John Quincy Adams on Efficiency vs. Effectiveness, the Proper Aim of Ambition, and His Daily Routine

John Quincy Adams. Portrait by John Singleton Copley, 1796.

“The spark from Heaven is given to few — It is not to be obtained by intreaty or by toil.”

“Those who work much do not work hard,” Henry David Thoreau observed in his prescient meditation on the myth of productivity and the measure of meaningful labor a century before the dawn of the cult of workaholism, which continues to bedevil us with ever-accelerating virulence to this day.

A generation earlier, John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767–February 23, 1848) — another man of introspective genius and uncommon wisdom — dug at the heart of modernity’s foundational disconnect between efficiency and effectiveness: our tendency to pour tremendous energy into doing things, with little reflection on whether those are the right things to do in the first place.

His journals, now published as John Quincy Adams: Diaries 1779–1821 (public library), offer an exceedingly insightful record of one extraordinary man’s reflections on his own nature, haloed with luminous wisdom on the universals of human nature. Throughout them, the sixth President of the United States examines the paradox of how even the most industrious self-exertion can fail to attain a worthwhile result and why unfocused ambition is a guarantee of frustration rather than fulfillment.

In the spring of 1819, six years before he won the Presidency, 52-year-old Adams anticipates Kierkegaard’s proclamation that “of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous [is] to be busy,” and laments the absurdity of ineffectual busyness that animates his days in office as Secretary of State:

Every day starts new game to me, upon the field of my duties; but the hurry of the hour leaves me no time for the pursuit of it, and at the close of my Career I shall merely have gone helter skelter through the current business of the Office, and leave no permanent trace of my ever having been in it behind.

Years earlier, in observing his own habits of mind in the course of his voracious self-education, Adams had become aware of the meager correlation between effort exerted and results obtained when a clarity of purpose is lacking — even the mightiest discipline, after all, is wasted without a clear direction. In a diary entry penned on the final day of 1804 — a year he considered distinguished by “its barrenness of Events” — the thirty-seven-year-old Adams laments his tendency to lose himself in rabbit holes of what may be interesting but is not relevant to his larger aims:

My studies were assiduous and seldom interrupted. I meant to give them such a direction, as should be useful in its tendency; yet on looking back, and comparing the time consumed with the knowledge acquired, I have no occasion to take pride in the result of my application — I have been a severe Student, all the days of my life — But an immense proportion of the time I have dedicated to the search of knowledge, has been wasted upon subjects which can never be profitable to myself or useful to others — Another source of useless toil, is the want of a method properly comprehensive and minute, in the pursuit of my enquiries — This method has been to me a desideratum for many years; I have found none in books; nor have I been able to contrive one for myself. From these two causes, I have derived so little use from my labours, that it has often brought me to the borders of discouragement, and I have been attempted to abandon my books altogether — This however is impossible — for the habit has so long been fixed in me, as to have become a passion, and when once severed from my books, I find little or nothing in life, to fill the vacancy of time — I must therefore continue to plod, and to lose my labour; contenting myself with the consolation, that even this drudgery of Science, contributes to Virtue, though it lead not to wealth or honour…

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https://www.brainpickings.org/

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How Information Got Re-Invented

Claude Shannon – ILLUSTRATION BY JESSICA LIN

The story behind the birth of the information age.

With his marriage to Norma Levor over, Claude Shannon was a bachelor again, with no attachments, a small Greenwich Village apartment, and a demanding job. His evenings were mostly his own, and if there’s a moment in Shannon’s life when he was at his most freewheeling, this was it. He kept odd hours, played music too loud, and relished the New York jazz scene. He went out late for raucous dinners and dropped by the chess clubs in Washington Square Park. He rode the A train up to Harlem to dance the jitterbug and take in shows at the Apollo. He went swimming at a pool in the Village and played tennis at the courts along the Hudson River’s edge. Once, he tripped over the tennis net, fell hard, and had to be stitched up.

