This notebook is intended to be a selection of various notes I have made over the years – say the last 10 years, in five reporters notebooks, and in my brown loose-leaf notebook.
IMPORTANT NOTES FROM A NOTE BOOK BY DAD (1980’s)
The idea for a book called ‘Target Grey’, or ‘The Gutter and The Stars’, or ‘Other Works’.
My idea of how society is constructed :
Target Grey refers to that small number of people lying between – ‘Reactors’ and ‘Explorers’.
Vis add: ‘The Kingdom or the Darkness’ Monod. See, ‘The Primitive Mind’.
“Civilization, we may say, has advanced only at the cost of a struggle between science and superstition, working on the intelligence of the participants, a struggle of whose progress the legal status of torture and the social status of astrology: might serve as indicators.
Advanced societies, therefore, are so stratified as to keep the primitive mind in a subordinate position. In this way, individual responsibility and the rules of evidence, allow with fluctuating success, the development of law and the organisation of knowledge, and all that follows from these practices”. ‘The Little Universe of Man’ Professor C.D.Darlington.
1) ‘Target Grey’ is a fair ‘target’. They require a lead into knowledge
2) Those ‘Explorers’ and above target grey, do not need a lead into knowledge.
3) Those below (‘Target Grey’) will not wish to know or care what you are writing about anyway! They require no lead and do not want knowledge!
4) I know from experience – in Education – that those in the ‘Grey’ area are frustrated, secret explorers.
1) “Wondered and wondered, as so often, what I was supposed to be doing; what it is all about; why? Remorse over so much time lost in foolishness or nothingness, and so on. The mind goes over these old paths again, and again.” Malcombe Muggeridge aged 54 and from his Diaries.
2) “To live in peace and prosperity, people only need to exercise reason and self-restraint, both as individuals and as members of organisations. But history shows how hard they find it; to do this”. Michael Balfour, historian. Sunday Times 1981.
3) “The navigator is sceptical of all information and makes a rule, to check all information from another source; adheres to what works, but eager critical acceptance and interest in new ideas – no neo-phobia.”
4) “When we want to ask the deepest questions we must first separate and then unite.” C D Darlington, ‘The Little Universe of Man’.
5) All attitudes arise in one (or more) of the following ways.
1) In the child-rearing experiences of the first five or six years of life, from a parent-child relationship.
2) From unique and isolated, or similar experiences repeated throughout life.
“The true believer is absolutely impervious to the most objective exposure of a fake medium or faith healer, in whom he or she has originally placed confidence. The will to believe is more potent than any mere experience, and emotion is stronger than reason in the vast majority of people.”
Some Religions, Fascism, Communism, – all the same levels. Dr J.A.C.Brown ‘Techniques of Persuasion from Proper Gander to Brainwashing’. p57.
6) Rationalization = in which we pretend to ourselves that whatever is, is best, that things might be worse or give foolish reasons for what has been done on impulse. P69
7) Unacceptable information is either – distorted to make it fit the existing structure of the mind and current trends or is totally ignored by the mechanism described by psychologists as ‘denial’. p79.
8) The most difficult thing in the world is to change minds in directions, which conflict with the attitudes deeply embedded in the ‘Nuclear Self’. (the ‘Citadel of Self’ where culture, religions, emotions, attitude, exist)
10) It was not so much the absence of priesthood, as the existence of scientific schools that saved Greece from a religion of the Oriental type. B.Russell p43. ‘History of Western Philosophy’. Also the difference between civilized man and a savage. P35.
11) Democritus. 460-370 BC.
a) Atoms move and hit each other and sometimes combine.
b) Every world has a beginning and an end and may be destroyed by collision with other worlds.
c) Life developed out of the primaeval slime.
12) ‘This war was wholly a gain for the churches everywhere, opposed as long as they could practically every innovation that made for the increase of happiness or knowledge; here on earth’.
13) Cosmology, by Charon p 51.
‘Between 2nd and 9th centuries AD, the general view was that there was little point in observing the phenomena of nature since the essential truths were to be found in the sacred books concerning God, and the destiny of man.’
14) ‘The psychological preparation for the ‘Other-Worldliness of Christianity’, began in the Hellenistic period and is connected with the eclipse of the city-state.’ Bertrand Russell.
15) ‘To the end, Rome was culturally parasitic on Greece.
