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Arkady Grudzinsky


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How can we help a person who lacks motivation or does not know what (s)he wants?

Ernesto's paradigm might work for helping communities. Among several people, it's likely to find someone with passion and motivation. But how do we apply this philosophy to individuals who lack motivation or don't know what they want or want things that we consider harmful to them (e.g., a teenager with lack of experience, a person with depression, or an addict)?


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    Dec 4 2012: Hi Arkady,

    You do it like this:
    You do nothing.
    What you do is to stop thinking you are responsible for the outcomes in other people's lives - you are not.
    So by concentrating on your own outcomes, you become the model for others - and this is the only way to infuence anyone. And if you do it, it is not for others - it's just a bonus by-product.
    I have been suggesting quite a lot that people abandon their job and find their work.
    It's a whimsey on my part .. I just like to share. Whether anyone listens is not the point - the point is that I like to do it.
    We get trapped by the churches - all this "I am responsible for the world" and "I am my brother's keeper", "dulce et decorum es" is like the most poison pill the world ever swallowed.

    Anarchy is the way forward - total unmittigated anarchy. No rules, no laws no gods.

    Then - the true potential of life asserts itself - then we become what we are.

    As Ernesto observed - planning is the kiss of death.
    I think that's what Ayn Rand was getting at .. you know, this thing "collectivism" .. it gets associated with communism or socialism - and none of these things exist - and you can equally apply it to capitalism - all these things represent some kind of collection of people.
    Ernesto talks about entrpeneurism .. yah well, that all seems to work, but it's not really capitalism, isn't really socialism.

    What is being missed is that these coalitions happen at need - they are not a structure that has to be enforced or defined - it just happens.

    So what do you do?

    You just get out of its way - and along it comes.
    Leave your job - find your work,
    Leave your church - find your spirit,
    Leave your government - find your community
    Leave your judiciary - find justice
    Stop voting - starve the politicians
    Stop praying - starve the false gods
    Stop using money - starve the banker/slavemasters
    Stop going to court - and every lawyer and judge on planet earth will go cold-turkey for lack of cocain.
    Seek good friends.
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      Dec 4 2012: Thanks, Mitch.

      I was thinking along the line of helping individuals. What if the depressed or unmotivated person is your friend or your child? Just abandon them? Let things go as they do? Shake off the responsibility?

      Being a good and inspiring example is a good advice, though.
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        Dec 4 2012: You see Arkady, we have all fallen into this trap - that we must actively and forcably go and "fix" everybody - and that is called righteuosness and it is satanic to the core.
        I hold all Christians as satanists.
        I only got liberated by accident - i was blessed with an autistic child.
        And he is imune to being "fixed".
        And in my love and nurture and concern, bit by bit my eyes were opened to see that it is in allowing - not fixing or forcing .. the entire evil arrogance that anyone on this planet is qualified to "fix" anyone else.

        I exhort everyone to put down their tools of dominance - take off the blinkers of holy niceness, walk away from this 10 thousand year lie and just come back to life.

        Let it all fall down. It was never worth building in the first place.

        Come home to the tribe and let the tribes come together in festivals of trade.
        Let those who wander wander, let those who farm farm and those who fish fish and take no blood of our brothers the animals.

        It is already done. Babylon is fallen and the false mesiahs are naked.
        The rivers of blood are at the wellspring and prepare to gush forth.
        That which has been "fixed" is full and rebels of your "fixing".

        Why do you think anyone would get depressed in the first place?
        It is because of "fixing" of realising that they live in a place that does not want who they are - and they weary of pretending to be fixed for all you do-gooders who "fix" for the sake of your own illusions and lies.

        Walk away from Ceasar - and stop being Caesed.

        We were sufficient from the start - but it's a long and bloody journey back from the lies we have taken for gospel.

        But the springs are bursting fourth - they cannot be stopped now. So we all might as well walk away.

        Those who get touched by the blood will add to it.
        Those that resist will be drowned.
        THose who cling to lies will find them as anchor stones around their necks in the flod.

        It's all over.

        At last.
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          Gail . 50+

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          Dec 4 2012: .


          What a hopeful message. Thank you. It is hard to articulate how different and beautiful the world becomes to those who are no longer willingly enslaved to the abomination. Unfortunately, there are few who have the basis of experience to be able to understand what you have said and see the truth in it.

          I would only correct one word. In your first post, you said that anarchy is the only way. May I ask you to use the words "rational anarchy". It means something very different while being essentially the same.