His home, on the third floor of 51 West Eleventh Street, was a small New York studio. “There was a bedroom on the way to the bathroom. It was old. It was a boardinghouse … it was quite romantic,” recalled Maria Moulton, the downstairs neighbor. Perhaps somewhat predictably, Shannon’s space was a mess: dusty, disorganized, with the guts of a large music player he had taken apart strewn about on the center table. “In the winter it was cold, so he took an old piano he had and chopped it up and put it in the fireplace to get some heat.” His fridge was mostly empty, his record player and clarinet among the only prized possessions in the otherwise spartan space. Claude’s apartment faced the street. The same apartment building housed Claude Levi-Strauss, the great anthropologist. Later, Levi-Strauss would find that his work was influenced by the work of his former neighbor, though the two rarely interacted while under the same roof.

Though the building’s live-in super and housekeeper, Freddy, thought Shannon morose and a bit of a loner, Shannon did befriend and date his neighbor Maria. They met when the high volume of his music finally forced her to knock on his door; a friendship, and a romantic relationship, blossomed from her complaint.

Maria encouraged him to dress up and hit the town. “Now this is good!” he would exclaim when a familiar tune hit the radio on their drives. He read to her from James Joyce and T.S. Eliot, the latter his favorite author. He was, she remembered, preoccupied with the math problems he worked over in the evenings, and he was prone to writing down stray equations on napkins at restaurants in the middle of meals. He had few strong opinions about the war or politics, but many about this or that jazz musician. “He would find these common denominators between the musicians he liked and the ones I liked,” she remembered. He had become interested in William Sheldon’s theories about body types and their accompanying personalities, and he looked to Sheldon to understand his own rail-thin (in Sheldon’s term, ectomorphic) frame.

A few Bell Labs colleagues became Shannon’s closest friends. One was Barney Oliver. Tall, with an easy smile and manner, he enjoyed scotch and storytelling. Oliver’s easygoing nature concealed an intense intellect: “Barney was an intellect in the genius range, with a purported IQ of 180,” recalled one colleague. His interests spanned heaven and earth—literally. In time, he would become one of the leaders of the movement in the search for extraterrestrial life. Oliver also held the distinction of being one of the few to hear about Shannon’s ideas before they ever saw the light of day. As he proudly recalled later, “We became friends and so I was the mid-wife for a lot of his theories. He would bounce them off me, you know, and so I understood information theory before it was ever published.” That might have been a mild boast on Oliver’s part, but given the few people Shannon let into even the periphery of his thinking, it was notable that Shannon talked with him about work at all.

The answer to noise is not in how loudly we speak, but in how we say what we say.

John Pierce was another of the Bell Labs friends whose company Shannon shared in the off hours. At the Labs, Pierce “had developed a wide circle of devoted admirers, charmed by his wit and his lively mind.” He was Shannon’s mirror image in his thin figure and height—and in his tendency to become quickly bored of anything that didn’t intensely hold his interest. This extended to people. “It was quite common for Pierce to suddenly enter or leave a conversation or a meal halfway through,” wrote Jon Gertner.

Shannon and Pierce were intellectual sparring partners in the way only two intellects of their kind could be. They traded ideas, wrote papers together, and shared countless books over the course of their tenures at Bell Labs. Pierce told Shannon on numerous occasions that “he should write up this or that idea.” To which Shannon is said to have replied, with characteristic insouciance, “What does ‘should’ mean?”…

more…

http://nautil.us/issue/51/limits/how-information-got-re_invented

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Freud the philosopher

Resultado de imagem para Freud's glasses at the Freud Museum, London. Photo by Dukas Presseagentur/Alamy

Freud’s glasses at the Freud Museum, London. Photo by Dukas Presseagentur/Alamy

Before fathering psychoanalysis, Freud first slayed the dominant Cartesian intellectual tradition of mind-body dualism

David Livingstone Smith is professor of philosophy at the University of New England, and director of the Human Nature Project. His latest book is Less Than Human (2011).

