetually failing to find them." P. 97.
Where Geertz describes an anthropological cultural war dyad of either holism or di versity, we see a better quantum perspective of an omniad of both holism and di-/multi-versity.
Geertz goes on, "And argument, endless argument." P. 97. From whence this "argument?" From whence this "culture war?" We claim with others from our extended list of a few favored names, including Bergson, Capra, Ho, Howard, James, Pirsig, Zohar, and Zukav, that both arise from normal science's metastatic presumption of either/or. Enlightenment's parental 'either/or' infections of: dichotomy, contradiction, excluded-middle, SOM's wall, radical mechanism, formal predicate 'logic,' objective negation, Aristotelian syllogisms, falsifiability, testability, verifiability, 'proof,' absolute truth, scientific method parent indeed, of all classical science's war-making accoutrements.
Then, on page 98, he appears to relent, "Anthropology generally, and cultural anthropology in particular, draws the greater part of its vitality from the controversies that animate it. It is not much destined for secured positions and settled issues." If he relents to quantum reality's semper flux, we concur. However, if he relents to this anthropological culture war's classical dichotomy we must assert our unease. His relented either/or appears wholly classical. If that is so, then his war is over! Science wins hands down.
Normal science's rational reason demands an either/or of objective quantity over subjective quality, with remorseless disgust and denigration of latter, and full and dedicated worship of former. We call this classical position, "science's deign of feign." Quantum reality is n¤t an either/or, excluded-middle reality! Quantum reality is a both/and, included-middle reality! Normal science is blind to and denies quantum reality, thus we trumpet its deign to feign. Normal science, in our opinion, disqualifies itself from any genuine culture war. Why? Based upon its own quantum ineptness. Based upon its insensate denial of qualitative, "Bs Value preconditions As," affective reality's more rapidly evolving animacy over quantitative reality's exclusive and immutable stasis.
Not to worry, Geertz tells us, "The days of simple 'the Dangs believe, the Dangs don't believe' anthropology seem truly over." P. 102.
Geertz rather densely covers two sets of case histories. One more prominent case history discusses alternate views of two anthropologists (Gananath Obeyesekere and Marshall Sahlins) on a topic of Hawaiian anthropology: What happened to Captain Cook? Geertz favors Sahlins more scientific "substance," and "analytical structuralist glitter" over Obeyesekere's romantic "surface," and "rather relaxed methodology." Sahlins claims Obeyesekere's book shows that instrumentalist philosophy is still too much on anthropology's how-to scene. Obeyesekere claims that Sahlins' book shows that irrationalism is a still much too residual model for primitive tribes.
"What is at stake here is thus a question that has haunted anthropologists for over a hundred years and haunts us even more now that we work in a decolonized world: What are we to make of cultural practices that seem to us odd and illogical? How odd are they? How illogical? In what precisely does reason lie?" P. 104. We love this quote! Geertz tells us what anthropology's greatest problems are. We love it because those are what we think our world's greatest problems are. And even better, notice an enduring quantum both/and in most of his observations and conclusions: both romantic and scientific, both irrational and rational, both relaxed and analytical, both illogical and logical, both normal and odd, both unreasonable and reasonable , n¤t either/or, rather indeed, quantum both/and! Then why problematic? Simply, few people on Earth today see reality as quantum! Many, especially those of us in Western culture, see reality as classically objective (cultural relativism, in our view, is only a simple pluralistic extension of classical objectivism). A few others (read Isaiah Berlin's The Magus of the North, and its protagonist, Johann Georg Hamann) see reality as romantically sensual and irrational. Few have merged both into a n¤vel c¤mplementary way of thinking about reality. Geertz appears to us, at Millennium III's start, standing at that threshold.
His other Chapter V case history compares abuses of anthropological privilege in first Pierre Clastres' almost lurid study of Paraguayan Guayaki, and second James Clifford's later Paraguayan study each totally unaware of his alter-other, and temporally disparate from one another by at least a decade. Geertz laments Clastres as "unreadable." Clifford sees a bright new global anthropological future, Clastres sees an effaced and lost past.
But we should have worried!
Geertz, digesting his Clastres/Clifford set of comparative histories,
resurrects science's dichons
again! He lists them as binaries which we quote as bulleted items
here, Clastres left of versuses and Clifford right:
"These may be a bit crude as binaries; and in such matters there are no pure types. But, for adepts of the special, the singular, the different, and the concrete that is, among others, anthropologists they do rather capture the question here: How are we now to practice our trade?" Pp. 116-117. Geertz, to our absolute glee, understands binaries' problematics, especially problems which arise when they are treated as ideal dichotomies which is what most objectivists do to natural, quantum interrelationships i.e., whip out their SOM sabres and cut neatly and finally twixt 'em. Geertz admits, that in anthropology (as in reality), there are n¤ pure dichons. From that we may infer he might accept our conjecture that there are only quantons. Would he, our glee would go hyperbole. AL HotMemes
|"The ready way of dealing with all this would be to see Clastres as the nostalgic voice of a disappeared, exhausted past, professional no less than actual like Levi-Strauss's famous characterization of the tropics, out of date and to see Clifford as a man with the future in his bones, designing an anthropology for an oncoming age of global interconnection, movement, instability, hybridity, and dispersed, anti-hegemonical politics. But that will hardly do. The choice is not between regretting the past and embracing the future. Nor is it between the anthropologist as hero and as the very model of postmodern major general. It is between, on the one hand, sustaining a research tradition upon which a discipline, 'soft' and half-formed perhaps but morally essential, has been built and, on the other 'displacing,' 'reworking,' 'renegotiating,' 'reimaging,' or 'reinventing' that tradition, in favor of a more 'multiply centered,' 'pluralistic,' 'dialogical' approach, one which sees poking into the lives of people who are not in a position to poke into yours as something of a colonial relic." P. 117.|
Wow! Geertz nails it for us, except for one glaring word: 'dialogical.'
Again, 'di' is problematic here, in our view. 'Dialogical' is a classical word. It puts us back in that dank amphora16 from which Geertz is attempting to extract anthropology. We would substitute 'paralogical,' and possibly 'omnilogical' to quantum co-here his uses of 'multiply centered' and 'pluralistic.' How many sets of senses may ultimately consume Available Light? How many informants' sets of senses measure an anthropologist in "the field" and vice versa? How many multi-sensory informants has any multi-sensory anthropologist? How many multi-centered cultures has any anthropologist and his informants? Are there only two?
Aside - 28Mar2008:
It has been about seven years since Doug asked those queries. We understand more now than we did then, all of us do.
"Doug, what do we understand now, that we didn't understand then?"
Then, many of us thought we could look at an object, study it, collect data about it, and report our efforts to our community. We assumed that report, if we had done our job well, would be timeless. That is what we refer 'classical science.'
Trouble is, objects aren't! Hold still, they do n¤t! Classical 'state' is bogus.
Quantons aræings. And change issings. Quantum æv¤luti¤nary changings aræ ræal!
Each of us is evolving at up to Planck rates. All quantons (n¤t objects, since objects by dialectical edict and canon 'law' have perpetual 'state,' i.e., 'state' as classical duration by comparison quantum reality issi perpetual changings, i.e., quantum~changæ as durati¤nings) are evolving at up to Planck rates. All views we have of any quanton, since all viewers, all quantons, and all comtextings are evolvings, all views we have are evolving! We call that ensemble of all of any individuals' views of any quanton over many timings, spacings, and massings~energyings "ensemblings stochasticings ontologyings." And those ensemblings and all their holographic EIMA interrelationshipings are evolvings too.
Local, planetary, stellar, galactic, cluster, super cluster, etc., polycycloidal peregrinations in hyperspace add up to a very high rate of polymotionings in reality. Earth alone is rotating openly and polycycloidally at equator about 500 meters per second, Earth is in a polycycloidal open 'orbit' around Sol moving at about 30 kilometers per second, Sol is in a polycycloidal open 'orbit' around Milky-Way of about 300 kilometers per second, and so on... Classical notions of 'where' and 'when' suddenly become meaningless. Classical 'scientific' notions of 'zero momentum' suddenly become meaningless.
(Ask self, "Self, whereings and whenings am I?" Self should answer, "You will never, ever, ever, ever, ever,...ever return to anywhereings you wereings and any whenings you wereings!" Y~¤ur ædgings of n¤wings aræ pærpætually changing at up to Planck rates. Y~our classical notions of 'state' are all bogus. Y~our classical notions of 'identity' are all bogus. Y~our classical notions of 'linearity' are all bogus. Y~our classical notions of 'law' and 'proof' are all bogus. Y-our classical notions of stability, independence, localability, isolability, separability, reducibility, negation, contradiction, logic, reason, proof, and decidability are, in general, all bogus. And on and on and on.... See Doug's Bases of Judgment.)
Every quanton in that whole reality hologram is evolving at up to Planck's rate. All quantons (interrelationshipings) among all quantons are evolving at up to Planck's rate.
So any notion of a 'stable' view of anything is simply classical-nonsense (Classicists even believe they can negate 'sense.' ).
Dialectic fails in that quantum~comtext! How we currently think and believe now, as classicists, fails in that quantum~comtext. Massive ensemblings of...Now aræ evolving. ...Where aræ evolving. ...What aræ evolving. ...Why aræ evolving. ...How aræ evolving. ...Who aræ evolving. ...All of that is perpetually evolving.
Classicism is dead. All institutions which depend upon classicism are dead.
Quantum~sophism is alive and changing so rapidly we can barely keep up with it. Pirsig's ancients were right: "Monism is deceit (from which we can easily infer, dialectic is deceit)." "Principle (static logic) rules something not itself." "State is (n¤t) absolute." "Change is (n¤t) unitemporal linear motion."
Earth's greatest Gn¤stics warned dialecticians of their "tragedy of commons sense" Error!
Until n¤wings, Gn¤stics were ignored.
Doug - 28Mar2008.
End aside - 28Mar2008.
Pluralistic, multi-centered anthropology is n¤t dialogical! To say that it is, is to obtain and inform classical objectivism, period.
All that said without fathoming depths of Hermann Hesse's many multi-centered cultures co-here-ing any Homo sapiens. (See Hesse's Steppenwolf.)
Geertz summarizes Clastres and Clifford like this: "Clastres, whatever his orthodoxy and his straight ahead temperament, knew where he was going, and he got there. Clifford, whatever his originality and his openness to experiment, seems stalled, unsteady, fumbling for direction. It is, perhaps, rather too early to exchange roots for routes." P. 118. (Roots is a well-known black culture text. Routes is title of Clifford's book which Geertz examines here. Clifford punned 'roots' with his 'routes.')
To finish Chapter V, Geertz spends almost 20 pages showing us another major anthropological problematic: a quarrel twixt anthropologists and historians about impacts of anthropology on history. This portion of Chapter V garners plethoric comments, and we see Geertz again showing us his many philosophical hues and flavors. He uncloaks some classical-, some relativistic-, and some quantum-Geertz synaesthetically commingling all immanently. Of course, we believe his classical hues and flavors are restricting his memes and his awesome rhetoric, his relativistic ones are only slightly and incrementally better, and his quantum coherence of both-all/and-many are (for us) transcendencies. And we think, amazingly, n¤ne of this is intentional, and whether it is regardless Geertz is sheer genius. Our only affects for discomfit here are that we desire being in n¤vel modes of think-king in anthropology (and other sciences) where all are sharing multiversal quantum comtexts (vis-à-vis classical contexts) which we think offer n¤vel means better for seeing, modeling and understanding reality in all its guisings of which anthropologies and histories are but two few.
A fine exemplar of our point is his list of things which this
quarrel may be all about. Here they are:
Notice how Geertz avoids classicism's usual 'OR' here. His use of 'AND' is a huge quantum tell, and would be even more profound had he preceded all with "Both," e.g., "Both Space and Time." These simple, intuitive, emergent and still infantile quantons also subsume some essence of relativism via their implied partial plurality and di versity. Further (Remember Jamal Wallace and professor Robert Crawford in Finding Forrester?), his monads and their singularity subsume some essence of monism and classical uni-versity. Consider his use of "Dead and Living." Why did he not say one of these, "Dead and Alive," "Dying and Living," "Death and Life," "Deaths and Lives," "Dyings and Livings?" etc.
We all know by simple observation that reality is n¤t classically singular. Similarly, we know reality is n¤t classically and immutably static. N¤r is it adequately relativistically improved by plural and di verse extensions. N¤, reality is quantum. Our bodies, through both biological emergence and biological apoptosis are "Both living and dying!" simultaneously. Reality is both living and dying. Reality is both posentropy and negentropy. Reality is both plural and (only) apparently singular, both dynamic and (only) apparently static, both coherent and (only) apparently locally autonomous. Reality is n¤t, as classicists would have it, approaching J. C. Maxwell's ultimate posentropy heat death. Rather, reality is relentlessly and simultaneously and ontologically Planck rate Li-la dancing to and fro with variable persistencies among many entropies including negative, zero, positive, and mixtures of those.
AL HotMeme: To some of you, it may be evident that we have a much greater problem than a quarrel over whether anthropology is adversely affecting history and vice versa. As Wittgensteinianesque George Edward Moore might query, "What exactly do [we] mean?" when we use common English language, syntax and grammar. Of course we can quantumly improve on that query similarly, "Whatings inexactly are we meanings?" Whatings we quantum uncertainly are meanings is that quantum reality is a semper fluxing, entropically cohesive and paralogically pluralistic reality. No sooner can we say something about it, than it has already changed. We must learn to use both-all/and-many lingual, paralingual, pluralingual, metalingual, and pragmalingual communications. We must learn qualogos! Yes, SOMites will call us names. They frequently do that. For hundreds of years of pogroms and inquisitions, they tortured and killed us (Joan of Arc, Brujo, Giordano Bruno, Loyola, Pirsig, Galileo, Jesus, et al.). Yet, we already know they do that, and we expect it, so we can move ahead, quantum leapfrog them, and leave them hilted and hunkered in their deign of feign sheigm. AL HotMemes
Again, we think, Geertz intuits much of this. How can we infer that? His prescient aver to Paul Veyne, "Sociology, Veyne says, meaning by this any effort to discern constant principles in human life, is a science of which the first line has not been written and never will be." P. 120. In other words, Earth's numerous symbolic spoken and written languages, including English unremediated are innately (by intentional design) incapable of expressing Sociology's, Anthropology's, and others' modelings of concrete, multiversal, animate, indeed quantum, reality. Some even go so far as to say that human intellect is incapable of genuine animate thought (Most classical scientists and philosophers, more recently David Deutsch, JohnJoe McFadden, et al.). We call them "SOMites." We claim their purpose is to hegemonously keep all of us in their classical church of reason, their intellectual detention center, their university of rote, their objective box, their analytic, monistic, dichotomous dogma d'Enlightenment However, if we assume humans, as all reality's multiverses, are quantum beings then we can unashamedly declare those SOMites "inept." (See Don Howard's superb paper entitled, 'Holism and Separability,' in Philosophical Consequences of Quantum Theory, UND Press, 1989. Howard is a full professor at University of Notre Dame.) Geertz more intuitively, and we more explicitly and urgently, want to leap out of SOMites' Aristotelian/Newtonian (ex) cathedrals into a much more quantum-enlightened multiversal bazaar.