The Romans invented no art forms, constructed no original system of philosophy and made no scientific discoveries. They made new roads, systematic legal codes, and efficient armies; for the rest, they looked to Greece.’ Bertrand Russell.
16) In The Middle Ages.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the Mohammedans were more civilised and more humane than the Christians.
17) GREEK RELIGION (M.I.FINLAY.)
There was no mother church, no national priesthood, no central authority or ritual, let alone doctrine…Nor does the complexity stop there. Religion was the business of the state or the community, but the latter never held a monopoly. The state, whatever its form, could not so control the gods that it could prevent them from communicating directly with the individual; rather than through channels. The persistent anthropomorphism of the Greek religion, with its stress on this world rather than an afterlife, few studied the myths. However, the rest performed the rites and that was sufficient.
The emptiness of religion (and the corresponding absence of an institutionalised church) gave philosophical speculation unusual freedom of manoeuvre – positively:- because there was a vacuum to be filled. Negatively:- because neither mans souls nor their earthly caretakers were felt to be threatened by ideas, no matter how outrageous.
Thus, Socrates believed, that man’s soul is the seat of his rational faculty, the essential factor which distinguishes man from the beasts. But, the soul also contains an irrational element and the great problem for man is to become truly human, that is, to allow the rational element to control the other.
Not later, than 385 BC Plato founded his school in Athens, ‘The Academy’, others followed and the city rapidly became the main Greek centre for philosophy. Men came from all over to teach and study their, in later times. Romans as well as Greeks. The Academy was absolved in AD 529 when the Christian Emperor Justinian shut down all pagan institutions of learning.
18) Acquire knowledge gradually – not in a rush when old.
19) As far as I can remember. ‘The Encyclopaedia of Astronomy and Space’ edition Ian Ridpeth, 1976 MacMillan: gives the ancient methods of calculating the distances of the moon, sun and stars.
20) Most men are like ‘cheerful ostriches’.
21) ‘The Encyclopaedia of Living Faiths’ edited by R.C.Zachnov. Open University Set Book. 3rd Edition 1977.
22) Prescott estimates that the number of young men, virgins, and children, sacrificed annually throughout the Aztec Empire was between twenty and fifty thousand (av = 35,000) Aztec Empire 1325-1519.
Say 200 years @ 35,000 per annum = 7 million!
23) Morally, it makes no difference whether a human being is killed in war or condemned to starve to death, because of the indifference of others. Brandt Report.
24) ‘The total lack of proportion in the whole exercise gives it a weird atmosphere of unreality, as though one had strayed into a science fiction narrative and landed on a planet, in which, only fear and greed were institutionalised at a global level; a planet inhabited and ruled by anthropoids with only fossilized and vestigial intelligence and a hideous preoccupation with death.’ ‘The Home of Man’, Barbara Ward.
22) ‘We are only alive when we are aware, when we are interacting with the universe at the highest emotional or intellectual level. Scientists and artists do this.’ Arthur Clarke. ‘The View From Serendip’.p184.
23) ‘Even to discover the extent of one’s ignorance is no mean feat’.
24) In the Irish potato famine 1848, about 1 million died.
25) World War 1
Battle Deaths = 8,020,780
Civilian Deaths = 6,642,633
Total Killed = 14,663,413
Cost 282 billion dollars
World War 11
Battle Deaths = 15,000,000
Civilian Deaths = 30,000,000
Total Killed = 45,000,000
Cost 1,600 billion dollars Encyclopedia Britannica
26) ‘Frightening movement to East European idea-with the party controlling the Cabinet’. Shirley Williams MP.
27) ‘Submission to the authority of a father-substitute, unqualified identification with a social group; uncritical acceptance of its belief-systems’. Arthur Koestler ‘Jannus’.
28) ‘But is there anything that must be true of all life, wherever it is found and whatever the basis of its chemistry? Obviously, I do not know, but, if I had to bet. I would put my money on one fundamental principle.
This is the law that all life evolves by the differential survival, of replicating entities’. Richard Dawkins. ‘The Selfish Gene’.
29) ‘Greek religion lacked dogma and systematic theology, its rituals may have been emotionally stimulating, but, its explanations were always the unsatisfying ones of myth.’ The emptiness of religion and the corresponding absence of an institutionalised church…
‘Knowledge was good, wisdom the highest good, but, its aim was to know, not to do:- to understand nature in a contemplative way, rather than to conquer or change nature, to improve efficiency or to improve production.’ M.I.Finlay.