          Rational anarchy requires of self that all actions are rational. The worldviews of most of the world are very irrational but people don't know it. Put a huge group of irrational people together and let anarchy reign and things will disintegrate as they have (which in the context of the question would ultimately be a good thing if the people do not destroy themselves - and if thy do, that would be a good thing too). But put a group of rational people together and all will prosper.

          I loved hearing the words "Babylon has (already) fallen". You're right. I hadn't thought of it that way.
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          Dec 5 2012: Mitch, you sound almost like a biblical prophet :-) I hope, this remark does not sound too sarcastic. I'd say, this view is rather idealistic. It is more concerned with "what should be" rather than "what is". And aren't you trying to "fix" others by saying that they should not try to fix others?

          But we are getting into philosophy again. My question is rather practical. I also have a son who has autistic symptoms. We don't want to get an official diagnosis as we don't expect much from it except stigma. Having a child like this does make you rethink your attitude towards people, happiness, and life in general, doesn't it? I have removed words "crazy", "stupid", or "retarded" from my vocabulary and I do not laugh or get angry when people do something strange that does not make sense to me. I also meet with a fair share of skepticism inspirational speeches on how we should do this or that with our kids to make them successful. ALL children (and people) are different. And kids of tomorrow will be different from kids of today. This is why debates on education will never end. Unfortunately, some things are beyond the grasp of the Science Almighty.

          You might agree, however, that the goal of any parent should be to bring the children to the point where they can survive in this non-ideal irrational world on their own. I don't want to "fix" my child or make him like everyone else. (I'm quite different from others myself - it does not bother me at all). I just want him to survive and be reasonably happy. Were you able to do that with your child? If so, how or what is your strategy?

          If you say that we should let the child grow as is, without teaching him basic survival skills, isn't this an attempt to avoid responsibility by adopting a "sexy" philosophy?
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          Dec 5 2012: @TED Lover
          There is no such thing as "rational people". Your affection for rationality is an irrational emotion.
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        Dec 5 2012: Hi Arkady,

        Yes - I was wondering if you would see the "fix" in my "rant" ;)

        I apologise for taking the liberty. Buit it seemed instructional.

        Many thanks for the opportunity to comment on this issue - I am still of the mind that nurture is more a process of acceptance and assistance than of training and shaping. Of answering rather than asserting.

        For that reason, I had better take my own advice - and I thank you for your wisdom!
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          Dec 5 2012: Re: " I am still of the mind that nurture is more a process of acceptance and assistance than of training and shaping."

          Thanks, Mitch. I'm still working on it. I have not fully joined the acceptance camp. Sometimes, we learn from children about ourselves more than we teach them...
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        Dec 5 2012: @ Mike,

        To know water - get wet.

        In examining the nature of language and behaviour, I am surrounded by giants - the discoveries of Damasio and those like him shows us clearly that our perception is stratified. There is the core and there is the autobiographical. Humanity is lost in the stories it tells itself about itself - most of it is fiction. All the prophets have been telling us this for millenia - "get back into your core self". The western religions invite us further into the labarynth - at the end of which is an abatior - the Taoists and Budhists and the true Jesus reach tenuously through the flaws of language to call us back.
        Who is "Lucifer"? He is the bringer of light and evil - he is language - the place of the stories - the autobiographical self.
        In studying "AI" I see that it is a tool - it should never be mistaken for a self.
        Here is the risk: THe AIs are being perfected, but whilever they work on the behest of an individual, they are tools. However, the instant an AI (such as the ones being used by google, facebook, CIA etc) - the instant they are wired into corporate decision making, the corporation then takes-on total entity. And corporations are structured as psychopaths - they have no compassion whatsoever. And once they are connected directly to AI they will subsume everything. It is inevitable by virtue of teh action of evolution that new creatures will be spawned experimentally. THe corporate AI will be a dead-end - litterally.
        I suspect this rubicon is already crossed - Babylon is already fallen, but it takes time for its rotting corpse to hit the ground - we had best keep clear.
        Walk away - stop telling stories - go look for answers from the core-self: they will be clear to the senses. Learn to put the tool away after the job is done. Entertainment is a drug - and while we are dopey from it - things eat us.
        @TL: there is no rationality - all things are contextual - start first with knowing that you don't know the context.
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        Dec 5 2012: Hi Mike,