AL HotMeme: "If this is what the argument is really about, this methodological thrashing around amid the grand dichotomies of Western metaphysics, Being and Becoming revisited, it is hardly worth pursuing. It has been quite some time now since the stereotypes of the historian as mankind's memorialist or the anthropologist as the explorer of the elementary forms of the elemental have had very much purchase. Examples of each doubtless remain; but in both fields the real action (and the real divide) is elsewhere." P. 120. (Our bold.)
Our simple remark here is, "But isn't it really time to review core assumptions?"
OK, where is " the real action and the real divide?"
Geertz' genius erupts again, and it is blunt force traumatic. He says that "the Other" is not a universal Value. All cultural interrelationships taken most simply as dyadic pairs are uniquely and uncertainly changing. And their "the Other" order is important! This is very quantum! We would say in our own script that:
cultural_interrelationshipjk issi quanton(culturej,culturek) issi_n¤t cultural_interrelationshipkj issi quanton(culturek,culturej).
In other more quantum physi-al terms, in general, Poisson's bracket of paired cultural interrelationships (a quanton) does n¤t commute! In summary, n¤ two quantons are ever identical, and n¤ quanton commutes Value, in general. Perhaps we can say this better, anthropologically, using quantonics lingo. Investigator-informant coobsfection is intrinsically (naturally) noncommutable. Using our script, we can show it like this, with a classically subjective 'n¤t_equals:'
Using our quantonic equals, commutability as an issue vacates due asynchronous Planck rate animacies of both informant and investigator:
Geertz calls this cultural interrelationship/Poisson bracket noncommutativity, "irreversibility." Analogously, a quanton of an anthropologist visiting/immersing in a culture is grossly omnifferent from a quanton of an anthropologist and an informant visiting said anthropologist's local culture. AL HotMemes
"What has undermined them has been a change in the ecology of learning that has driven historians and anthropologists, like so many migrant geese, on to one another's territories: a collapse of the natural dispersion of feeding grounds that left France on the one and Samoa on the other." P. 121. Again, in our jargon, we see a quantum both/and of anthropology and history. Only in a pure, classical realm could they ever have been conceived as ideally, Platonic, separable, conned-ceptual 'objects.' Both historians do some anthropology, and anthropologists cannot help but do some history! Quantumly, we can say they are both naturally cohesive and co-here-nt, and they are both local and autonomous.
We have Mae-wan Ho to thank for that quantonic percept. Their coherence arises from sharing Values, their autonomy arises historically from local foci on larger temporal patterns vis-à-vis local more temporally limited cultural patterns. Where History used to be more like a panoramic movie, History has become more like a picture album of movies, and where Anthropology used to be mostly picture albums, anthropology has become more like movies of picture albums. Their "bickering" arises from increasingly shared, increasingly qualitative and more subjective Values. Their "centrifugal movement" appears to us only a legacy artifact of their prior individual foci only on their respective objective autonomies, while classically excluding their more subjective coherencies. Classical academia carefully programmed them with that methodology. Two kids in a sandbox (classically trained and tautologized to be) fighting over toys. Two tigers in a jungle bipolarly, centro-dichotomously urinating territorial perimeters.
On that methodology, Geertz has this to tell us, "In the human sciences, methodological discussions conducted in terms of general positions and abstracted principles are largely bootless. A few possible exceptions possibly apart (perhaps Durkheim, perhaps Collingwood), such discussions mainly lead to intramural bickering about the proper way to do things and the dreadful results ("relativism," "reductionism," "positivism," "nihilism") that ensue when, perversely or in ignorance, they aren't done that way. The significant methodological works in both history and anthropology The King's Two Bodies, The Making of the English Working Class, or The Structure of Scientific Revolutions; The Social Organization of the Western Pueblos, Trade and Markets in the Early Empires, or The Forest of Symbols tend at the same time to be significant empirical works, which is perhaps one of the deeper characteristics that, across whatever divides of aim and topic, most connects the two fields." P. 122. (Our thelogos bold italics and bold.)
Next Geertz covers several case studies as exemplars of what happens when historians and anthropologists tentatively conjoin. We leave that text for your own perusal.
Finally, in Chapter V, Geertz tackles essence. For us, this brief section is one of Available Light's most prominent atlantes.
He calls it, "'Local Knowledge' and Its Limits: Some Obiter [passing] Dicta [words]." P. 133. (Our brackets.) He offers six negatives (which we see as "virtues'" c¤mplement) and two "virtues," which we choose to perceive, though inanimate and taken together, as quanton(their_c¤mplement,virtues) of c¤mplementary Values. We review them numerically, in order:
a. "universals ('everybody has,' to quote a false,
or at least highly misleading example 'the incest taboo');
b. "generalizations, which may be probabilistic,
have exceptions or contradictions without fatality, or
may be mere ceteris paribus, 'as a rule' approximations that
are instrumentally useful ('Horticultural societies are more
peaceful than pastoral ones' but consider the Maya, regard
the Laps); and
c. "laws. (It is hard to produce an example 'group marriage to matriliny to patriliny' in cultural anthropology, or indeed anywhere in the human sciences, that is not laughable or outmoded. Perhaps a proposal from a few years back that cultural traits diffuse that is, migrate across the globe on an average of plus or minus two miles a year conveys some of the comic effect involved.)" P. 134. (Our bold.)
a. "most (conceivably all) universals are so
general as to be without intellectual force or interest,
b. "if universals do have some degree of nontriviality,
circumstantiability, and originality, if they actually assert
something interesting enough to be wrong
" (Our bold. Ditto our either/or comments
Geertz' use of 'wrong' regarding 'universals' is, unfortunately, pure dialectic. Absolute quantal change via chance~implicit scintillation at up to Planck rates is quantum~reality's memetic version of classicisms' ideal 'universal.' Quantumly 'wrong' complements 'right,' and both are always partial (due absolute change) quantum~flux~relative one another. We may view Doug's QELR of Geertz' 'wrong' then as a quanton(right,wrong). We must also view that quanton as massively~network~immersed in reality's hologramings as quantons(isohologramic_reality,hologramic_reality). Doug's lay level metaphor of that is quanton(bookcase,credit_card).
Doug suggests, given what he has just written, that we must view all reality's quantons like that. Too, when you view self as a quanton massively networked hologramically into quantum~reality you commence finding your inner and commence tapping into reserve energy and commence "understanding the account."
Doug - 12Jul2011.
The title of this discussion [i.e., Chapter V title] seems to
assume that the existence of limits is a counterargument to something.
(Why isn't it called "'Universal Knowledge' and Its Limits"?
Possibly because to do so would raise the possibility that, being
universal, it hasn't got any, and therefore isn't knowledge.)
To my limited mind, direct and open acknowledgment of limits
this observer, in this time, at that place is one
of the things that most recommends this whole style of doing
research. Recognition of the fact that we are all what Renato
Rosaldo has called 'positioned (or situated) observers' is one
of its most attractive, most empowering features. The renunciation
of the authority that comes from 'views from nowhere' ('I've
seen reality and it's real') is not a loss, it's a gain, and
the stance of 'well, I, a middle-class, mid-twentieth-century
American, more or less standard, male, went out to this place,
talked to some people I could get to talk to me, and think things
are sort of rather this way with them there' is not a retreat,
it's an advance. It's unthrilling perhaps, but it has (something
in short supply in the human sciences) a certain candor. (Views
from nowhere can be imaginatively constructed, of course. If
they are done well they can be, and in natural sciences have
been, immensely useful. But thus constructed, they are in fact
a particular variety of view from somewhere the philosopher's
study, the theorist's computer.)" (Our brackets.) P. 137.
b. "Circumstantiality. We can at least say something
(not of course that we always do) with some concreteness to it.
I have never been able to understand why such comments as 'your
conclusions, such as they are, only cover two million people
[Bali], or fifteen million [Morocco], or sixty-five million [Java],
and only over some years or centuries,' are supposed to be criticisms.
Of course, one can be wrong, and probably, as often as not, one
is. But 'just' or 'merely' trying to figure out Japan, China,
Zaire, or the Central Eskimo (or better, some aspect of their
life along some chunk of their world line) is not chopped liver,
even if it looks less impressive than explanations, theories,
or whatnot which have as their object 'History,' 'Society,' 'Man,'
'Woman,' or some other grand and elusive upper case entity."
(Geertz' brackets.) Pp. 137-8.
c. "Of course, comparison is both possible and necessary,
and it is what I and others of my persuasion spend most of our
time doing: seeing particular things against the background
of other particular things, deepening thus the particularity
of both. Because one has located, one hopes, some actual differences,
one has something genuine to compare. Whatever similarities one
might find, even if they take the form of contrasts
also genuine, rather than abstract categories superimposed on
passive 'data,' delivered to the mind by 'God,' 'reality,' or
'nature.' (Otherwise, Santayana's comment that people compare
when they can't get to the root of the matter becomes all too
true.) Theory, which is also both possible and necessary, grows
out of particular circumstances and, however abstract, is validated
by its power to order them in their full particularity, not by
stripping that particularity away. God may not be in the details,
but the 'world' 'everything that is the case' surely
is." P. 138.
As Beth Renselle would say, "And there you have it." Whew!
Chapter VI - Pages 143-159 - The Strange Estrangement: Charles Taylor and the Natural Sciences
Geertz dedicates this chapter to showing us Charles Taylor's views of human sciences' predicament as an unwilling captive under natural sciences' objective dogma. Geertz and Taylor pretty much agree, except that Taylor refers what we call classical objective science as "natural." And we pretty much agree with them. Both see SOM's walls firmly erected twixt natural and human sciences. Both claim they and their ilk have been quite effective in tearing some of those walls down. But do they see, as we do, those same walls as SOM's only means of supporting its core assumptions?
Taylor calls hard sciences "natural" sciences. We do not like this appellation because SOM's methods are anything but natural. We suggest he just be honest about it and call classical science what it is, "unnatural." Rather than studying emergent and animate nature (i.e., physi), hard sciences model nature as static objects, represented by static symbols, collecting and analyzing static propertyesque data, producing static results, and looking for deterministic, static causes and static effects all of that in one 'scientific' cultural domain of paradigmatic static axiomatic dogma.
Using more "sparkling" rhetoric, Geertz tells us that when we use hard science methods to do human sciences, "We are confronted not with an articulated description of a living institution, one with a great deal of history, a vast amount of internal diversity, and an open future, but with a stereotype and a scarecrow a Gorgon's head that turns agency, significance, and mind to stone." P. 144. We see that as an apt description of 'hard' science.
One of Geertz' few criticisms of Taylor is about his Philosophical Papers. He says that in Taylor's efforts to juxtapose issues of natural and human sciences showing how latter is nearer genuine science, "Taylor's references to 'natural science,' though extremely numerous are, marked by two characteristics: they are virtually never circumstantial, and they are virtually all [addressed] to the opening stages of the scientific revolution [and thus 'enlightened' as they are supposed to be] his countercase to the interpretively oriented human sciences is generally characterized and temporally frozen. A foil for all seasons." P. 144. Again, this is an apt description of 'hard' science. It is precisely how 'hard' science has developed its fundamental, authoritarian image and how it wants society to view its 'reputation' and legacy. Its methods can foil all offenders and solve all 'scientific' puzzles.
Geertz offers more assessments of Taylor's efforts, and in particular, this one we love, "Taylor is not wrong to think that the Skinnerian version of behaviorism or the Fodorian version of cognitivism are less extensions of a proven approach to explanation into new fields than parodies of it. Nor is he wrong to think that the rejection of such parodies, and others like them, does not condemn the human sciences to the-world-is-what-I-say-it-is 'Humpty Dumpty subjectivism,' incapable of either framing an honest hypothesis or confronting one with genuine evidence. Yet, it may be that the creation of an out-and-out, fixed and uncrossable gulf between the natural and human sciences is both too high and unnecessary a price to pay to keep such muddlements at bay. It is obstructive at once of either's progress." Pp. 144-5. Simply, "hard" science says there is only one way to observe objective reality. And their unilateral way is the way.
That Geertz quote captures so eloquently what we call "the problem," i.e., SOM. SOM, AKA classical science, creates gulfs between and among objects of all its domain. Pirsig calls them "platypuses." Geertz, et al., call them "dichotomies," and "versuses." We call them "either/ors." We agree that gulf is too high. What shall we do? In our Quantonics-biased opinion, we must leave classicists in their places. We should accept them as a separate culture whose methods are rapidly becoming extinct, and move on. With what can we replace them and how shall we do that? We need n¤t take action, other than pursue diligently our own interests. Evolution will pragmadigmatically17 usher classicism into an appropriate posentropy grave.
But we love flogging dead horses, don't we?
Sadly, this horse is not yet dead! Most of the academy still teach this stuff and do not know any better. So, flog we must.
Classicists, indeed, see subjectivism as a great weakness. But, from a quantum perspective, their judgments are both bent and broken. Objectivism is, by itself, that which is weak and faltering. Subjectivism's great strength over objectivism is its fertile, expectant and fecund capability to frame unlimited hypotheses. Subjectivism expects there are unlimited viable hypotheses, n¤t just objectivism's mandated single, discoverable, workable, real, the hypothesis. Consider quantum reality's intrinsic hermeneutics: countless known, unknown, and some unknowable interpretations, all of which diverge in their modes of thought, but concur at their bottom lines: working modelings of nature. Anthropology is much more kin of quantum reality than Taylor's un-"natural" science. Many quantum interpretations, many cultures. N¤t one, but many!
Geertz queries presciently, "Is an eternal methodological civil war, the Hermeneuts versus the Naturalists, in anyone's interest?" P. 145.
We answer, "Only while and if that war is an agent of a larger pragmadigm shift out of Naturalists' church of objective reasonings." We think that is inevitable. Aristotle's reign, his sillygistic deign of feign, is nigh end.
Geertz answers, that questions of that nature, " are, of course, rhetorical not to say, tendentious. The homogenization of natural science, both over time and across fields, as a constant other, an 'opposing ideal' permanently set off from other forms of thought, as Richard Rorty has put it, 'by a special method [and] a special relation to reality,' is extremely difficult to defend when one looks at either its history or its internal variety with any degree of circumstantiality The tendency toward oversimplification Taylor so rightly deplores seems to thrive, in both the human and the natural sciences, precisely to the degree that the intellectual traffic between them is obstructed by artificial notions of primordial separateness." Pp. 145-6. We have not captured it fully, but Geertz' rhetoric sparkles with animacy here.