30) ‘Aristotle-died, and followed by 2,000 of stagnation’. Russell.
32) Eratosthenes, estimated the earth’s diameter at 7,850 miles, which is only about 50 miles short of the truth.
Ptolemy, circa 90-168 AD, estimated the distance to the moon at 29 and one-half times the earth’s diameter; the correct figure is about 30.2.
33) The Hominids are a family containing Man and his close relatives, distinct from the family of apes, the Pongids.
34) The Four Ages of Man.
3) Indifference — Are we about here?
35) The purpose of Government today, is to prevent power falling into the hands of the ignorant and irresponsible. Democracies can be corrupted in two ways: by what Montesquieu calls “the spirit of inequality” and “the spirit of extreme equality” (SL 8.2). The spirit of inequality arises when citizens no longer identify their interests with the interests of their country and therefore seek both to advance their own private interests at the expense of their fellow citizens, and to acquire political power over them. The spirit of extreme equality arises when the people are no longer content to be equal as citizens but want to be equal in every respect. In a functioning democracy, the people choose magistrates to exercise executive power, and they respect and obey the magistrates they have chosen. If those magistrates forfeit their respect, they replace them. When the spirit of extreme equality takes root, however, the citizens neither respect nor obey any magistrate. They “want to manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for the magistrate, and to decide for the judges” (SL 8.2). Eventually, the government will cease to function, the last remnants of virtue will disappear, and democracy will be replaced by despotism.
36) “You dwell in the accident of your character forever”. John Ashery.
37) Only 5% of mammals are monogamous. Birds are monogamous because both sexes can contribute to feeding, hatching.
Monogamy occurs when it is essential for females to have aid in the rearing. Humans are predisposed to polygamy but often constrained by circumstances to monogamy. i.e. economic circumstances.
38) “Why is thought, being a secretion in the brain, more wonderful than gravity and the property of matter? It is our arrogance…our admiration of ourselves.”
Charles Darwin (1809-1882)
39) “One of the most important defining characters of man is that he is involved in the cultural transmission of information, that is to say, that he can pass on things from generation to generation, not only through the DNA in his chromosomes; but, also by symbolic communication.” NB. Memes, Richard Dawkins and others -Richard Brodie. Microsoft Word.
40) They seek in peace the joys, their generation missed in war. CND.
41) Until man consciously, regards himself as one species, strife and war will continue.
42) A cleric living and working among miners, and who has worked at the coalface, stated on the BBC World Service in an interview on the 26th of January 1984. “That the group solidarity was their ethic. They had little regard for the concept of individuality. That was why anyone who offended against the group solidarity was outlawed and despised and could legitimately be ill-treated”.
The most interesting part of Fraser’s experiences concerns the almost unbridgeable gap between his background and education, and that of the miners. He came to admire the quick fluent banter, but was often frustrated, that the miner’s conversation was observational, rather than analytical. (So many conversations are, with sometimes great annoyance and shallowness. Day to day trivia.) Sunday Times 1985. Article regarding Kit Frazer’s book, ‘Toff Down The Pitt’.
43) Anomy or Anomic – for a definition see p85 Life Chances by R.Dahrendorf.
Now my brown loose leaf notebook.
1) Achilles Heels – Belief, Devotion, Group.
Every evil in the world can be traced to these three. Reason for this is five or twenty-five million years of group thinking, and tribal loyalty.
2) The Penalties of Ignorance and the Advantage of Knowledge.
Perhaps the only way attract attention is to: H.E.C. (History Evolution Cosmology). Explore – very interesting.
3) One proof, of the madness of humankind, is no common language taught.
4) Only the very few can divorce themselves, from everyday cares and concerns. (thinking of the next thing – Russell)
So as to contemplate the meaning of things and seek an objective answer to living. The majority retreat into cults, religions (overt and secret). See The Primitive Brain by Wells and Darlington etc.
5) The extraordinary case of handing out:
‘Nature Of Universe’ notes, at my Navigation Classes and getting no reaction or questions!
Curiosity completely extinguished – but by what?