Most people think of Sigmund Freud as a psychologist or a psychiatrist. But he was neither. He was trained as a neuroscientist and went on to create a new discipline that he called ‘psychoanalysis’. But Freud should also be thought of as a philosopher – and a deeply insightful and prescient one at that. As the philosopher of science Clark Glymour observed in 1991:

Freud’s writings contain a philosophy of mind, and indeed a philosophy of mind that addresses many of the issues about the mental that nowadays concern philosophers and ought to concern psychologists. Freud’s thinking about the issues in the philosophy of mind is better than much of what goes on in contemporary philosophy, and it is sometimes as good as the best …

In fact, it’s impossible to really understand Freudian theory without coming to grips with its philosophical undercurrents. This might sound strange, given the many derogatory remarks about philosophy that are scattered through Freud’s writings and correspondence. But these remarks are easy to misinterpret. Freud’s verbal barbs were not directed at philosophy per se. They were directed at the kind of philosophy that was dominant during his lifetime – philosophy of the speculative, armchair variety that remains aloof from scientific investigations of the material world, often described as ‘metaphysics’, a subject that he characterised as ‘a nuisance, an abuse of thinking’, adding: ‘I know well to what extent this way of thinking estranges me from German cultural life.’

To come to grips with the philosophical thrust of Freud’s thinking, it is crucial to place it in its historical context. Born in 1856 in a village in what is now the Czech Republic, Freud enrolled in the University of Vienna just at the time when the sciences of the mind were gaining momentum. Although he initially planned to study law with the intention of pursuing a career in politics, and also toyed with the idea of doing a joint PhD in zoology and philosophy, he eventually found his way to neurology. In entering this field at just that moment, the young Freud launched himself into an incredibly exhilarating and dynamic intellectual milieu. For neuroscientific researchers, the daunting scientific challenge of figuring out how the brain works (without the benefit of the sophisticated technologies available today) was compounded by the equally formidable philosophical challenge of explaining the relationship between the electrochemical impulses coursing through a massively complex network of neurons and the experiential fabric of our subjective mental lives – our thoughts, values, perceptions, and choices.

At around the same time that neuroscience was finding its feet, psychology was emerging as a new scientific discipline (prior to about 1879, psychology was considered to be part of philosophy). The early psychologists were also confronted with a deep philosophical problem, albeit a methodological one. How is it possible to investigate the human mind scientifically? Mental phenomena are by their very nature subjective, but science demands an objective stance towards what is being investigated. In light of this seeming contradiction, there was a real question about whether a science of the mind was even possible – which led some to exclude the psyche from psychology, and to redefine it as the scientific study of behaviour.

Unlike most scientists today, the neuroscientists and psychologists of that era understood that science is inevitably rife with philosophical assumptions. For the most part, they worked within a paradigm that they had inherited from the 17th-century polymath René Descartes. Two components of the Cartesian intellectual tradition were especially relevant to their work. One concerned the ‘mind-body problem’ – the problem of understanding the precise relation that holds between our mental states and our bodily states. The other concerned what might be called ‘the mind-mind problem’ – the problem of understanding how our minds are related to themselves. The first of these was primarily of interest to neuroscientists, while the second was mainly of interest to psychologists.

With regard to the first problem, 19th-century neuroscientists mostly took the view that minds and bodies are radically different kinds of things. Bodies are material things – flesh-and-blood machines that can be studied from a third-person perspective. But minds are immaterial things that can be accessed only from the ‘inside’, a view that was later ridiculed by the British philosopher Gilbert Ryle as the theory of ‘the ghost in the machine’. With regard to the second problem, psychologists had the view that minds are transparent to themselves – in other words, that the mind is entirely conscious. Each of us has direct access only to our own mental states, and we cannot be mistaken about those states. This implied that psychological research should proceed by means of introspection, which is why the first psychologists came to be known as ‘introspectionists’…

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https://aeon.co/essays/from-philosophy-to-psychoanalysis-a-classic-freudian-move

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Who Are the Arabs?

THE OCCULT SECRETS OF LANGUAGE AS A METHOD OF MIND CONTROL

by Nathaniel MaukaStaff Writer Waking Times

The ‘spell’ in spelling was meant to create a magical trance over you – to obstruct the true meaning of the essence of the Creator. Many occult (33-degree freemasons, illuminati, cabal, etc.) secrets are hidden within spelling and grammar, but it doesn’t take much digging to reveal them.