Geertz goes on to bring Georgy Markus' and Gerald M. Edelman's ideas into this chapter, to great advantage. We particularly enjoyed this means of discovering Edelman as a candidate for future study and review in Quantonics. Balance of this chapter is a superb read, well worth your efforts.
In its end, this chapter concludes, that there must be another way, than war, to deal with "the gulf." Geertz distills like this, "Sciences change in their character as a form of life " P. 155. Our page margin exclamation is "YES!" Science's original semantic included a tenor of emergence, of animacy. Somewhere along its always struggling history, it threw those crucial memes out as subjective. Actually it discarded them because it had no means or accoutrements to deal with them, and chose an easier approach which would produce visible results. Until our 20th century it almost worked. Now, at Millennium III's commencement, we must fix it, exchange its arrogance with humility, perhaps replace science itself. Geertz is right! Like all of quantum reality, science is alive though it denies its own quantumness it is semper fluxing. It only needs to know that and understand that to proceed well and successfully.
Chapter VII - Pages 160-166 - The Legacy of Thomas Kuhn: The Right Text at the Right Time
911 Infamy interrupted our review efforts here. We are just returning, on 19Sep2001, to our Available Light review efforts after a one week hiatus.
We take issue with Geertz' invalid thelogos in this chapter's title. Too, in our view, his use of a binary 'Right' elicits an inappropriate classical either/or. Even so, his brief Kuhnian rhetoric, however diminished by that globalized heading, is just superb.
To review this chapter, we swerved and reread our review of Kuhn's SoSR. Geertz captures some obliquities we missed, and offers some n¤vel observations we are certain you will enjoy.
Geertz writes that Kuhn's SoSR (he calls it "Structure") struck a global chord among multiversal societies and simultaneously struck a mortal blow to classical science and philosophy. Kuhn did not anticipate such an enormous response. His SoSR aroused too much success, too much indeed, and it trapped Kuhn in its tsunami, from which he was unable to decohere even though he tried. That tsunami crashed upon SOM's beaches of reason with such force and scale, it metadigmatically shifted Western cultural foundations of thought irrevocably.
"The question then arises: why has Structure had such an enormous impact?" P. 161.
Answer: "Structure was the right book at the right time." P. 161. We find this sentence perhaps most irritating of all Geertz' sentences in Available Light its cliché banal. Its thelogos protrudes. Its causal nature implores. Its unitemporality condescends monism. Its orthogonal staticity binds thought and reason. It is so proximate "Exclusive Static Quality" as to portend singular predictable utopian outcomes. This is unlike Geertz' usual rhetoric.
Would we, could we, without too offending Geertz' sensibilities, rewrite it thus? "Structure is a superb historical text for all seasons."
Was Geertz correct about SoSR's timing? If we detour and look at one of Geertz' referred scholars' works, we see that organized science and its enlightened 'reason' have had enemies for centuries. Isaiah Berlin, in his Magus of the North, writes of Johann Georg Hamann as one of science's most offensive detractors commencing about two and one half centuries ago. Berlin tells us that many philosophers found harmony with Hamann's views, and today even greater numbers of transcendent thinkers (especially folk like Clifford Geertz) still do, and as Geertz tells us, "This particular genie, once out of the bottle, can't be stuffed back in, however frightening or ill-behaved [s-he] might be or to whom." P. 164. We see Geertz' genie as a quantum tsunami, of whose coherence Kuhn's SoSR is partial, and whose presence is, only and yet gently felt. SOM's sea wall, an intellectual Maginot 'line,' with its long legacy commencing roughly with Homer's Iliad ("Sing, Oh Muse of the wrath of Achilles "), is about to fall under that tsunami's unstoppable rush. SOM's wall, imprisoned many minds during the Enlightenment, reached its culmination, and had nearly total and arrogant control near 20th century's start. Charles Renouvier's, William James,' and others' pluralism punched many holes in that dike. Fortunately, monism has just one finger!
"It was this apparently unquestionable, supposed uncrossable line separating science as a form of intellectual activity, a way of knowing, from science as a social phenomenon, a way of acting, that Kuhn in Structure first questioned and then crossed." P. 162. Geertz tells us he was not the only one, and lists these folk as examples: Norwood Russell Hanson, Michael Polanyi, Paul Feyerabend, Mary Hesse, Imre Lakatos, Michel Foucault, and Ian Hacking, all unique in their own ways as rivals, critics, and thinkers independent of Kuhn's digm. "But, more than any of these, Kuhn and Structure, cleared the path and, because it is not always either prudent or comfortable to be out in front in a raiding party, drew the fire of the Old Believers...[They] set by [themselves], the terms of the debate." P. 162. We partially agree. Society is n¤t a great achiever and innovator here. Intellect is: Kuhn's individual intellect and pioneering spirit. We cann¤t hand that individual accomplishment over to society as Geertz apparently tries to do. Society, its community, its union, its concord, its common sense, its accord, its political correctness, and its consensual thinking is too static, too highly viscous, too persistent, too stuck to act, move, innovate, and pioneer, as only an individual, as Kuhn did. Society's Mozartian music is designed, predictable, analytic, corrigible and highly-persistent emergence. By comparison, Kuhn's music is ad lib, jammin' groovin' Jazz, never to be played identically any two sessions. Where intellect and its quantum compatriots' intuition and instinct are agile, society and culture are viscous and change-resistant.
"It is unnecessary here, and anyway impossible, to review
again the hundreds of arguments, for and against, the theses that
Geertz in that brief list captures much of Kuhn's perspective.
"A few, most especially the claim that scientific change does not consist in a relentless approach to a waiting truth but in the rollings and pitchings of disciplinary communities, he maintained against all attacks from all quarters.
"It was, in fact, this last and most far-reaching of its propositions, that made Structure itself revolutionary " P. 163.
We agree. In our SoSR review we call those "rollings and pitchings," "scientific schizophrenia." Some call it "cultural relativism." Yet others, e.g. classical scientists, call it "absurd." Yet our and Geertz' and Kuhn's whole point here is that classical science itself, in major ways, is absurd.
AL HotMeme: "What remains as Kuhn's legacy, and what enrages his most intransigent opponents and befuddles his most uncritical followers, is his passionate insistence that the history of science is the history of the growth and replacement of self-recruiting, normatively defined, variously directed, and often sharply competitive scientific communities." P. 163.
In other words, classical science is both individual intellectual science and social science. Its behavior is, in spite of its radically mechanistic predilections and its closed axiom sets, natural. And, indeed, anyone involved in science knows that is so. Kuhn tells us that science's individual intellectual part is "inexplicable," and outside of human or societal conceptual means. To see science's classical (Geertz' emphasis on) social projections, just watch science's war with its mortal enemy, "the creationists." It is almost laughable. Children in cribs and sand boxes as ivory tower experts trans-sending innocuous threats. Why? Classical scientific method is invalid dealing with natural reality! Its SOMitic metadigm is a poor metaphor of natural reality. Yet 'normal scientists' allude and delude otherwise, just as they allude and delude: "Kuhn is a threat!" AL HotMemes
"The subjection of the sciences to the attentions, sustained and superficial, informed and ignorant, of historians, sociologists, anthropologists, economists, even of science writers and English professors, unwilling to stop at the borders of disciplinary authority or to cower before the solemnities of Nobel laureates, grows apace." P. 164. Amen. And we, in Quantonics, are part and parcel of that Inquisition. But our intent similar Kuhn's possibly different from Geertz' list of vigilantes is not to annihilate science and burn it upon a dichotomous and orthogonal self-righteous cross, rather to assist it into n¤vel and animate quantum domains of its own emergence. 'Normal science' seems intransigent paraculturally too viscous, so we try to embarrass it. Embarrassing 'normal science' is not a difficult task, as Kuhn and Geertz so perspicuously show. 'Normal science's' reactions are a measure of their success.
We know of that success. Already we are called "fools" by medievalists, and "deconstructionists" by 'The Academy's' Ph.Ds.
Geertz shows us that objective classicists, whether scientific or not, always stand on opposite sides of that line/wall and point fingers at each other. Too, objective classical cultural relativists stand in their own little boxes and point their fingers at those in many other polylogically 'incommensurable' boxes.
AL HotMeme: "Though Kuhn was cognizant of most of these issues, he was not himself so much concerned with them as he was with understanding how science got from Aristotle to Newton, from Newton to Maxwell, and from Maxwell to Einstein, and, given the world's contingencies, what the reasons for its improbable success in doing so might be. 'The Bomb' debate aside, to which, so far as I know, he never publicly addressed himself, those reasons were hardly prominent, much less central, in the worried but still composed world of the late fifties and early sixties. They became so independently after the appearance of Structure, and were then polemically attached to it by its unexpected, and unintended, mass audience positively, as a demystification of scientific authority, its re-enclosure in time and society; negatively, as a revolt against it, a repudiation of objectivity, detachment, logic, and truth. He had prayed for rain and got a flood." P. 165. (Our bold.) We would have said, " its re-enclosure in Bergson's I-cubed individual: instinct, intuition, and intellect." Where Geertz appears to place society over individual intellect, following Pirsig's prescient lead, we place individual intellect evolutionarily, rhetorically, morally, and ethically above society. Where intellect always leads, society eventually follows. That was Kuhn's message: intellect (our quantum stage) emerses quantally incremental theories and society selects tentative, syrupy paradigms from among them. Worshiping a society is little different from worshiping one paradigm. See our quantum stage to grasp our own both coherence and autonomy of quantum mind via reality's quantum vacuum space. AL HotMemes
AL HotMeme: As observers of Thomas Kuhn, we must learn to see him first of all as a classicist, a child of classicism, borne of classical education, training, methods, schema, dogma, propaganda, pogroms, and that provincial antique: 'subject-object metaphysics.' He and all humans, are not just intellectual cog-objects. Rather we are all quantum beings, both subjective and objective, and more. More is what Kuhn sensed. How? Using his instincts and his intuitions. He knew, in his gut, both of those absolutely animate affectors are somehow antithetical absolutely static objective intellect, while simultaneously, oxymoronically, paralogically, paradoxically, paraphenomenally, and pragmadigmatically both commingling and more highly evolving and complementarily-compenetrating than purely objective, walled-in, axiomatic intellect's symbols and definite semantics. He intuited himself and all beings as quantum beings, as quantum real. To state those percepts to his peers without classical qualification is like William James Sidis telling Harvard Ph.Ds. that "J. C. Maxwell blew it." As died-in-wool fundamental classicists, they just do not, will not, cannot understand. Before they may attain a more highly evolved capability, we must "tear down their walls." Until we do, they and we are entrapped, just like Han Solo in Jabba's concrete! We shall tear them down. We are tearing them down. Geertz agrees. AL HotMemes
N¤, it was n¤t just, " the right time." Were it so, Kuhn would have been resoundingly accepted and praised for his innovations! But pioneers, first perceived as genuine threats by masters of l'passé, are nearly always denounced and called "charlatans." Kuhn could not bear that as Sidis did. Sidis never received any respect. Kuhn earned, and had abundant (classical) respect to lose. Just as Galileo, Kuhn had to bear 'normal scientific' religion's brutal inquisitions and appear to recant by waffling on that wall. His 1969 postscript does exactly that. In our review of SoSR, we show Kuhn as a real superposition of SOM, CR, MoQ, and quantum philosophy. For that, and his fecund delivery and care of it, from its infancy, born at an "inappropriate time" (in terms of reaping more harmonious praise), we belatedly and posthumously praise and honor his prescience.
"Living through the aftershocks of an earthquake one has played a major role in bringing about can be as difficult, and as consequential, as producing the original tremor." P. 166.
Science received its own most recent 911 Infamy call in 1962. Its title is, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Chapter VIII - Pages 167-186 - The Pinch of Destiny: Religion as Experience, Meaning, Identity, Power
Professor Geertz unceasingly amazes! This chapter spreads apropos, like chunky peanut butter and jelly on seven grain nut bread, respectively, both William James and Islam. And considering now as we write these morphemes of review now, September, 2001 apropos it is.
He apparently (at a time of writing
this chapter; sometime prior/during 1998) grasps what William
James wrote about in his chunky Varieties of Religious Experience
(1902, call it VoRE) as well as anyone we know except perhaps
Robert M. Pirsig. Geertz, in our opinion, partially intuits William
James' own quantum intuitions18.
You may not see this in his early paragraphs, but you will
nearer chapter's middle and ending.
If you have not read VoRE, and assuming you have an abiding interest in Quantonics' own Chautauquas, we implore you to do so. Amazon has it for about $7.20US plus shipping (n¤ Quantonics affiliation).
As hinted, we do not agree with all of Geertz' assessments of William James' VoRE.
Geertz focuses on VoRE's ending, what James "uneasily"
calls its "Conclusions." He describes James' own reactions
to his (James') own work twofold:
Geertz, in those two ultra-brief assessments, distills a classical reality. Those two assessments are how classicists (i.e., SOMites and CRites) see reality. First, subjective. Second objective. Former expendable as useless. Latter revered as substantially and materially real. In Quantonics we call this "SOM's dichotomy." Our entire site dedicates its works to showing how unreal it actually is.
Were you to read VoRE, you would find that James sees n¤ SOM dichotomy. Rather he sees reality as a compenetration of both subjective and objective percepts. Please see our review of William James' Some Problems of Philosophy. As evidence of James' notion of compenetration of subjective and objective percepts we quote his five beliefs from Chapter XX Conclusions, of VoRE:
"Summing up in the broadest possible way the characteristics
of the religious life, as we have found them, it includes the
Number one is a direct statement of James' belief in compenetration of actuality and what we call "nonactuality." Number two is an almost perfect analogue of quantum isocoherence (i.e., nonactuality) compenetrating quantum coherence and decoherence (i.e., actuality). Number three is a quantum ontology. Number four describes what we call "tapping reserve energy." Number five is confidence and happiness of a quantum awareness of unending li-la and wu-li Planck rate dancing to and fro both actuality and nonactuality. All of this, to us, foretells a future merger of quantum science and quantum religion, similar to what Scott M. Peck (The Road Less Traveled, et al.), Gary Zukav (Dancing Wu Li Masters, et al.), et al. foresee.
Professor Geertz, where is your implied classical dichotomy in that?
Continuing, Geertz says, "This way of marking out 'religion' and 'the religious' the radical individualism gives to Varieties, when we look back at it from wherever it is we are now, a curiously double aspect. It seems at once almost ultra-contemporaneous, as though it had been written yesterday and quaintly remote, suffused with period atmosphere " P. 168.