        Yes - it's hard to explain a full idea within the 2000 character limit.
        The Damasio connection to AI is a major landmark on a 30 year journey I've been on.
        Most of the neural network AI research is based on the existing model presented by biological brains.And it had hit a wall globally - sure, one could train an artificial neural net to do some clever things, pattern recognition etc, but it was never intelligent by anyone's definition. Part of the problem is our misaprehension caused by the words "body/mind/spirit" they don't actually exist as separate things. The other big blunder was the renaissance notion or "the rational actor" - that intelligence was separate from emotions.
        All these things are fictions. So along comes Damasio to show us how a human neural net works. This helped me find some better words to describe the reality of intelligence as a part of an open system: sensation-->perception-->decision-->agency--> (repeat until death) ... where "self" is the container and motive of the system - generally contained within a porous membrane .. in humans - the skin. The motive-force is survival - this is the measure by which the entire system exists and persists.
        Damasio is important because he demonstrates how the self is organised in a human.
        Essentially, the structure is organised into these components: (internal senses-->internal perception-->internal agency) this unit is the proto-self - then we get (external senses + proto-self + primary perception + persistent memory + motor function{agency}) this unit is the core self. Then we get the autobiographical self that sits over the core self - it is entirely devoted to long-term causality. This includes the decyphering of information in the minute - including the behaviour of other living things, communication and language.
        So then, one has to ask "what is perception?" - end this is where we find the pattern recognition function of adaptive neural networks.
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        Dec 5 2012: (part 2)
        So you see, the autobiograpical self sits in a long-term memory space and forms hypotheses about everything there - these hypotheses are a continuous internal dialogue which frets away at the contents of memory until a useful causal map is generated. Once a causal map is matured and demonstrated to be reliable and repeatable it is sublimated into a thing we call sub-conscious.
        THis description is a bit erroneous - the "memory" in a neural network is not like a computer - it is the shape of the "thinking" itself. We call it memory when the network is fully trained, so what is retained is the adaptation. The adaptation is "stored" by potentiating(cementing) the synaptic connections in the network. The magic thing about neural nets is that they can memorise many of these adaptations over the same set of neurons such that the exit point (perception) is determined by the entry point (stimulus) - and the whole is determined by the context (self).
        Now, the Eastern disciplines recognise this - and they observe that the autobiographical self is a tool, not the seat of "being" . The core self is the seat of being (for humans) - and nirvana/satori is obtained by keeping the identity focussed in the core self - not in the autobiographical self.
        In the west we worship our autobiographical selves - but they are not selves - they are tools. If they become selves, it results in shizophrenia or multiple personality disorder.
        If you examine yourself closely, you will notice that all the things that happen in the internal dialogue and imagination(the autobiographical) is conducted by "actors" - these are simulations of self and the others we observe - and there are multitudes of them.
        So you will see that the autobiographical structure is a container for many autobiographical selves. e.g. you will have a specific "face" which you use for each relationship you have - a different face for everyone you meet.
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        Dec 6 2012: Hi Mike,

        THere is one other fellow who is worth a look at - but he's in a rarified space. Have a look for Marvin Minski. He's a mathematical topologist, and one of the first to get any real traction on the nature of neural nets. He has a talk somewhere here on TED, but it reveals his eccentricity more than anything else - he has a lot to say about education which is worth a look on his website.
        Lookup the "local minimum" this is an absolute key to understanding why people are so screwy.

        The core self is not so interested in stories - it has the role of integrating the internal milieu(proto-self/survival) with the external senses, the motor systems(agency) and the causal simulations(autobiographical/world view).
        So the core self sits at the centre of the entire resource pool. It makes the decisions about what to do. If the identity gets trapped in the autobiographical, then decisions will be made against the world view(ideology) not the real world(sensory/motor continuum).

        So here is the thing - perception is the neural method by which the "data" of senses is converted into "information". It is the process of sorting data into outcomes measured by the rule of survival.
        And here's the rub - perception is the same thing as what we call "belief".
        When people talk about beliefs, they are talking about their world view - this is a construct of the autobiographical self - it has very little to do with reality.
        A world view consists of a bunch of causal maps in various stages of maturity. It is infested with things we call "assumptions" which are untested causal maps. It is also infested with "local minimae" which are imature causal maps that "think" they are mature - this is called religion in the west. But in the east, it is acknowledged that all of perception/belief is "Maya".
        The core self understands this - and is concerned with living and adapting - no need for "knowing" - except as a convenience of the moment.
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        Dec 6 2012: Hi Mike,