For instance, as per Thoth, the Egyptian God of learning, wisdom and magic, (also depicted in ancient hieroglyphs as a man-bird) the purpose of spelling is to cast magic energy with a definite purpose. Myths surrounding Thoth even say he created himself through language – but this is eerily egoistic, and suggests deep occult powers beyond just being able to win a spelling bee.

There is an interesting parallel in the Christian bible, in the Gospel of St. John as well: “In the beginning was the word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”

If the occultists want to control a population they simply delete, distort, and generalize the truth. This is the Meta Model used behind most of MK Ultra and other mind control techniques utilized by the Deep State. Language and grammar are one of the primary means to distort truth.

When powerful people utilize certain speech patterns, they appear to know the truth about something, but they don’t truly understand what other people think, feel, and believe. This is irrelevant, because the aim is to convince them through a “spell” – what is “true” to the Occult Paradigm.

To see an example of this in action, we could look at thousands of hours of political speeches, but we’ll keep it simple and direct for now.

Let’s say a leader wants to convince the general population that a law to mandate Common Core teaching standards is a good thing. They will use language like this:

“All sensible parents agree that children should be able to meet certain academic standards where developmentally appropriate.”

Let’s break this one sentence down to find all its “spells.”

Firstly, there is a forgone conclusion within the phrase, “all sensible parents.” This is called a lost performative. It assumes that something is true without any concrete proof. Who determines what is sensible? What academic standards are we talking about? Who will determine them?

The next problem is with the absolutism of the statement. Should you disagree that “all parents agree” you are automatically in a position of opposition to power. You’re bucking a “truth” that everyone else has already accepted.

Then, “certain academic standards” is also rife with ambiguity. It’s a vague term meant to cast a large net so that as many people as possible will be caught in it. This phrase also uses nominalization. How would you know when you’ve achieved “developmentally appropriate standards?” Is this some arbitrary set of rules meant to teach our children nothing at all, or something of great importance? Time has shown that Common Core did exactly what its makers promised – confused the hell out of kids and teachers alike with double speak and backwards math, but the ‘spell’ to get it implemented worked.

Finally, we have, “where developmentally appropriate.” This is more lost performative phrasing. It implies a judgement about child development, without taking any responsibility for what that is.

Consider that this is a single sentence, with spelling and grammar in a sea of the CIA-sponsored, occult-referenced, decades-long, interdisciplinary study into mind control.

You need to explore way back before Operation Paperclip, and into the deepest known annals of human history to find the magic of language and its use by occultists – this is what informs all mind control programs today.

Can we get control of an individual to the point where he will do our bidding against his will and even against fundamental laws of nature, such as self-preservation?”

That’s from a real 1952 CIA memo.

Thoth

Now recall what Thoth, the Egyptian bird-God said the purpose of language and spelling was: to cast a magic spell with a specific purpose.

Let’s look at another example.

The words ‘write’ and ‘writing’ also contains ‘rite’ as in ceremony or ritual. The words also contain the ‘right’ as in the right angels used prominently by the occult, and found in sacred geometry.

The “word” or spiral (whorl) makes the world. This whorl or spiraling energy is the premise upon which divine geometry, including fractal geometry and the Fibonacci series is based. This is also called “God’s Fingerprint,” as it appears in the Golden Ratio (1.618).  The Golden Ratio appears to be the main source code that is within all intelligent divine creation and is also the number assigned to man; however the occultists use this whorl (world) and divine plan a bit differently.

For example, the Golden Ratio has been linked to the number of the beast (666) because of the false assumption (intended spell) that Divine Geometry can be expressed in integers, which it cannot.

If you hit the sin key on a calculator after entering 666, you’ll get this answer – an integer – -0.809016994374948. . .

It seems random enough until you know what to look for. We’ve been taught that the ancient Greeks, being master aestheticians, liked their geometric figures to be pleasantly proportioned in alignment with the Golden Mean. In the case of rectangles, they preferred the side lengths to be in proportion as the golden ratio. If you do some fancy calculations and divide by 2 you’ll get the 666…

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About the Author
Nathaniel Mauka is a researcher of the dark side of government and exopolitics, and a staff writer for Waking Times.
This article (The Occult Secrets of Language as a Method of Mind Control) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Nathaniel MaukaIt may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio.

http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/08/09/occult-secrets-language-method-mind-control/

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An Interview With the Navy SEAL Who Says He Killed bin Laden

Robert O’Neill has a new book about being the man to fire the fatal shots—but he’s not the only one making that claim

by David Silverberg

This much we know: On May 2, 2011, a group of Navy SEALs helicoptered into Pakistan under the cover of night and ambushed a compound that U.S. intelligence indicated was the residence of the world’s most wanted man — Osama bin Laden. This much is also true: One of those SEALs fired the kill shot that, at least emotionally, brought some closure to 9/11, if not everything that’s happened since.