We understand this parachronistic aspect of Geertz' perspective, indeed we know it may be seen as a quantum tell, yet we know that William James' jargon, when updated from its classical hermeneutics to its modern quantum analogues, would no longer appear both "at once almost ultra-contemporaneous and quaintly remote." With little surprise or doubt on our part it would appear as, and even be, neological reading for neosapiens. Too, it is clear to us, James did not wholly harbor classical hermeneutics when he used those words. For example, some substitutions we might make con(m)textually and ubiquitously in VoRE to assist this process we show here:
|analytic, analytical, analytics||radical ensemble flux stochastics|
|automatisms, radically mechanical||quantum emergence and entanglements|
|concrete||syncrete, Gestalt, non-lisr-quantonic|
|conform||emerge, quantum leap, pragmadigm shear|
|field, e.g., transmarginal, etc.||quantum vacuum flux|
|individual||"We are in It and It is in us." Use quanton.|
|mechanical||non-mechanical, quantum, quantonic|
|Millennium II English Language||Remediated Millennium III English Language|
|monistic||both monism and pluralism commingling|
|perfection||perfection as a quantum islandic apparition|
|permanence||quantum variable | tentative persistence|
|pragmatism, Peirce's radically mechanistic||quantum flux pragmatism|
|rational||both rational and irrational commingling|
|states of mind, radically mechanical||quantum phasic modes/stages of thought|
|and so on||and so on|
To us, this double aspect is a both-all/and-many quantum tell. Via his still now ripe both/andedness, William James shows us his own superb quantum intuitions and instincts. Geertz appears classically blindered to this and says, "The sense of contemporaneity is largely an illusion the derangements of the last fin de siècle (i.e., last "end of 19th century") are quite different from those of this, and so are our ways of coping. But the perception that James's great book is dated, has rather more substance. We see religion in other terms than James did the ground has shifted under our feet; we have other extremes to examine, other fates to forestall. The pinch is still there, sharp and nagging. But it feels, for some reason, somehow different. Less private, perhaps, or harder to locate, more difficult exactly to put one's finger on; not so surely a reliable indicator or a revolutionary sign, not so surely a metaphysical ache." P. 168. (Our parenthetical.)
"For what seems most to distance us from James, to separate our spirituality, if that word can be made to mean anything anymore, save moral pretensions, from his, is the word I carefully left out of his glittering motto in adopting it for my title: 'individual;' 'the individual pinch of destiny.' 'Religion,' or 'religiousness,' in his pages, and in his world transcendentalist New England at the end of its run is a radically personal matter, a private, subjective, deep-experience 'faith state' (as he calls it), adamantly resistant to the growing claims of the public, the social, and the everyday 'to be the sole and ultimate dictators of what we may believe.' Growing in James's day, as the United States began not just to be powerful but to feel itself so, such claims have, in ours, become altogether overwhelming. Cordoning off a space for 'religion' in a realm called 'experience' 'the darker, blinder strata of character' seems, somehow, no longer so reasonable and natural a thing to try to do. There is just too much one wants to call 'religious,' almost everything it sometimes seems, going on outside the self." Pp. 168-9. (Our bold for subsequent reference.)
AL HotMeme: All of this shows Geertz' apparent (to us) predilection for secular society over individuality19. Again, as in chapter VII, we choose to follow Pirsig's lead. To us, more viscous societal value is lower value than more agile (more quantum-animate) individual intellectual value, and societal value is morally subservient individual intellect. Also, to us, 'secular' is just a code word for material objectivism SOM. 'Society' is a code word for monistic union. Pirsig's mentorship tells and shows us that intellect outranks society morally. Evolution demonstrates that well. We need society for consensus and tentative static-latching of 'better' individual intellectual percepts (and consider how frequently, and naturally: quantum uncertainly, it chooses less than optimally), but society itself, via and due its consensus, is innately incapable of expressing individual intellect.
Propounded further, now we know empirically from our real experiences with pure inquisitionist Catholicism (meaning, literally "broad in scope," "general," "encompassing all humankind," "one religion fits all"), nationalism, socialism, communism, Tiananmen Square, and most recently Neander-taliban that any hegemonously imposed closure, paradigmaticity, and consensus in any society are not just precursors of di-chotomous opposition and hate, but also critical failure factors, embodiments of common 'sense' mediocrity, and key disablers, of individual intellect.
To us, in Quantonics, quantum individual intellect and quantum individual freedom (~"disassembly") go hand in hand. A society of genuinely proto-free individuals is a genuinely post-free society. 'Society' is incapable of making individuals free. 'Society' if anything makes individuals less free. Yet free individuals are capable of creating, maintaining, and preserving free societies. It is unclear why some anthropologists and sociologists often appear n¤t to have this perspective and value its significance, unless perhaps they are, innately, socialists and view intellect as an objective feature of, and contained and constrained within and by, society. As Thomas Kuhn so eloquently shows us in his, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, modern 'science' does exactly that. In 'science' a 'discipline' must be axiomatically closed, paradigmatized, and consensed. No individual paradigm-breaking pioneering allowed! AL HotMemes
Our Quantonics belief is that SOM is a root cause of these and many other ills in global 'society' at Millennium III's beginning. In Quantonics we think neo 'science' will have to make quantal- and "extraordinary intellect-" -inspired paradigm-breaking its motto to survive quantum reality's imminent Millennium III intellectual tsunami.
We are unsure of what Geertz means by "derangements." Is that a code word for insanity, or spiritual insanity? Does he see, what James describes, as insane? Can one re-cognize derangement without being deranged? What 'scientific discipline' qualifies one to assess derangement? Look at Earth's Homo sapiens today! Is our globe really either more or less deranged? Has paradigmatic 'science' brought us fewer and less intense derangements? Have attempts at "World Order" educed a decline in global derangement? Is 911 Infamy a sign of 'better' contemporary derangement? Has organized, 'societal' religion improved on 20th century derangements? Has tolerance eliminated derangements? Have our global war-ming agreements among one another, yet without a speck of natural concord, eliminated derangements? On its face, is "A Kyoto Accord" deranged? To any classicist quantum reality is deranged! To any classicist, and this is our most crucial point here, reality is SOMitically causal-effective. All a SOMwitted analytic classicist must do is examine 'effects' to know absolutely what their 'cause(s)' is/are.
Let's quantonically say it again: "Quantum reality is n¤ncausal! Quantum reality is quantum affective. Quantum reality is 'a private, subjective, deep-experience 'phasicity''" One century ago, William James described our individual perceptions of quantum reality better than nearly all of our counselors, mentors, and experts do today regardless their extra 100 years of 'academy' paradigms, consensus, learning, disciplines, and affinities.
While Western cultures adhere SOM's CTMs, Geertzian "contemporaneous illusions" shall continue
Honestly, in an attempt to rise above our own self-recursive, individually intellectual tirade, we think Geertz is ~gently denigrating many of James' 'individual' case examples, and their rather egocentric epiphanies. Just as Geertz studies group cultural variegations, James, as still today one of our foremost and preeminent psychologists, studies fluxing individual mental specificities and genericities (quantum- "-emotionality," "-asleep," "-storms," "-waves "). To us, Geertz shows biases toward human groups, and James shows biases toward groups as variegations of many individuals. Which appears more monistic? Which more pluralistic? Which more quantum both/and? As have both Pirsig and Bergson, Geertz and James show self-unaware quantum comminglings of both, each to greater and lesser extents of various perspectives. Yet all of them as do we, to some extent, relapse into our own local culturally and academically pogromed and propagandized classical patterns of analysis.
If we upgrade James' VoRE using contemporary, quantumesque jargon, much of it remains contemporary and even beyond current/recent concepts propounded by Geertz, Kuhn, et al. Persistently, Geertz tells us that VoRE's datedness has "more substance."
Quantum reality shows us that humans, their cultures, and all quantons are both harmonious and n¤nharmonious cowithin actuality: Accepting that quantum percept then VoRE is both contemporary and n¤ncontemporary, both dated and n¤ndated. Had Geertz been writing here about Boris Sidis' works or Joseph Jastrow's instead of William James' we would concur on both counts. Why? Both are consummate classicists, and we think SOM is passé. William James, as Robert M. Pirsig prefers, is more quantum intuitive than most of his peers, antecedents, and successors, excepting perhaps Henri Louis Bergson.
Quantum reality's pinching (contemporaneously known as quantum "contextual squeezing") is always both individual and, both multi-versally and uni-versally cohesive, both lisr and n¤nlisr. Classicists, via their CTMs, can only see and must unilogically, unitemporally cause-effect either one or the other. In concise Quantonic notation we say QTMs understand BAAM(n¤nlocal,local) and CTMs only understand EOOO(local, n¤nlocal). Which is Geertz using on James' "double aspect?" What do you think?
Geertz chapter title might be altered to, Quivering Quantum Pinchings, both Individual and n¤nindividual, both Local and n¤nlocal, etc., of Destiny.
In our view a quantum pinch of both/and will have to spread as epiphany throughout Earth's cultures if we are to ameliorate and mediate their struggles and wars.
HotMeme: Geertz, however, in his, "
we do believe (or disbelieve, or if we disbelieve) in solitude,
standing alone in relation to our destiny, our own private pinch,
that needs perhaps a certain reconsideration given the warrings
and disorders which surround us now," p. 171, blames not
SOM but individualism
for our world's problems. He appears unable to fathom that this
Geertzian lisr characterization
of individualism is a child of his own SOM! William James understood
quantumly that, "We are in It and It is in us." Clifford
Geertz ostensibly and socio-politically 'correctly' does n¤t.
Would Geertz blame 911 Infamy on classical individualism while
deflecting any societal culpability? Is 'society' a classically
ether a group of individuals or a
Borgian individual group? Is 'individual' classical lisr
anthropocentric aloneness, or as Mae-wan Ho says,
|"We may now offer a tentative answer to at least part of a question which was posed at the beginning of this book: what is it that constitutes a whole or an individual? It is a domain of [quantum-] coherent, autonomous activity. Defined thus, it opens the way to envisaging individuals which are aggregates of individuals, as, for example, a population or a society engaging in coherent activities. As coherence maximizes both local freedom and global cohesion, it defines a relationship between the individual and the collective which has previously been deemed contradictory or impossible. The 'inevitable' conflict between the individual and the collective, between private and public interests, has been the starting point for all social as well as biological theories of western society. Coherence tells us it is not so 'inevitable' after all. Eminent sociologists have been deploring the lack of progress in sociology, and saying that it is time to frame new questions. Perhaps sociology needs a new set of premisses [Ho's spelling] altogether. In a [quantum-] coherent society, such conflicts do not exist." (Our brackets, bold and bold italics.) P. 153, the Rainbow and the Worm (tRatW), by Mae-wan Ho, World Scientific Publishing, 1993.|
Elsewhere in tRatW, she uses our bodies as exemplars of quantum coherent societies. In our view, Mae-wan Ho and those in her tRatW bibliography have much to offer 'soft science's' Geertzes, anthropologists, sociologists, ethnologists, etc.
Quantum reality, across all its scales is coherent. At all scales both individuals and groups are both coherent and autonomous! Quantum reality exhibits, naturally, as Mae-wan shows, both "We are in It and It is in us" cohesion and individual autonomy! Not EOOO, rather BAAM! William James, Mae-wan Ho referring biologist H. J. Morowitz, Robert M. Pirsig, Eugen Herrigel, Henri Louis Bergson, David Bohm, Brian Josephson, et al., intuit this. Geertz appears to deny it.
Why, you ask, "In a coherent society, such conflicts do not exist?" Societal coherencies are quantum capable of remaining quiescently, undisturbed, unperturbed by other societal coherencies. Why? Their quantum coherent nature. Disparate quantum islands of coherence across all scales of reality are, more often than not, coherently decoupled (due to their local, islandic coherencies). In a quantum real sense, they are unaware of one another. A wonderful analogy of this is non-mixing of coherent light in carefully prepared optically linear fibre-optic cables. Though not ideally quantum coherent, continuous wave carriers of nearly all (types of transmission media) communications on Earth do not 'mix' unless nonlinearly/decoherently perturbed. If they did mix unperturbed, we would hear and see a jumble of noise in our radio and television receivers. Those are examples of quantum coherent islandicity. Cultures, biologicals, et al. offer similar islands/carriers of decoupled coherence. Ocean tsunamis are another. Mid-ocean, a ship or submarine's local 'culture' is nearly unaware of a tsunami passing under/through it. However, when a shoreline's decoherent nonlinearity perturbs it, couples it, we see cataclysmic chaos. Were that shoreline itself somehow coherent, no cataclysm would happen. This discussion is vastly over simplified, but offers glimmers of n¤vel ways of thinking about reality and its many societies of (societies of (societies of( ))). AL HotMemes
Next, in this chapter, Nostradamus-like, Geertz almost anticipates fundamental religions' ugly 911 Infamy.
'Til now, we have only hinted at this, but times are nigh to just say it, "Quantum reality inspires religious and spiritual awe! Quantum reality is beyond common sentient discernment!"
We can describe quantum reality's fretted affects, just as we describe it using tools of poetry, music, and art, but we will never trap it in any purely objective science's box of rational reason. We can learn to use its unlimited (and free) quantum energies, but we are only describing and deeply playing, never wholly understanding. We can offer unlimited perceptions and modelings of its perspicuous actualities, but never grasp holistically its unlimited potentials and possibilities.
Geertz seems to recommend that we are better to numb ourselves to Jamesian (to us that means roughly, quantum reality's) inspiration. If that is what he is telling us and asking us, then we have to say, "Ignore him and his ilk." Rather pay attention to folk like Mae-wan Ho who want us to adore that inspiration and express our awe of it via n¤vel, affective, valuing science, "To me, science is surely not about laying down eternal 'laws of nature' to dictate what we can or cannot think. It is to initiate us fully into the poetry that is the soul of nature, the poetry that is ultimately always beyond what theories or words can say." P. viii, tRatW. Can you visualize a simile of her words about religion? Just substitute 'religion' in that quote for 'science.' For us, Mae-wan might just as well be saying that genuine science, in its most natural and epiphanous revelation, is religion. We think William James in his intuitive manner was attempting something similar.
"Meaning is back [whatever] that means Most everywhere we see religiously charged conceptions of what everything, everywhere is always all about propelling themselves to the center of cultural attention a vast, motley collection of ideologies, movements, parties, programs, visions, personalities, and conspiracies announcing themselves as authentically Islamic have entered the competition for social hegemony or, in some cases (Iran, Afghanistan, perhaps Sudan), more or less ended it. On the Indian subcontinent religious sub-subnationalisms jockey scramble for sway, domination, and the right to prescribe the public morality There are of course places where religious views seem to play little role in public affairs (China, perhaps, or Rwanda-Burundi, also perhaps). But there are more than enough where they play a prominent one to take that fact as a sign of the times." P. 172.