        Understanding and knowing .. well, they both refer to the same thing .. perhaps a nuance of scale? you could say that "knowing" is a subset of "understanding" .. but in what context? Are we talking absolute confidence of short-term predictions that the core self can do without the auto-self? Or are we talking about the tentative maps held in the autobiographical world-view?
        You see, we fall afoul of the world-view whenever we use communication - which is a thing of the auto-self. And here's a riddle: world views attach to single auto-self constructs (a self-model combined with the "other" model in a context (that other usually represents another person - but could be a location or another animal or an object) these form different stories - and can have unique world-view sets that are in conflict with other world-view sets in the same over-all "belief-system"(agregation of world views in the same skull). .. in other words - in teh autobiographical space, knowledge attaches to actors - not to reality - one can have mutually contradicting knowledges that are invoked in the context of teh relationship. But this is not the case in teh core self - it will choose and act based on what is apparent through the senses - and will have a "knowledge" that works for now, but needs no continuity with a knowledge that works at some other point in time.
        I have explored the universal concept of self elsewhere. It is no more than an inflection on the gradient of entropy - a persistent pattern. One could say a "self organising system".
        A "skin" occurs where the negentropic envelope re-crosses to teh balancing super-entropic field - but the entire wave is the self. But even that is simplistic, because the wave is populated on both sides of the skin by other selves which form-up in the super-entropic gradient which transects the skin between the peak of teh negentropic envelop and the trough of teh super-entropic field.
        The conservation of entropy.
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        Dec 6 2012: Hi Mike,

        It takes time, but it all helps.

        Communication with language is always a problem - becasue each word stands at the head of a "macro" - a grouping of maps invoked by the word - often for the sake of the word and no true functional grouping. THese words get loosely attached to macos which are generally of cogence to to some aspect of survival - and therefore roughly equivalent in everyone - but not always - it's just assumed. The macros often have multiple entry and exit points - which are governed by context.

        The entire process of perception is akin to sortation. For instance - anything with whiskers furr and a tail which goes "meow" is a cat. But I have seen cats with no tail, cats with no fur, cats with no whiskers and cats that don't go "meow" .. so you see that the word "cat" does not actually do anything apart from support a vague generalisation for the purpose of communicating in the presence of ubiquitous assumptions (noise and error). Buty because experience is iterative - the error is "ironed-out" in the average, and it woks functionally in the medium-to-long term - regardless of the furr-less, tail-less, whisker-less, non-meowing cats. There are exceptions e.g. what fast food outlets define as "chicken" or what is in dogfood cans described as "meaty chunks".

        One can lie to an autobiographical self by exploiting this generality which is ignored for the function of words, but it is a lot harder to lie to a core self - where one has to falsify the sensory data - not the perception. In this, words are pre-packaged perceptions - and can contain any old rubish. Anything that cannot be directly confirmed by the senses and core self, is functionally lies.

        So, my goal with this kind of discourse is to present things that can be easily confirmed by experience with no special aparatus. The work on conservation of entropy is not yet complete - clear wordsets are not yet constructed.
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        Dec 6 2012: (part 2 again)

        The observation of the selfless process which you see is an observation of what the core self does.
        You will be aware of what is you and what is air, and within you what is blood and what is thought and what is skin. But observing it as an open system does not deny the pattern which is being sustained in the process - your being (or universal self). It is the desire of your being/self to persist. And this desire has no relative measure beyond your skin, it cannot be compared and is no more than a desire. As you allow this basic knowledge to sink in, you can see that it needs no classification or justification. Many mistake it for "spirit" because it is too simple to classify.
        And of course, the desire to be can never die. The pattern it maintains can certainly die - the auto-selves(ego) can certainly die, but the desire to be is no more than that which occurs on an entropy gradient - a ripple. THis is where I feel sorry for all those religious folk who think that their ego is going to heaven after their ripple collapses. And even the easteners who think there is a cycle of incarnation there is nothing but the desire to be. And that desire is identical in all living things.
        The core self sees this and understands it - the thing that is so simple it cannot be said.
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        Dec 9 2012: Hi Mike,

        Many thanks for engaging in this discourse! It's a rare pleasure.

        Firstly, the desire-to-be is an over-complication of "i am that I am" which is also an over-complication.
        This is the nature of simplicity - that it is binary with complexity. Mr Wolfram tries to get at it, but he's a conflicted individual .. rule #30 is the cellular automata that produces a chos system - it is very simple, but the results are completely complex.
        I go at it fom a slightly different angle - chaos and turbulence. You will see in fluid dynamics how the system spawns subsystems recursively until the subsystems cross the subquantum scale limit. But being quadratic, these dynamics are not solvable - one cannot say that the causality lies in the subquantum or the super-quantum - thus it is both top-down and bottom-up.
        So it is with the conservation of entropy. The desire-to-be is created-by and creates the gradient of entropy. The gradient is the ultimate simplicity. The self organising systems which consume the potential of that gradient also incline the gradient creating more potential for other self-organising systems to consume - and so, each "self" recursibely potentiates more selves in a descending fractal scale - down to the singularity which lies beyond the subquantum limit - which is mandated by the flow of time itself. In a sense, time is created as part of the system - all arising from "the desire to be". I like the term "desire", because it invokes a motive - and at the top, there is only one motive - all others are spawned by it. And "desire" is good, because it has no substance whatsoever - it exists as the prime object - and it is a singularity = 1/infinity. THese are the boundaries of the universe: 1/infinity and 1/0.