Here’s what we don’t know: the identity of that man.

At least definitively.

Several accounts have claimed that an unnamed “point man” fired the fatal bullets that put down the Al-Qaeda leader. Matt Bissonnette, a member of SEAL Team Six, wrote in his 2012 book No Easy Day that this point man was still on active duty and was bin Laden’s true killer. CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, who might not have been on the ground like Bissonnette, but who is deeply, deeply sourced on such matters, has reportedsomething similar. It also could be the case that more than one SEAL is responsible — e.g., bin Laden was shot numerous times in the chest after he first went done.

Forty-one-year-old Robert O’Neill doesn’t claim that he’s the so-called point man. But he does claim that he’s bin Laden’s killer, the man who entered bin Laden’s third-story room and put two bullets in the terrorist’s head. First, he offered his version of events anonymously — in the February 2013 Esquireprofile, “The Shooter.” But by November 2014, he had revealed his true identity on Fox News.

Now, he’s published a book of his account, The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.

Others aren’t so sure. For instance, O’Neill’s narrative has been dubbed “FUBAR” by other members of SEAL Team Six. “Sources who know and worked with O’Neill said his version of events showed cracks almost from the night of the raid itself,” The Daily Beast reported back in 2014 when the Fox News special on O’Neill aired. Around the same time, Bergen wrote: “According to present and former members of SEAL Team Six, the ‘point man’ who fired the shot that likely mortally wounded bin Laden will never ‘in a million years’ speak publicly about his role in the raid.”

O’Neill’s voice rises a few decibels when I ask him about the varying accounts of who actually killed bin Laden. It’s obvious he’s answered this question many times before: “I’m the only one coming out to claim I killed bin Laden — no one else is saying that.”

That, too, could have an alternative explanation. In 2014, two officers who run the Naval Special Warfare Command fired off a stern warning letter to all SEAL “teammates” about seeking fame. “At Naval Special Warfare’s core is the SEAL Ethos,” it read. “A critical [tenet] of our Ethos is ‘I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions.’ We do not abide willful or selfish disregard for our core values in return for public notoriety and financial gain.”

“I don’t know who wrote the Ethos, and I don’t care,” O’Neill replies when I bring up the letter to him. “Nobody ever signed it, and it isn’t a binding document. I just remember combat SEALs laughing at it the first time they read it. It doesn’t describe SEALs or combat. Some senior dudes wrote it and decided it was the law for the younger guys.”

So what exactly happened that night, per O’Neill?

As he tells it, while the other SEALs were clearing nearby rooms and exchanging fire with bin Laden’s bodyguards, he and a point man moved through the compound to the third floor. When they entered the bedroom at the top of the floor, two women screamed at them; the point man tackled them, assuming they wore suicide vests. Bin Laden stood to O’Neill’s right, near the door of an adjoining room, with his hands on a woman’s shoulders and a calm expression on his face.

“I knew it was him immediately,” O’Neill says. “I could tell right away from the size of his nose.”

O’Neill aimed his rifle and fired twice. “His head split open on the second shot,” he says. Bin Laden collapsed. O’Neill shot him one more time — for insurance.

In the corner of the room, Bin Laden’s 2-year-old son was wobbling on his two chubby legs, crying. O’Neill remembers thinking: This poor kid had nothing to do with this. He’s just in the middle of a shit storm right now.

O’Neill stood there frozen as more SEALs made their way into the room. One of them asked O’Neill, “Are you okay?”…

more…

https://melmagazine.com/an-interview-with-the-latest-navy-seal-to-say-he-killed-bin-laden-e3b96ad32fa1

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