"'Religion' is everybody's favorite dependent variable There is nothing in itself so very wrong with this. Despite the encouragement it gives the besetting sin of sociological study, favorite cause analysis There is little doubt that the Milosevics, Karadzics, Tudjmans and lzetbegovics are, manipulative personalities driven by the vanities of earthly glory, ambition, or even ethno-religious, enthusiasms. Equally, it is altogether clear that 'Political Islam,' feeds on stagnation and poverty and represents an effort on the part of Muslims finally to engage the demands and energies of the modern world." P. 173.
For example, "Without a widely diffused sense among the Cairene or Karachi masses of Islam abused and neglected, the Prophecy unheeded and the Prophet demeaned, movements to restore and purify it, and confound its enemies, would have little attraction The world does not run on believings alone. But it hardly runs without them." P. 174.
And here is pièce de résistance, "There is, however, a problem in invoking, as I have just been doing to catch your attention, examples in which mass violence is involved James' 'extremer cases yielding the profounder information' . Reliance on such notorious instances obscures the generality and pervasiveness by confusing religious contention with religious fury, which is focused, generally sporadic, and often enough the child of accident The concentration on violence riots, assassinations, uprisings, and civil war valuable in itself for understanding how such things happen and what might be done to hinder them from happening, as well as for showing to what red hells our sightless souls may stray, gives a misleading picture of religious conflict by representing it in its most pathological forms. There are profounder matters at work than unreason " P. 174. In light of 911, which appears more prophetic, James or Geertz? Is Talibanic religious fury focused? Its al Qaeda network is in at least sixty different countries. Its cells are Mae-wan Ho-esque quantum-cohesive and autonomous!
"Among such profounder matters is surely what has come to be called 'the search for identity.' something important is afoot 'The presentation of self in everyday life,' to invoke Erving Goffman's famous phrase, has also become less of an individual matter; less a personal project, more a collective, even a political one. There are, just about everywhere now, organized efforts, sustained and assiduous, sometimes a good deal more than that, to advance the worldly fortunes of one or another variety of public selfhood. What we have here is a contest of kinds Again, not all these kinds are 'religious,' even under the most extended sense of the term The question is, why have religious kinds, and the tension between religious kinds come to such prominence? Why have communities of faith become, in so many instances, the axes around which the struggle for power local power, national power, even to some extent international power swirls?" P. 175.
Geertz assumes there is no single answer to these questions, but we and he think there are a few available which stand out ostensibly. Geertz' pretext is, when distilled, remarkably similar to ours. Let's offer some quotes of his text and then juxtapose them with our own "suggestions and observations."
Before we do, allow us to quote some stage-setting prose from Hermann Hesse's prescient and apropos Steppenwolf (el Lobo Estepario):
|"A remark of Haller's gave me the key to this interpretation. He said to me once when we were talking of the so-called horrors of the Middle Ages: 'These horrors were really nonexistent. A man of the Middle Ages would detest the whole mode of our present-day life as something far more than horrible, far more than barbarous. Every age, every culture, every custom and tradition has its own character, its own weakness and its own strength, its beauties and ugliness; accepts certain sufferings as matters of course, puts up patiently with certain evils. Human life is reduced to real suffering, to hell, only when two ages, two cultures and religions overlap. A man of the Classical Age who had to live in medieval times would suffocate miserably just as a savage does in the midst of our civilization. Now there are times when a whole generation is caught in this way between two ages, two modes of life, with the consequence that it loses all power to understand itself and has no standard, no security, no simple acquiescence '" Recalled for us by nephew of Haller's (i.e., Steppenwolf's) boarding house female proprietor. (Our bold.) P. 24 of 248 total, Bantam paper, 1981 ed., 1st ed. published in 1929.|
Reader, we see 911 Infamy as a semaphore of Earth's next Harry Haller "overlap." We call it a Millennium III tsunami.
Geertz observes, " not only religious identities, but ethnic, linguistic, racial, and diffusely cultural ones, that have grown in political salience the fall of the Wall collapse of the Soviet Union end of the Cold War shattered the great power relationships in place since Teheran and Potsdam The strongly binary international power balances and the overmastering side-effects that alignment had largely dissolved, leaving just about everyone uncertain about what now goes with what and what does not where the critical demarcations lie and what makes them critical [and thence emergence of] forms of collective self-representation not just in Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia but generally. A proliferation of autonomous political entities, as unlike in their temper as they are in their scale, 'a world in pieces,' [See Chapter XI.] encourages circumscribed, intensely specific, intensely felt, public identities, at the same time as such identities fracture in their turn the received forms of political order that attempt to contain them, most notably these days the nation state." P. 176.
"That, of course, is nowhere near the whole of it. Not only are there counterforces at play," e.g. he lists, globalization, Asian Rim issues, Latin America's issues, EU. He concludes " interdependency is very much not the same thing as integration." Too, "There is increased mobility" and thus cultural mixing as we see very evidently here in our USA. More, he further concludes, " simple, to-each-his-own physical separation no longer works very well Differences of belief, sometimes quite radical ones, are more and more often directly visible, directly encountered: ready-to-hand for suspicion, worry, repugnance, and dispute. Or, I suppose, for tolerance and reconciliation, even for attraction and conversion. Though that, right now, is not exactly common." P. 177.
It appears, Geertz says, all that " has left only religion as, so the slogan goes, 'something which hasn't failed yet.'" P. 177.
Again, we emphasize our view that unfailing religion, as James suggested, is personal, individual religion. Socialized, communized, collectivized, organized, unionized, Neander-talibanized religions will always fail (evolutionarily) due to their emphases on holy and holistic state-ic consensus which is impossible to achieve. Why? Consensus requires static definition of terms for agreement. Religion's open, animate, evolving, emerging domain of known, unknown, knowable, and unknowable may not be circumscribed by static individual definition, let alone static consensual definition. Were holy or any other social consensus classically possible, we think Geertz would not (had to) have written Chapter VIII of his book, Available Light.
Perhaps we might clarify our position further by applying Henri Louis Bergson's assessments of SOM's two great illusions to religion. Bergson tells us that believers in SOM suffer two great delusions: 1) Reality is stable, and 2) Objects in reality are independent. Our dual for a deluded-religion might look like this: 1) Religion is stable, and 2) Objects in religion are independent. For fun, see if you can invent quantumesque duals for both of these.
" in general, the moral confusion of contemporary life have turned peoples toward more familiar [read objective], more deeply rooted [read stable], closer-to-home [read independent] ideas and values But, the validity of these and similar notions aside there is a more fundamental issue to be addressed if we are to get a handle on what is happening to spiritual life at the end of what some have called the worst century yet. And this returns us, as I suppose was inevitable, to James' concern, if not necessarily to his way of formulating it: What is going on, to quote him again, in the "recesses of feeling, the darker, blinder strata of character" of those caught up in religiously conceived and religiously expressed struggles for meaning, for identity, and for power? What has become of 'the pinch of destiny,' now that it seems so much in the world? 'Experience,' pushed out the door as a radically subjective, individualized 'faith state,' returns through the window as the communal sensibility of a religiously assertive social sector." (Our brackets.) P. 178.
In our view, while oversimplifying far too much, yet extruding
some latched essence, "What is going on?" is something
911 Infamy appears to have bounced our USA and several other global cultures temporarily back into a more fundamentalist, a more radically mechanistic SOM. But we know we cannot permanently return to SOM per se. CR is already out of Pandora's boxes, and though left alone and by itself it is enormously impractical and 'evil' as "many SOMs" its pluralistic evolutionary stable strategy as James saw in SPoP offers great benefits, plus beau coup new problems. And our world is already on an evolutionary, natural selection, path toward a quantumesque CR replacement: possibly, as Mae-wan Ho and we in Quantonics suggest, a quantum both-all/and-many of cultural cohesion and autonomy.
Just prior to finishing this chapter with some case history about contemporary Muslim females' returns to ancient habits, e.g., wearing of Islam's jilbab, and modern Islam's fascinating rejection of "old practices," Geertz rounds up his brief treatise on William James and religion thus, "Communal, yet personal. Religion without interiority, without some 'bathed in sentiment' sense that belief matters, and matters terribly, that faith sustains, cures, comforts, redresses wrongs, improves fortune, secures rewards, explains, obligates, blesses, clarifies, reconciles, regenerates, redeems, or saves, is hardly worthy of the name. There is of course, a great deal of sheer conventionalism about. Hypocrisy, sanctimony, imposture, and self-serving to say nothing of swindle and simple nuttiness we have always with us. And there remains, I suppose, the haunting question whether any faith, however profound, is anywhere near adequate to its ends." P. 178.
Bravo! This is quantum. This is good. This is Geertz we savored in earlier chapters of Available Light.
Quantum? "Communal, yet personal." Both communal and personal! Both quantum cohesive and quantum autonomous. Mae-wan would yell "Bravo!" too.
Now, gentle reader, we must add a tad o' Doug's opinion here. It puts what we just said more blatantly and much less delicately!
Real faith, in our opinion is individual faith. Individual faith is above union faith, consensual faith, and catholic faith. Consensed faith per se is pseudo faith! Again, loudly, CONSENSED FAITH, IN ABSENCE OF INDIVIDUAL FAITH, IS PSEUDO FAITH! Individual intellectual SPoVs over social SPoVs. We have been asked to have faith, to believe as individuals. What we believe is up to our individual free will. We have n¤t been asked to join groups in order to have faith! Many 'faithful,' in our opinion, place consensual faith above individual faith. Now, essence! Quantum reality provides its own quantum comsensus! We do n¤t need social groups to do that for individuals! Where would Catholicism's Inquisitions be without social consensus? Where would Neandertaliban be without consensus? Where would thoughtless missionary erasure-effacement of countless cultures be without consensus? Doug.
In place of "faith" substitute "pragmadigm" and we have a quantum-evolved Kuhnian 'scientific' metaphor.
Bravo! Professor Geertz, Bravo!
We hope you, reader, can see how Geertz helps us to understand how closely religion and science compenetrate when viewed from quantum perspectives, using QTMs. It is crucial that we all learn to experience our own 'religion' personally while respecting and defending every other individuals' rights and freedoms to do that too. When we organize, unionize, socialize, communize, nationalize, etc. and thence juxtapose, we commence comparative judgment: "That's not politically correct!" and thus educe disrespect. Individuality, we intuit: respect's optimal increment.
We were stunned when, mid September, 2001, we read Geertz' last and most prescient paragraph of Chapter VIII, "We have had massive, continental shifts in religious sensibility before whose impact on human life, we now see, was, despite their raggedness, radical and profound, a vast remaking of judgment and passion. It would be something of a pity were we to be living in the midst of such a a seismic event and not even know that it is going on." P. 185.
Chapter IX - Pages 187-202 - Imbalancing Act: Jerome Bruner's Cultural Psychology,
By "Imbalancing Act," in his chapter title, Geertz implies that Bruner's attempts to merge a classical concept of 'culture' with psychology has an 'imbalancing' impact on countless disciplines, and of course that includes anthropology. Bruner is upsetting psychology's apple cart, and doing it using 'objective reasoning.'
Though Bruner grasps some minor issues of objectivism, e.g., reductionism, we conclude from several quotes Geertz offers us that he still retains and practices 'enlightened' classical thing-king methods (CTMs) in his works.
After his considerable efforts at establishing what we now call a 'Cognitive Revolution,' Geertz tells us, "Bruner has raised, over the last decade or so [~1986-1996], yet another dispensation: 'cultural psychology.' What now comes to the center of attention is the individual's engagement with established systems of shared meaning, with the beliefs, the values, and the understandings of those already in place in society as he or she is thrown among them Rather than a psychology that sees the mind as a programmable mechanism, we need one that sees it as a social achievement." P. 190.
Your reviewer thinks our readers should take Bruner's classical arrogance personally! From our perspective, our minds are n¤t a "social achievement." Our intellects and their many (innumerable) quantum interrelationships, of which a social substrate is only one, are incredibly more complex than Bruner's socially monistic, objective, and ultra-classical view.
We do agree with Robert M. Pirsig, who tells us that Earth's proto-human-societies evolve from their biological substrates, and that proto-human-intellects evolve from their societal substrates. Given that intueme, we could argue that intellect is a biological achievement. N¤, in general, intellect is an achievement of a quantum both-all/and-many of, not just a society or the society, but also self and countless other nonsocietal affectors. As Mae-wan tells us paraphrased, "autonomy cowithin and quantum cohesion of" both local and nonlocal omneity. Intellect is an achievement of many individuals in countless interrelationships with real omneity. In our view, society, nor any other individuate objective construct may take sole credit for "achieving" intellect. Intellect is just one reality achievement. We assume it may arise without Earth's particular, anthropocentric exemplar of layered ontogenetic substrates.
AL HotMeme: Regarding human's mechanisms of social achievement, Geertz quotes Bruner, "Education, 'is not simply a technical business of well-managed information processing, nor even simply a matter of applying 'learning theories' to the classroom or using the results of subject-centered 'achievement testing.' It is a complex pursuit of fitting a culture to the needs of its members and their ways of knowing to the needs of the culture.'" P. 190.
Bruner's use of "fitting" exposes his whole immersion in SOM. Clearly, Bruner advocates educational design of locally closed culture. Isn't it obvious from Pirsig's intuemes that culture is n¤n-designable? Isn't it obvious that design is a classical concept which adheres dogmatic, consensual, provincial classical cause and effect? Isn't it obvious that "fitting" is an objective, closed concept which adjudicates "one classical size fits all?" Do we want, as individuals, to corrigibly 'fit' a culture, or to find more general harmony with reality relatively free from specific cultural mores (Consider Taliban vis-à-vis US' melting pot.)? Should bases for differences be more individual or more cultural? Are cultures or individuals more or less tolerant to differences? Why are Arab students fleeing US university campuses in droves since 911 Infamy20? Is that a cultural issue or an individual issue? Which should it be?