6) The need to belong to a group is as the German philosopher of history Herder was the first to point out, is for most people a need almost as basic as food. JG Herder ‘The Unfinished History Of The World’ p 703)
7) The thought patterns of the young – and perhaps not so young – are positively medieval – they have not kept pace in any sense, with the advances in science and philosophy, which they secretly despise because they are too lazy to try and understand – thought and study is required. The comfort of Anomie.
8) On average, only those who are mobile, avoid predators and pass on knowledge of the real world, will survive catastrophe – a matter of luck, plus judgement plus flexible brains.
9) Copy out the marvellous passage from Hens Teeth and Horses Toes. About mass extinctions.
10) UK defence expenditure 1985-6 £18,000 million UK adult pop = 27 million = £667 per adult.
11) How can a system based on a rapacious greed and ever-increasing rape of the earths resources, or a system based on the subjugation and degradation of the individual, possibly succeed or continue, without running into disaster.
12) Shadow matter is very different from anti-matter. Superstring theory unifies the four forces of nature.
13) Immaturity of youth, see Farb p30-31.
Today’s high school and college students are sexually and socially mature, while technologically still juveniles. Denied the economic and social benefits to which maturity entitles them, simply because they have not yet acquired all of the technologies skills needed in the modern world, young people may become restless and antisocial in their behaviour. (menstruation females 1900-14. 14-15 years – now 12.6 years. An evolutionary trend?
Generally no knowledge of HEC. Too, busy learning a single trade or profession in order to succeed in a ruthless rat race which mostly rewards specialists.
14) Revulsion against violence, although admirable, is mostly phoney and based on fear, and possible interruption of hedonist lifestyle. Spanish Minister, on his way back from a cockfight.
Amusement of masses has always been cockfighting, bear baiting, and pulling the heads off geese. Arthur Bryants – History of England.
15) So brainwashed in youth that the appalling seems normal. Vis cutting wages. W Taylor, giving up of my pipe. Lucky to have a job attitude.
16) Advice to young.
Do not engage in any causes or political movements. Timescale is too short. Just learn, teach, and explore, and add a little knowledge to the world – remain free, in every sense, and mobile.
17) Respect for authority is always wrong and violence is sometimes right. Karl Popper.
18) It will require a supreme and concerted effort of the best scientific brains, to pull man out of his mess and to diagnose, and to recognise his complaint.
19) Have memes replaced genes – the process of evolution continues. e.g. Darlington the ‘psychosocial fallacy’.
20) Becoming Human is a process which still continues. Always bear in mind the short time scale of civilization.
21) The dream worlds of Capitalism and Socialism – see – Koestler’s essay – as outdated as the Wars of The Roses.
22) It is science and philosophy which rule the world, and it has always been so, but there is a long time lag. Construct a chart showing this.
23) Conditions for the survival of the human race.
1) Nature is objective – not projective.
2) Man is part of nature and a single ‘superspecies’ (freak of the universe).
3) History is a race between education and catastrophe.
4) Only use of the best scientific brains, can succeed in making world of humans work.
24) We have the facts of human behaviour in our history books. All we require is a best-able theory, to explain those facts.
25) What is the psychological reason for most men’s indifference to nature (H.E.C.) whereas, physics and biology are difficult – sociology and government should be easily agreed functions and not worth much serious attention, like drains or water services.
26) Morris, Koestler and all thinkers agree on ‘group think theory’ and ‘devotion theory’.
27) People like killing one another – it’s fun. Spectator 12 Oct 85 ref riots.
28) “High technology has made the world a global village. This village will only prosper if people realize that fact and grow from it”. Sir Peter Parker, New Scientist Magazine.
29) Democracy = the role of the ignorant masses. Whole mental attitude, is geared to supplying them with their trivial wants, satisfying their desires and disconnect urges.
30) Like an animal, it cannot think about itself.
31) Parents duty to know HEC (Mammals instinctively know this and teach). Without HEC, we are prisoners of the times and at the mercy of every crackpot idea and political nonsense. No solid base and therefore no freedom. But, ‘duty’ a dirty word today.
32) Freedom must be taught because conformism, not freedom is natural. Most education is directed to producing conditioned and behaving animals. Forster page 123 look up.
33) Do we all live mentally, in different worlds? Cats, Dogs, Women, Masses, Scientists, Philosophers etc.
34) Freedom, Knowledge, and Purpose.
The purpose is looking – purpose is to explore universe, nature and acquire knowledge.