Your reviewer adheres a Pirsigean meme that culture is n¤n-designable. Why? Culture evolves! What can we do? We can set some tentative, initial conditions (See Darwin's Chip.), while realizing that at that phase of reality, nature sets many more conditions which commingle and affect ours of choice. Quantum science has shown us, emphatically, that there is n¤ absolute classical cause-effect concept in reality. We cann¤t predict, in general, what happens next based upon a single, unitemporal (uni-independent variable) past. Reality is n¤t single-historical-thread effective! Reality chooses what happens next, and its choices depend upon quantum affects: countless local and nonlocal, multitemporal, multivariate preconditions. What happens next is n¤t single event deterministic, rather it is ensemble-preconditions-stochastic. That is what quantum evolution is. Evolution is a qualitative, affective process. Culture/society is a qualitative, affective, animate process which no human, nor any human organization can design! Too, biology and intellect are qualitative, affective processes. Just as Pirsig explained so well to us, inorganic, biological, social, and intellectual patterns emerge they are n¤t designed, n¤r designable by finite intellect sentients and their inanimate classical constructs. Are those sentients and their constructs affective on reality's (realities') patterns? Of course, as preconditions, among countless other quantum-animate affectors, but our key point here is that they are n¤t, in general, effective/predictive on reality's subsequent patterns! And, as individuals, they are their own greatest quantum-animate affectors, n¤t society, n¤t biology, n¤t education, n¤t culture, but their own individual selves and choices have their greatest affects on their life outcomes. That is precisely what free will and natural selection are about. AL HotMemes
Geertz quotes Bruner's classical predictive predilections and how they show their stripes in his assessment of early childhood development: children, " emphatically [do] not inhabit a world of 'buzzing, blooming confusion:' they [seem] in search of predictive stability from the very start." Pp. 71-72 of Bruner's The Culture of Education, HUP, 1996. "Seem" is an operative word here. Any classicist seeks, wants to see, literally expects to see others' behaviors as determinate. Behaviourists see humans as clockwork machines. Bruner's use of "predictive stability" concurs our previously mentioned Bergsonian classical delusions that: 1) reality is stable, and 2) objects in reality are independent. In our view, die kinder are conceived (initial conditions) in direct experience, are born in direct experience, and deeply play in direct experience. Static classical culture and its 'education' confiscate youthful instincts and intuitions and substitute rational 'reason' in their place. Bruner and most of us had our direct experiences numbed by 'education's' ratiocinating dogma. As a result, classicists are blind, and obtund our childrens' minds, to reality's extant and unlimited beauties and miracles. Bruner sees, like all good classicists, what he has been 'educated' to see. He is stuck in a classical paradigm of classical 'culture's' own 'construction.' One must ask, "Why does Bruner keep searching for a new subparadigm?" Why does he hop from "dispensation" to "dispensation?" Does he suffer a Kuhnian schizophrenic malady of sequential 'scientific' shifting? Why can neither 'science' n¤r he seem to get it right?
Geertz quotes Bruner's "'the hermeneutics of everyday life' is narrative." P. 193. In our view, this is a most ugly classical emission. It is ugly in its closure. It is ugly in its Bourgeois meso-mindedness. It is ugly in its classical naïveté. It is ugly in its arrogance, its normative prescription: narrative as life's hermeneutics. Any living being knows that life's hermeneutics are reality and our countless and variously perceived and changing direct experiences of it. Life's hermeneutics are n¤t just narrative.
We can understand how Bruner might arrive at such a conclusion. Classicists use rational thing-king to arrive at such dichonic conclusions. Their list of similarly derived prescriptions is long: objectivity, determinism, induction, Aristotelian syllogisms and their spawned rational logic, cause-effect, stability, independence, freedom from context, either absolute or relative objective truth, definiteness, localability, isolability, separability, reducibility, unilateral static measurability, objective immutability, unlimited perception, and so on All classical hyperBoole. All well-educated by likes of Bruner and his classical culture and its social constructs. Ugh! And what makes their ilk even uglier is their list of proscriptions, ones they use to beat up on those who do not reside in their classical cathedral of reason. Their largest proscription is that quantum reality does not exist! More Boole. Bruner says we just need to "grow up." P. 40, The Culture of Education. We think he intends that we should be more like him, i.e., be more like an 'educated' adult.
Geertz quotes and paraphrases Bruner's rampant classicisms, "designed culture, effective use of mind, conceptual powers, social production of meaning, deliberately fashioned mentality, speech-act analysis, mind-in-culture, hermeneutics is narrative, either-or, interaction, mental functioning, etc." Pp. 192-5.
Geertz, an anthropologist, considers concepts congregating "cultural psychology" explosive. He writes, "To argue that culture is socially and historically constructed, that narrative is a primary, in humans perhaps the primary, mode of knowing, that we assemble the selves we live in out of materials lying about in the society around us and develop 'a theory of mind' to comprehend the selves of others, that we act not directly on the world but on beliefs we hold about the world, that from birth on we are all active, impassioned 'meaning makers' in search of plausible stories, and that 'mind cannot in any sense be regarded as 'natural' or naked, with culture thought of as an add-on' such a view amounts to rather more than a 'midcourse correction.' (See Bruner's The Culture of Education, p. 171.) Taken all in all, it amounts to adopting a position that can fairly be called radical, not to say subversive. It seems very doubtful that such views, and others connected with them perspectivism, instrumentalism, contextualism, antireductionism can be absorbed into the ongoing traditions of psychological research (or indeed into the human sciences generally) without causing a fair amount of noise and upheaval. If 'cultural psychology' does gain ascendancy, or even serious market share, it will disturb a lot more than pedagogy." P. 196.
To your reviewer's surprise, Geertz appeases, "Within anthropology, the clarity, the relevance, the analytic power, even the moral status of the concept of culture have been much discussed in recent years, to no very certain conclusion save that if it is not to be discarded as an imperialist relic, an ideological maneuver, or a popular catchword, as its various critics variously suggest, it must be seriously rethought. Giving it a central role in 'psychology's next chapter,' as Bruner suggests, should do much to encourage such rethinking, as well as to extend similar questionings the no less embattled concept of mind he wishes to conjoin with it. But it will hardly simplify things. To the abiding puzzles afflicting psychology nature and nurture, top down and bottom up, reason and passion, conscious and unconscious, competence and performance, privacy and intersubjectivity, experience and behavior, learning and forgetting will be added a host of new ones: meaning and action, social causality and personal intention, relativism and universalism, and perhaps most fundamentally, difference and commonality. If anthropology is obsessed with anything, it is with how much difference difference makes." P. 197. (Our bolds.)
That last paragraph from page 197 is simply luscious! We have several comments to make here.
First, did you notice Geertz' ample use of 'ands?' His quantum intuitions trumpet here! "Reason and passion" are 'the enlightenment's' grandest dichotomy which classical 'science' insists is not an 'and,' rather should be an 'exclusive-or.' "Privacy and intersubjectivity," again, is an analogue of Mae-wan Ho's (paraphrased) "individual autonomy and quantum cohesion." Ditto "relativism and universalism."
By contrast, in his first sentence Geertz uses more classical jargon, including: "clarity, analytic, and concept." Classically, 'culture' is a static concept, however, viewed quantumly culture may be easily shown as n¤nconceptual. Quantumly, culture offers n¤ absolute clarity, n¤r absolute analyticity. Culture quantumly evolves. We cann¤t classically 'measure' culture. When we quantumly 'measure' culture, we must consider both dynamicity and commingling/compenetration/cowithinitness. Quantum measurement thus may increase persistence of affected statistical ensembles, but never classically and permanently solidify classically measured effects in perfect isolation..
To exemplify, consider Geertz' last sentence in that page 197 quoted paragraph. Is real 'difference' classical? Could/would we represent reality better using quantum plural 'differencing' memes (e.g., stindyanics)?
Classical 'difference' assumes reality is 1) stable, and 2) objects in it are independent. Canonically then, classical difference is static difference twixt two or more independent static objects. Classical 'difference' also assumes that some independent objects may be identical to one another, in which case their difference is absolutely, certainly, verifiably and ideally 'zero.' Classical 'difference' defines and mandates that classical negation be ideally and ideologically objective.
Quantum difference (i.e., rather, omnifference) assumes reality is 1) animate, and 2) quantons in it are co-here-nt. Quantum differences are always stochastically uncertain due to quantum flux and quantum compenetration. In quantum reality, n¤ two quantons are ever identical, so physically n¤ ideal concept of 'zero' exists. Quantum 'difference' is active, pragma21, absolutely changing, so we might prefer to say "quantum differencing." Quantum differencing is (i.e., rather, omnifferencings are) always animate ensemble stochastic, thus we might also insist on it being plural. It is impossible, in quantum reality, to ever isolate a single, wholly decoherent, inanimate 'difference.' All this demands that we, using classical terminology, declare quantum difference, just as we do quantum negation, "subjective."
One should also ponder, "If anthropology is obsessed with anything, it is with how much difference difference makes." When? Quantum reality imposes itself again here saying that n¤ two difference measurements, in general, can ever be identical. Classical verifiability is an illusion. Just in terms of solar context, Earth's angular velocity (at its equator) is 500 meters per second, and its Sun-orbital velocity is 30 kilometers per second. Both animate measures are chaotic, i.e., evidencing macroscopic, affective, ensemble, quantum uncertainties. Then, if we allow for evolutionary affects which may change as quickly as Planck's frequency, quantum differencing and two of its concomitants, both when? and where?, implore greater attention. We should be able to see how important quantum computers will be in our futures nigh. Their quantum emerquing qu-bits are omnivalent, coherent and thus intrinsically Planck rate animate. By comparison, classical in-form-ation di-gits are ideally decoherent and bivalently stuck, incapable of animately "touching faith," at either one or 'zero.'
So, without offending, if we could offer some quantum advice to anthropologists, we might say, "Anthropology might be better obsessed with many differencings."
Geertz intuitively understands this, as witnessed by this near chapter's end, "Managing difference, or if that sounds too manipulative, navigating it, is the heart of the matter." Sir, we agree and revere, "Olé!" (Our bold.)
Chapter X - Pages 203-217 - Culture, Mind, Brain / Brain, Mind, Culture,
Again, Clifford Geertz smacks quintessence. However, you must read this entire chapter to share his gist. He sneaks up on it.
AL HotMeme: Let's just proceed directly to GO.
Emotion is crux!
Again, we agree. But why? And why is Geertz' quantum emotion attractor so crucial?
Look at Geertz' title of this chapter again. What is missing there? Why is it missing?
Ignoring his mirrored quantum wave pattern, and focusing on just three words: culture, mind, brain, his title is a classical representation of anthropocentric reality. Actually, and as Geertz uncovers near chapter end, it is a classical misrepresentation, because of that crux which is missing.
Classicists adhere 'the enlightenment.' What does it mean to
be classically enlightened? Here is an abbreviated list
one is fundamentally 'classically enlightened' when one has been
bred, raised, trained, educated, and acculturated to adhere and
practice a convention which requires:
So 'the classical enlightenment' tells its followers that emotion is 'not' crux and that we must drive all emotion away while adhering a 'reasonable' classical convention and doctrine. It tells its followers to view reality as one global static theory, absent any acausal action. We call this "a purely objective classical reality." We call it "SOM."
We may choose to view Geertz' title in that 'enlightened' manner. When we do, 'culture' is objective, 'mind' is objective, and 'brain' is objective. It is classically 'unreasonable' to see them otherwise.
Geertz shows us how unreasonable it is to be 'classically enlightened.' Johann Georg Hamann would, with great glee, concur. Pirsig would agree. James would agree. Bergson would agree. D' Espagnat would agree. Bohm would agree. We accrue their and our quantum compenetrations!
Classical 'enlightenment' teaches its followers that its reality has classical 'hard' and 'scientific' demarcations. We call those demarcations "SOM's wall(s)." Classical 'objects' have walls. They are demarcable. They are lisr. In Quantonics, we extend to say that n¤ quanton in reality is classically, objectively demarcable.
Geertz shows us that culture, mind, and brain are quantumly n¤ndemarcable. "Since Wittgenstein's demolition of the very idea of a private language and the consequent socialization of speech and meaning, the location of mind in the head and culture outside of it no longer seems to be so much obvious and incontrovertible common sense. [Classically,] What is inside the head is the brain, and some other biological stuff. What is outside is cabbages, kings, and a number of things. The cognitive philosopher Andy Clark's subversive question, 'Where does mind stop and the rest of the world begin?' is no more answerable than its equally unnerving correlate, 'Where does culture stop and the rest of the self begin?'" p. 204. (See Clark's Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again, 1997, MIT, p. 213.)
We may contemplate Geertzian-Clark analogues for any brain. Consider, "Is it possible to surgically remove a brain?" Where are said brain's physical demarcations? Are they absolute? Arbitrary?
For some extraordinary individual Quantum Lightings please take some timings to be readings Paul Pietsch's Shufflebrain, 1981, HMCO. Doug - 31Jan2006.
Geertz shows us how culture is analogous too. "All this the coevolution of body and culture, the functionally incomplete character of the human nervous system, the ingredience of meaning in thought and of thought in practice suggests that the way toward an improved understanding of the biological, the psychological, and the sociocultural is not through arranging them into some sort of chain-of-being hierarchy stretching from the physical and biological to the social and semiotic, each level emergent from and dependent upon (and, with luck, reducible to) the one beneath it. Nor is it through treating them as discontinuous, sovereign realities, enclosed, stand-alone domains externally connected ('interfaced,' as the jargon has it) to one another by vague and adventitious forces, factors, quantities, and causes. Constitutive of one another, reciprocally constructive, they must be treated as such as complements, not levels; aspects, not entities; landscapes, not realms." Pp. 205-6. Pure quantum quintessence! Pure Geertz!
Then, Geertz stalks his prey: emotion. AL HotMemes
"We have in recent years become increasingly used to dealing with distributive, partially connected, self-organizing systems, especially in engineering and biology But we are still not used to looking at disciplinary matrices [or their interplay] in that way And if you think things are turbulent now, just wait Hume thought reason was and ought to be everywhere the slave of, namely, 'passion' 'emotion,' 'feeling,' 'affect,' 'attitude,' 'mood,' 'desire,' 'temper,' 'sentiment.'" P. 207.
Reader, can you see how Hume's views disagree with 'the classical enlightenment?' Hume's words are about real Value. When we choose our mate or purchase a car or home, do we adhere classical reason or emotional Value? Answer to that classically posed question, for us, is "Yes!" But which weighs more heavily, and be honest in answering? Consider all your daily decisions, too. Your reactions to 911 Infamy. Which weighed more heavily?
Now consider what Pirsig teaches us. He tells us what Hume is saying: Value is more highly evolved than reason. It is about now many quantum wavefronts of many now-ings direct animate experience. [Classical] reason is always based upon a latched and decoherent history. That is why we say reason is inductive it is based upon history. Reason is always passé, especially when it is classically state-ic, state-mental reason. History is always less evolved than present's now (pluralistically presents' nows). Emotions are k-n¤w-ing, surprisingly, unexpectedly, unpredictably. Reason is a classical façade, an act of decoherent role-playing. Emotions are real, quantum real. More technically, using QTMs:
In Quantonics, and somewhat following Pirsig's lead, we intuit emotions are hiatal, surprising, higher energy emerscence of actual ambient status quo, quantum cowithin and co-here-nt nonactuality's omnivalent absolutus vicissitudo fluxio.
In more naïve, perhaps more classical language, emotion arises, capriciously or volitionally, when we heuristically unmoor our local mythos, when we jump/leap out of our axiomatic culture of local static values.