Richard Brodie the designer of Microsoft Word follows this line closely in his book Virus Of The Mind.
35) The Central Problem of Science is why so little science, is directed at solving the problem of. Man’s destructiveness.
36) Richard Leaky on Bipedalism 1985 BBC. We don’t know, why when or where. Before 4 million years and after 10 million.
37) Two theories of human destructiveness. 1, Group, Devotion, Belief. 2, Agriculture, Cities, Property.
38) Is it the case that those primates, including humans, that acquire the best knowledge of their environment are, in the long run, the survivors. What does history tell us?
39) 50,000 years to invent the steam engine. Horror – Horror
40) It is almost today that we have lost the power of critical thought. We are governed by the things we have made. The media for example.
41) “For how can we be indifferent to the great questions of genealogy? Where did we come from and what does it all mean”. Book by SJ Gould.
But, in fact, most people are – for an explanation see Fromm.
42) Iranian Government Minister refused to attend a banquet given by a Prime Minister because women guests were invited and wine was to be served.
43) “Lord Weidenfield last week gave a dinner party for Anatoly Scharansky, the Soviet dissident. The meal was served on plates and eaten with cutlery that had never been in contact with non – kosher food. Even the Israeli wine had been similarly supervised, the grapes picked by hands guaranteed not to of held ham sandwiches”. Sunday Telegraph 1986.
44) Of proof of modern middle-eastern madness was required – of course, it is not – the above two incidents indicate their diseased minds, all too clearly. Would be funny; if it was not tragic.
“There isn’t anything so grotesque or so incredible that the average human being can’t believe it”. Mark Twain.
45) The great thing about knowledge and beauty is that they are immortal, whereas business and politics are mortal and futile constructs, soon swept away by events into the dustbin of history. Some ancient thinker, realizing this, went so far as to say that only those who preferred immortal fame were really human and the rest lived and died like animals, content with whatever pleasures life had to offer.
46) Over 30 million people attended bullfights in Spain in 1985. BBC World Service.
47) On 29th Dec 1985 BBC World Service report that thousands of telephone calls were received in the U.S.A. complaining of the extensive TV coverage of the explosion of the Space Shuttle (killing seven people) because this coverage interrupted their viewing of their favourite soap opera. Similarly, I remember, at the time of the dramatic siege of the Iranian Embassy in London, many telephoned the BBC complaining that this coverage was interrupting their viewing of a snooker match.
48) The poorest man in his cottage may bid defiance to all of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storms may enter – but the King of England cannot enter, all his forces dare not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement. March Folly by B.Tuchman.
49) Don’t hope to convert your peers; the next generation will believe you. Anonymous Sage.
‘The Origin’ by Irvin Stone. Charles Lyell’s advice to Darwin
50) 1986 10 million killed in conventional wars since the end of World War 2. Daily Express.
51) Iran Iraq War 200,000 deaths so far 21/12/84 BBC World Service.
52) “Europe in her insanity has started something unbelievable. At such times one realizes to what a sad species of animal one belongs. I quietly pursue my peaceful studies and contemplations and feel only pity and disgust”. Part of Einstein’s letter (c.1914) to a friend, see Einstein by Jeremy Bernstein p, 116.
53) Personality: modern divisions: Extrovert, Introvert, Neurotic, Stable.
“A self-degrading worship of the primitive, the uncouth, the humourless: the cult of the lowest common denominator”. “Patron saint of self-indulgence”. New Humanist 1986 Useful phrases.
54) Greed is catching. Own experience.
55) Primitive Man. Why so many years, (40,000) to invent and understand when the brain has been exactly the same for 40,000 years. See Cosmos see Darwin.
56) “Natural selection could only have endowed savage man with a brain a few degrees superior to an ape, whereas he actually possesses one very little inferior to that of a philosopher”. Alfred Wallace, see Ascent of Man.
57) The Only Good. Learning, teaching, discovering, creating beauty.
58) The Young (and most others) have no ethics.
59) “Communism is at the end of all roads in the world. We shall bury you”. Khrushchev. see Darwinian Evolution by Anthony Flew.
60) See latest common ancestor of apes and humans. Book, ‘Not In Our Genes’.
61) John Gribben’s, acknowledgement, in ‘Geneses’ says, so many important psychological things.
“The most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible”. Albert Einstein.