By caprice we intend: embarrassment, unexpected proto-sensory experiences, immature love, vexation, death, accident, tragic loss, unanticipated infringement, competitive innovation, unprecedented eros, windfall, n¤vel breakthrough, etc. By volition we intend: intentional proto-sensory experiences, mature love, marriage, di-vorce, domicile change, travel, vocational change, learning, diet alteration, etc.
When we buy a car and choose a mate and enjoy a meal, reason often departs in face of passion's intrinsically higher Value. Were we all 'classically reasonable' beings, your reviewer conjectures that Earth's national economic GDPs and their standards of living would be much lower. What savvy marketer ever uses 'reason' to promote a product? What woman or man ever shows their emotion-free 'objective' self to a potential mate? What savvy anthropologist chooses to ignore human emotions when studying informants, their cultures, their k-n¤w-ings?
As Geertz shows, both culture and psychology favor perceived Value above rational reason. Now that is much more real and much more general. Objective 'enlightened' reality, due its self-imposed disjunctions, is much less real and much more specific.
Geertz continues, "These words [Hume's, several paragraphs above], too, define a space, not an entity. They overlap, differ, contrast, hang together only in oblique, family-resemblance terms polythetically, as the phrasing goes; the problem is less to fix their referents (something that is notoriously hard to do where is 'envy'? what 'homesickness'?) than to outline their reach and application." P. 207.
Had John von Neumann studied some anthropology, he might have tumbled, as Geertz just has, to nonlocalability of quantum measurement events! Geertz, intuitively and presciently exposes quantum uncertainty in all real H5Ws. Von Neumann, as far as we know, never did grasp a solution to this quantum measurement 'problem.' Envy has greed and endless other quantum c¤mplements. Viewed commutatively, distributively, factorizably, etc., pairwise, their interrelationships, loci, values, etc. are always quantum uncertain. Von Neumann sought in vain for loci of quantum measurement events. Geertz intuits a quantum real solution to von Neumann's dilemma. To over simplify, we can just say, "A quantum measurement is heterogeneous in interpretations, loci, and temporalities." Anthropological measurements are quantum measurements! (Readers especially interested in a meme of "quantum emotion," should read balance of this chapter.) AL HotMemes
As we sometimes do to him, Geertz sometimes does to his anthropological associates. As we criticize his oft 'apparent objectivity,' he sees it rather abundantly among some of them. "Such [so-called culturalist, or symbolic-action, theorists of passion and sentiment] theorists (and, as they all are, and primarily, field researchers), of whom Michelle Rosaldo, Catherine Lutz, Jean Biggs, Richard Shweder, Robert Levy, and Anna Wierzbicka are, inter alia [among other things] and diversely, representative examples, take an essentially semiotic approach to emotions one which sees them in terms of the signific instruments and constructional practices through which they are given shape, sense, and public currency. Words, images, gestures, body-marks, and terminologies, stories, rites, customs, harangues, melodies, and conversations, are not mere vehicles of feelings lodged elsewhere, so many reflections, symptoms, and transpirations. They are the locus and machinery of the thing itself." P. 208. (Our brackets. Our bold to highlight blatant classical objectivity.)
Our emboldened words: the, locus, signific, instruments, machinery, constructional, and thing are all words of classical radical mechanism. For us, they elicit a big UGH! SOMese's big ughly! We assume Geertz did not choose them lightly.
Geertz quotes and comments on Rosaldo, "'[If] we hope,' Rosaldo writes, with the groping awkwardness this sort of view tends to produce, given the ingrained Cartesianism of our psychological language, 'to learn how songs, or slights, or killings, can stir human hearts we must inform interpretation with a grasp of the relationship between expressive forms and feelings, which themselves are culture-bound and which derive their significance from the place within the life experiences of particular people in particular societies.' However resemblant their general aspect, and however useful it may be to compare them, the mnis-wrath of Achilles and the liget-rage of Rosaldo's Philippine head hunters draw their specific substance, she says, from 'distinctive contexts and distinctive form[s] of life.' They are local 'mode[s] of apprehension mediated by [local] cultural forms and social logics.'" P. 208.
We are unsure whether Rosaldo speaks of "ingrained Cartesianism" of Western cultural "psychological language," or of humans' languages in general. Latter is a huger Chomskyanesque 'fixed rules; free use' meme. Former aligns our perceptions of SOMitic Western cultural languages under a 'fixed rules; defined use' meme. Former is more Wittgensteinian. Latter is more classical and rigid. Philosophers whom we favor find Descartes abominable. We see still, however, Chomsky's 'fixed rules' and their fixed syntaxes, unicontextual monolinear and directional grammars, inanimate alphabet and dictionary, et al., problematic in a general quantum reality. If Rosaldo intuits these problematics then we align favorably. We think not, though, because she speaks of learning as static (e.g., putting snapshots of reality on a know-ledge). She uses "inform" to show us that, and she speaks of "relationship" as stoppable "forms," measurable or assessable "feelings," and culture-bound, having Buridanesque "significance" and zero momentum "place." Her view appears wholly unquantum, wholly Glass Bead Game culturally-relativistic and -cinematographic (side-by side, and frame-by-frame-objective).
Too, we are unsure whether Geertz offers praise or criticism, or both. We think his offerings here are mostly descriptive, leaving assessments to his readers. He tells us that Rosaldo's work exemplifies a class of work which establishes a "general sort of platform [from which] inquiry can move in a number of directions, most of which have been at least tentatively explored." Geertz refers these as "studies," his descriptions of which appear to us classically analytic, systematic, and objective. On pages 209-211, Geertz mentions several researchers who use these (apparently, to us, classical) techniques. Ugh-ly objective and inanimate language abounds here: "cultural constitution of emotion," "particularity," "separate register," "sui generis," "scenes as emotion," "analyst," "orthodox," "conception (i.e., Platonic static-idea formation)," "self-contained," "self-construction," "wrath (and its other language duals)," "world-constructing," "(autism as) failure," "develop," "theory (which we interpret as paradigmatic mind-locking a la Thomas Kuhn's SoSR)," "personal meaning creation (which we interpret here as objective self-construction)," etc. All of this draws any typical SOMite to radically mechanistic conclusions that psycho-culture and emotion may be studied objectively and state-ically, measuring and recording data for subsequent state-ic analysis. Ultimate ugh-ly! Even more so when such classical 'analysis' portends, determines, and predicts.
On page 212, Geertz mentions Richard Shweder, whose CV and own review of Available Light (from AAAS' Science journal) we publish at top of this review. Geertz focuses on Shweder's study of human uses of metaphorical language to express feelings and emotions. "Thus it is that feelings happen: 'between a literal lesion and a literary trope,' as Richard Shweder has remarked, 'there is a lot of room for a broken heart.' But as he also remarks, 'frayed nerves, tired blood, splitting heads, and broken hearts [are] metonymies of suffering; they give expression by means of body-part metaphors to forms of embodied suffering experience through the body parts used to express them [But] splitting heads do not split, broken hearts do not break, tired blood continues to circulate at the same rate, and frayed nerves show no structural pathology.'" We loved this quote until we arrived at that "[But]." English language certainly is objective, certainly static, and suffers countless other problematics, but one of its great strengths is its abundance of qualitative, emotional, affective words. Shweder uses a few of those to demonstrate how our metaphoric uses of them express feelings and emotions, and then turns around and destroys their power by shoving them back in SOM's objective box. Ugh!
In our view, in our expressions of direct emotional experiences with quantum reality, "breaking hearts," "splitting heads," "frayed nerves," et al., capture qualitative quantum essence as well as we can possibly do with an unremediated classical, Cartesian, state-ic, almost wholly objective language. Indeed, we can find more animate real n¤nobjective quantum metaphors (e.g., quantum spinnings, spin doctoring, frequency splitting, broken entanglements, coherence/decoherence, etc.) which 'fit' Shweder's "tropes" and "metonymies." Unfortunately, we sense Shweder's own entrapment in a prison of classical reason. His brilliance, its underlying genius, and his nearly unlimited potential appear blunted and stalled by SOM's middle-excluding scythe digitations. He showed us his brilliance and then blunted it with a "But."
We think Geertz experiences analogous intuitions. He goes on to say, "Faces flush hot and redden or they drain cold and pale, stomachs churn or sink, palms sweat, hands tremble, breath shortens, jaws drop, to say nothing of the complicated swellings and perturbations that eros brings on. Even literal lesions, if they are somebody's lesions, in somebody's brain, coloring somebody's life, and not extra-cultural gods from a cerebral machine, are worth looking at." P. 212.
So far, Geertz says, these lesions have been "more phenomenologically reported [from William James to Oliver Sacks], albeit brilliantly, than somatically unpacked." P. 213.
He tells us this is changing, though, and offers a quick example via, "Antonio Damasio's Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, only one of a number of recent inquiries into what has come to be called 'the embodied brain.' [See Damasio's text.] Damasio reports on [persons'] (a spike through the forehead, an excavated menignioma, a stroke, a leucotomy), and the inferences that can be drawn from their strugglings, their subjectivities, their personalities, and their fates concerning the role of feeling in the construction of of a human experience: 'Feelings let us catch a glimpse of the organism in full biological swing, a reflection of the mechanisms of life itself as they go about their business. Were it not for the possibility of sensing body states there would be no suffering or bliss, no longing or mercy, not tragedy or glory in the human condition.'" P. 213.
Geertz appends, "And no meaning."
Both authors instinctively grasp and intuit a quantum essential that emotion and feeling are essential to life's meaning. Without saying so, both deny a purely classical, objective approach based upon data and unfeeling objective emotionlessness. We say it thus, "In Quantonics Pirsig has taught us that Aristotle, et al., placed classical truth above (quantum) value (emotion, feeling), and that exclusively static hierarchy incorrectly inverts nature's own: Value as above and more highly evolving and animate than static, objective truth." In other words, (quality, Value, goodness,) reality is direct experiencing and Bergsonian thibediring of emotions and feelings, n¤t just unilateral, disjoint observation of material properties and their sampled-latched data metrics.
Geertz quotes Damasio's affirmations, "'Emotions and feelings [are] not intruders in the bastion of reason,' Damasio sums up his studies and his point of view, 'they [are] enmeshed in its networks for worse and for better.' The passions love, pain, and the whole damn thing can wreck our lives. But so, and as completely, can their loss or absence." (Geertz' brackets.) P. 214.
Very quantum quantum, indeed.
Chapter XI - Pages 218-263 - The World in Pieces: Culture and Politics at the End of the Century,
Above all, this is our favorite chapter! Geertz saved "best for last." Quantum Geertz simul-peaks both his perspicuity and perspicacity here. If you need a taste of Geertz' rhetoric in its ultimate shimmer, this chapter is for you it emits both instinctively- and intuitively-cradled intellectual-superluminence orders of magnitude above any ambient, Available Light.
We offer a few key memetics for wrestling and savoring his
"The World in Pieces," in Chapter XI of Clifford Geertz'
Under our Key Quantonic Enabler Memetic Quantum Stage Think-king, we believe we both juxtapose passé and emerge n¤vel ways of thinking latter which Geertz appears to urge for his colleagues in anthropology, sociology, ethnology, et al.
Geertz proposes new ways of thinking and a new attendant politics as an interim palliative for humankind's entry into Millennium III. We agree except we would replace 'new' with 'n¤vel' to elicit memes of quantum emergence over concepts of objective 'reassembly.'
Geertz breaks Chapter XI into several subtopics, three of which he labels: "The World in Pieces," "What Is a Country if It Is Not a Nation?" and "What Is a Culture if It Is not a Consensus?"
First, he tells us that our world is disassembling itself both nationally and culturally, a rapid anticolonialist revolution22. Evidence? We have four times as many countries today (end of Millennium II) as we did 50+ years ago. Larger nations have broken up into several smaller ones and or created/renamed existing ones. Countries' cultures, via their increasing peregrinational and virtually-networked cultural multiversities, find their former, apparently greater, intranational cultural monolithicities attenuating rapidly.
Our capabilities as citizen politicians first, and anthropologists, sociologists, ethnologists, even as psychologists-psychiatrists to objectively superpose culture, cultural boundaries, nation, and national boundaries are declining strategically23. Objectively conceptual nation-and-culture have metamorphosed into quantum islandic national-and-cultural memetic and physial co-compenetrations. Where we formerly had more classically analyzable, objective, singularly and specifically definable, relatively inanimate, localable, isolable, separable, and reducible AKA lisr, bounded nation and culture puzzles, we now have quantumly stochastic, uncertain, barely describable, absolutely animate, commingling, both-while- lisr -and n¤n-lisr quantons(cultures,nations). We advise you reader: reexamine a list of Geertz' own descriptors which we aggregated at top of this review which uncloak deep quantum natures of this recent, rapid, and massive transition to a "World in Pieces."
Geertz opens by saying our post modern world has changed, like this: it is more pluralistic, evolutionary, and its "patterns of relationships" are emerging. (We re-use Geertz' quote below as "patterns of animate interrelationships.")
But these changes, " have not produced a sense of a new world order. They have produced a sense of dispersion, of particularity, of complexity, and of uncenteredness." P. 220.
What are we to do about it? "Some general notions, new or reconditioned, must be constructed if we are to penetrate the dazzle of the new heterogeneity and say something useful about its forms and its future." P. 221. (Our bold.)
Quantum Geertz just jumped back into a cozy and safe classical box of 'rationality.' His use of 'new' is classical: i.e., the rearrangement of existing inanimate heterogeneous classical objects 'forms' a 'new' inanimate classical pattern n¤ possibility of any n¤vel emergence in that. His use of 'constructed' is again classically objective, eliciting visions of bricks and mortar, nails and boards construction of the 'new' buildings. Of course those objective and analytic buildings manufacture 'forms,' again classically non-emergent non-n¤vel concepts/notions. His use of 'future' is classical too: singular, unitemporal, analytic, cause-effect inductive, suppositional, etc. These classical exuviae are what our anticolonial revolution is all about: ridding ourselves of CTMs. We cann¤t return to them. Our old CTM 'skins' n¤ longer 'fit!' We must move into n¤vel perspectives of how Earth and its spawn can live and emerse better lives together. Such perspectives are n¤nclassical, indeed they are quantum for now.
"The most prominent of these proposals, or anyway, the most celebrated, is, in at least one meaning of that manufactured and protean term, 'postmodernism.' In this view, the search for comprehensive patterns must simply be abandoned as a relic of the antiquated quest for the eternal, the real, the essential, and the absolute. There are, so it is said, no master narratives, about 'identity,' about 'tradition,' about 'culture,' or about anything else. There are just events, persons, and passing formulas, and those inconsonant. We must content ourselves with diverging tales in irreconcilable idioms, and not attempt to enfold them into synoptic visions. Such visions (this vision has it) are not to be had." P. 222.
Geertz disagrees with this 'vision,' but for different reasons than your reviewer. He calls this, "neurasthenical skepticism." He implies that analysis of opposition of unities (cultures/nations) is no longer a valid analytical technique, indeed it is passé. "The dissolution of settled groupings and familiar divisions has made analysis of culture a far more awkward enterprise than it was when we knew, or rather thought we that we knew [i.e., we thought we were classically certain, and since Heisenberg have found that not only is our microscopic realm uncertain, so too is our macroscopic realm uncertain], what went with what and what did not." P. 223.
This is very interesting. Geertz can see pluralistic cultural relativism's (i.e., post modernism's) own objectivism, but he apparently didn't see it as so problematic in CR's predecessor: monolithic objectivism or SOM. And this segues nicely into our own disagreement with page 222's quote above. Whether viewed as singular or plural, reality is n¤n-objective. Animate, both-while- singular -and plural quantum reality is quantonic:
Both-while- nations are in cultures -and cultures
are in nations,
-and people -and spawn of all quantonic "patterns of animate interrelationships" are in nations -and cultures,
-and nations -and cultures of all quantonic "patterns of animate interrelationships" are in people -and spawn.
N¤ classical 'visions' and n¤ postmodern culturally relativistic 'visions' are adequate for dealing with quantum reality's own emergent manifestations of cultures and nations and their spinning, animate, emerscenturing, always changing, changing all interrelationships! Classicism and postmodernism are both passé!
Next, Geertz' quantum apparition reappears, "What we need are ways of thinking that are responsive to particularities, to individualities, oddities, discontinuities, contrasts, and singularities, responsive to what Charles Taylor has called 'deep diversity,' a plurality of ways of belonging and being, and that yet can draw from them from it a sense of connectedness, a connectedness that is neither comprehensive nor uniform, primal nor changeless, but nonetheless real." P. 224. And this calls for our oft used quote of David Bohm:
|"We are led, instead, to a new point of view, based on [an] idea that  quanta connecting object and environment constitute irreducible links that belong, at all times, as much to one part as to [an] other."|
See Chapter 8, Sec. 24, Quantum Theory,
by David Bohm, Dover, 1979
(originally published by Prentice Hall, 1951).
(Our brackets to remove thelogos.)
Our Geertz quote above, as mirrored by a Bohmian analogue, is about as quantum a description of reality as one can expect to achieve, using classically objective language, while describing an anthropological domain. Wearing our QTM hats, it includes: quanta, particle-wave both-while-andedness, compenetrating islandicity, uncertainty/indefiniteness, one-many both-while-andedness, coobsfective interrelationships, etc. May we recommend to students of anthropology, if you are really interested in a long view of anthropology, that you carefully read, re-read and absorb Elaine Pagels' The Gnostic Gospels. Why? Some Essene Gnostics were [~40 b.c.e and prior] actually using n¤vel thinking which Geertz begs, and their n¤vel thoughts were close kin of Bohm's above! If you have little spare time as most of us, at least read her Introduction to TGG. Doug - 17Sep2006.
Of course, with exception of language specifics, we agree with Geertz' quantum provocations and needs assessments. We must learn to think and act quantumly if we are to understand, act, and live, both-while- coherent with -and autonomous from, our increasingly many emerging, quantum real environs.
Given all of this so far he asks two, but for their classically bivalent objectivity, superbly prescient questions: "What is a country if it is not a nation?" and "What is a culture if it is not a consensus?" P. 224.
Won't you, reader, agree that his uses of 'not' are classical
negations? Too, what do you think about his implied (via
classical negation) Aristotelian excluded-middle ORs:
Further, what do you think about his implied classical identities:
Let's apply our Pirsigean MoQesque mu/quantonic questioning
techniques to Geertz' two necessarily reformulated (as classical,
logically dichotomous) questions:
First let's anticipate Geertz' (apparently classical) answers:
Next let's just enunciate our own (more quantum-both-while-and)
Now, reader, consider how, quantumly, a country/nation is itself while/simultaneously it is its complementary quantum and qualitative negation. A country/nation is much more Gestalt than it is classically, ideally objective. Country/nation (intentional use of singular) has cultural, both figures and grounds (note importance of plurality here; this is what Geertz calls variously "disassembly," "decomposition," and "dispersion;" now imagine those plural, national, cultural figures/grounds as quantum-entangled ; is "disassembly" a proper term when we observe nation/culture quantumly?). Quantumly, countries/nations are quantons. Their constituent/informants are animate, mobile quantons. Countries/nations are figure islands floating in atmosphere/ocean/Earth ground complements. Too, their constituent/informants. And constituent/informants entangle many cultures. Too, anthropologists! And quantumly, cultures/consensuses may be described analogously. Cultures are both quantons(consensus,discord), and many other complementary interrelationships.
Geertz pursues this question with a vengeance, " how is it, in so multifold a world, that political, social, or cultural selfhood comes to be? If identity without unison is in fact the rule on what does it rest?" Quantum Geertz' apparition arrives at a brilliant quantum concluding question.
"Here, too, however, the question is mal posée if it is interpreted as a general one looking for an invariant answer [for] answers simply do not form an orderly [classically, independent-component-objective] structure Nor a stable one." P. 225. (Our bracketed comments.) Please recall Bergson's criticisms of two classical foundational assumptions (i.e., 1. reality is stable, and 2. real objects are independent). Quantum Geertz' own 'Nor' here appears to us as intuitively, almost instinctively, subjective negation. He implies 'n¤r' doesn't he? Reader, what do you think?
Backing up a tad, we must comment that "identity without unison" is impossible in quantum reality. Recall Mae-wan Ho's " individual autonomy with quantum cohesion." Again, it is quite easy, using QTMs, to just say that identity both is identity and is n¤t identity (i.e., identity's quantum c¤mplement is its Bergsonian subjective negation), and unison is both unison and n¤t unison, thus identity is (included-middle-complementary-compenetrating) in unison and unison is in (ditto) identity. We have, instead of classical dichon(unison, identity), rather, quanton(unison,identity), quanton(cohesion,autonomy).
AL HotMeme: Now, full stride, Geertz flaunts more quantumesque enthusiasm, "It would seem, in short, that a number of serious adjustments in thought must occur if we, philosophers, anthropologists, historians, or whoever, are going to have something useful to say about the disassembled, or anyway disassembling, world of restless identities and uncertain connections. First, difference[s] must be recognized, explicitly and candidly, not obscured with offhand talk about the Confucian Ethic or Western Tradition, the Latin Sensibility of the Muslim Mind Set, nor with wispy moralizings about universal values or dim banalities about underlying oneness: Rosie O'Grady and the Colonel's Lady. Second, and more important, difference[s] must be seen not as the [classical] negation of similarity, its opposite, its contrary, and its contradiction. It must be seen as comprising it " p. 226. (Our brackets, and bold.) If we substitute 'interrelationships' for Geertz' 'difference[s]' we have a clear prescription for percept quanton! We are amazed at Geertz' quantum intuitions and instincts! He tells/shows us how passé, contrived, conventional, sillygistic, and schismatic all those classical head-banging negatives and versuses are. Bravo Geertz! AL HotMemes
Geertz goes on to agree with us that our current language is inappropriate, and we need remediation of it if we are to commence those new ways of thinking which he propounds. As a regular visitor here in Quantonics, you know that we have been on that track since we first read Niels Bohr's early 20th century words (paraphrased) that, "We are immersed in language, and that is our problem in communicating our ways of thinking among others." Objective linguistics disable quantum descriptions! They prevent us from describing reality! Why? Quantum reality is not classically objective. But English language sure as hell is!
Geertz spends several pages describing a 50+ year revolution which proffered as its produce national and cultural disassembly Geertz has been discussing thus far in Chapter XI. On page 231 he culminates in a paragraph where he topic-summarizes a classical trap ensconcing most of us, and proposes to illuminate many issues of a "world in pieces."
Geertz talks about how so many of our dictionary definitions of words we use to discuss these issues are derivatives of ancient languages (he mentions Latin, but neglects Greek). Of course today, we know that Latin is a classical, functionally-cohesive language. It is predominately an action, verbesque language. By comparison, Greek is a classical, objectively-cohesive language. It is predominately a state-ic, nounesque language. Latin's motion/action influences keep us trapped in functionally independent closed and vicious loops of reusable verbs, while Greek's state-ic sway detends us in an objectively independent and closed box of reusable nouns. In our opinion, closest proximity, of both mixed together, to quantum emergence is fecundity: fec (Greek - to make) and und (Latin - waves). And Western culture yet lives with this arrogant and dogmatic, parochial legacy even after more than two millennia.
Geertz summarizes, "I bring all this up, not because I think words in themselves make the world go round (though, in fact, they have a lot to do with its works and workings), or because I think you can read political history off from the definitions in dictionaries (though, in fact, they are among the more sensitive, and underused, detectors we have for registering its subsurface tremors). I bring all this up because I think the tension between a convergent and a dispersive concept of collective agency, between the attempt to make the terms for such agency identic and interchangeable and the attempt to maintain the differences and separations, reflects, and indeed drives, a good deal of what is going on in the world these days as well as what philosophers, anthropologists, journalists, and ideologues have to say about what is going on." P. 234. We agree, and assert our opinion emphatically that until we remedy this Latino-Greco linguistic-communication state of affairs, we shall remain in classicism's fundamental intellectual detention center, Pirsig's much denigrated "church of reason."
Geertz probes two other very important issues which we want to just highlight here. First, what happens if disassembly proceeds unimpeded? Second, what happens when a real quanton's complement is classically excised as subjective? (See pages 235-237.)
Let's provide some answers first, and then uncloak an obvious English language problematic in those two interrogatives.
Please read his Available Light to see Geertz' extensive answers.
Our answers are, that if we view question one classically, it is naught more than J. C. Maxwell's second law of thermodynamics. That classical law is explicitly n¤n-general in quantum reality. It denies directly observable entropy production in all 'forms' of quantum reality: super novae, emergence of life, n¤velty, haploidal conception, cellular apoptosis, hermaphroditic parthenogenesis, waxing and waning of social organization, et al. Simply, quantum reality n¤n-conservatively both-while- disassembles -and assembles. That is what Geertz, as an anthropologist/ethnologist/philosopher observes, and like us, has so much difficulty (mostly due linguistic considerations) describing in spite of his "sparkling rhetoric."
For question two, Geertz' answer and ours are analogous. We simplify its answer thus: "You get classical extremism!" If one (EOOO) excises nation-state's state c¤mplement (see our two kinds of complements), one achieves extreme nationalism. If one excises nation-state's nation c¤mplement, one achieves extreme statism. Thus, and we should now be able to see quite clearly, quantum reality tells and shows us that we cann¤t objectively tear its quantons asunder. Classicism's schismatic, objective knife cuts have been tearing Earth's quantons asunder for over two millennia. Happily, Millennium III writes a period at classicism's sentential end. However, and with fair warning, ramifications are simply enormous, almost fathomless due their scope and depth. By comparison, "disassembly" is narrow and shallow.
What about that English language problematic? Consider a fragment: "what happens." Note singular 'what.' Note plural 'happens.' Note an ex cathedra (classically 'scientific') edict that only one 'what' happens. This we call, "Classical single event determinism." Quantum reality offers n¤ single event determinism, in general. Remediation? Try fragment: "whats happen." First your word processor's spell checker will go ape since plural of 'what' is n¤n-grammatical (See legacy indoctrinated dogma?). But something else happens which (we think) is good for y-our quantum think-king. You see that every act has almost innumerable and n¤n-predictable, some even imperceptible, some n¤nlocal affects. N¤t effect, rather, affects! Quantum reality is an affective reality, n¤t a classical cause-effect reality!
The anthropological and philosophical consequences of first grasping then applying what Geertz is showing us are marvelous. We enter a whole n¤vel realm. Brand spanking n¤vel.
Geertz spends his next ten pages showing us how inept classical politics are. He is n¤t saying politics is 'bad' or that politics itself is inept, rather classical politics is necessarily inept due its classicalness. We agree. Same applies to any other discipline. Classical ideas and concepts impose ineptness on their practitioners!
"We seem to be in need of a new variety of politics, a politics which does not regard ethnic, religious, racial, linguistic, or regional assertiveness as so much irrationality, archaic and ingenerate, to be suppressed or transcended, a madness decried or a darkness ignored, but, like any other social problem inequality say, or the abuse of power sees it as a reality to be faced, somehow dealt with, modulated, brought to terms." P. 245. Yes! Our sidebar comment on this page says, "We need a n¤vel quantum politics! Doug - 16Oct2001."
Page 246 of AL discloses essence of Geertz' approach toward a more quantumesque politics. This page, to us, is a very significant one and we wish we could quote it in its entirety. Rather than quoting it totally, we choose to paraphrase its most important percepts and quote minimally Geertz' most evocative phrases.
Geertz offers us five political change "dependencies:"
If you and he will permit us to efface any lingering Geertzian classicism in his five "dependencies," we pretty much agree. And of vast importance, Geertz qualifies, "And this, once more, means a critique of conceptions which reduce matters to uniformity, to homogeneity, to like-mindedness to consensus." P. 246. (Our bold.) Geertz tells us he wants to "critique" any lingering classicisms. We said "efface" because we want to wholly exit SOM's box make it just one tiny, insignificant complement in reality and enter a n¤vel, encompassing and emerging quantum realm. To put this in full Kuhnian semantics, if all Geertz is asking for is a "paradigm shift" of cultural anthropology, then do n¤t waste our time. We are n¤t interested in moving to a "new" box, we want to leave 'the' box entirely. Most political ISMs are boxes. If Geertz offers just another axiom set for just another political box, then we have made n¤ progress, only asking for a political "paradigm shift." Is he?
Our impetus for effacing classicism and adopting quantum realism is that it seems our only means of leaping from SOM's box. We believe that leaving SOM's box is better. N¤t final, but emergent better! We see quantum reality's impetus as analogous: unending, emergent betterness.
"Anthropology's awkwardness in dealing with all this, with the cultural organization of the modern world that ought, by rights, to be its proper subject, is in great part the result of the difficulties it has experienced, over the course of its vagrant and inward history, in discovering for itself how best to think about culture in the first place. In the nineteenth century and well into this one [20th], culture was, before all else, taken to be a universal property of human social life, the techniques, customs, traditions, and technologies religion and kinship, fire and language that set it off from animal existence. Its opponent term was nature, and if it was to be divided into sorts and kinds, it was in terms of the distance one or another piece of it, monotheism or individualism, monogamy or the protection of private property, had, supposedly, moved away from nature, its progress toward the light." P. 248.
Too classical science and its modern-postmodern legacies have nature as their opponent today. They call nature's extra-paradigmatic anomalies, "wrong."
We want to end our review here by just saying, "If nature is our scientific or anthropological 'opponent,' we are doomed to failure."
Thanks for reading.
Doug - 28Oct2001.