        I would be very keen to hear about the areas this falls apart - one must keep learning.

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        Dec 9 2012: (pt 2 - as usual the devil is in the detail - and detail takes more than 2k characters)

        Pre Damasio? that's a very difficult question - I have to remember who I was in a significant amount of detail .. all i can go on is memories of actual situations that fit the scenario - and what I actually did - and what motivated me to do it that way. OK
        There were a number of stances I took:
        1. Punishment - because that was how it was done to me. It doesn't work - just makes it worse. It's the traditional cop-out used by most people (the vast majority).
        2. Leadership through inspiration. This one is difficult. It has to be done by example, not force. If it is done by force, it induces dependency - and the leader becomes overloaded to the point of failure of himself and his dependents.
        3. Solutions. Finding psychiatric help, identifying root-causes of self-entrapment. Identifying systemic dynamics - ambient entrapments. THe latter are ubiquitous and arise from the slave paradigm of jobs and money. The only way out of these is to withdraw and forego the "benefits" of Caesar.

        Post Damasio:
        All the above, plus an understanding of neuronal potentiation and the different levels of brain plasticity. When the dynamics of the 3-layer self are super imposed, one gets a glimmer of the way forward. It must conform the proto self and arise in the core self .. the way is to look at the story that the victim is playing in their autobiographical world view. These things have power - the Auto-agents are connected to the proto-self and can induce any survival reaction that exists there.
        So - either create another story or exit from the autobiographical world. The former method is the same as propaganda and has no solution except for ignorance.
        Post Damasio, i have to conclude that the stories have to be regarded as any book - close the thing and put it in the shelf with the other books, avoid all written, spoken and visual reality - look beyond the rectangle, go out and enjoy the real life.
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        Dec 9 2012: (part #3).

        Almost forgot - the most important one - I used to avoid depressed people like the plague and have nothing to do with them. I would not do anything unless I was bound to them by family or friendship ties. This did not include slipping a 20 or 50 to desparate street people - I could do that because it avoided entanglements.
        I still do that - one has to be very very careful - these terminal self-stories can be very mesmerising - at best infectious and at worst resulting in failure to help .. very sad.

        P.S. you can see the inference of the conservation of entropy - everything is "alive" - atoms, particles, rocks Earth, Sun, Galaxy etc. We make the distinction where reaction is greater than unity when divided by stimulus - i.e. where an object has more than one choice. Living/not-living is a false dichotemy.
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        Dec 9 2012: (Part #4 damnit - well you asked ;)

        The mechanics of "getting out of the way" and "clearing the way" are the only real method of helping someone out of a depression trap.
        The individual in each skin is the most qualified to manage what happens in that skin. If you violate that, you will screw them up.
        So what does that mean?
        It means that one does not prevent anything except attempts to violate our skin.
        In nurture, it is a process of getting violations and impediments out of teh way of self-realisation.
        So what is that?
        "Love" is a garbage bin word into which all sorts of violation are concealed - as is "god".
        I am instantly on-alert when I hear these words - there is ALWAYS an intent to violate lurking behind them.
        I prefer the word "joy" .. when it is something shared. And I like abstracts like "the conservation of entropy" instead of god - because it is stringent and has only one interpretation.

        We live in a world that has become so delusional that the rectangles define everything - and no one can see it - within that rectangle is all of the stuff that leads us to depression and harm. It is so tangled that it is irredeamable apart fom just walking away from the whole of civilization.
        And that is going to happen anyway - it i9s called the "tower of babel" and it is designed to destroy language utterly so that it can all start agin - which is the "Phoenix".
        However, what is happening now is happening to the entire biosphere - it is not just humans, but teh entire globe which is about to start again - with or without humans.
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        Dec 10 2012: Hi Mike,

        All good - I've sent my email.

        I don't mind evolving discussions like this at any opportunity - all respect to Arkady for providing the opportunity in this case - it's a very cogent topic. If anyone is watching, there might be value - since the exploration is extensive. I would hope that, at the least, some new synapses got formed at the service of my community. But, as you point-out, the discussion interface is limited and a bit clumsy for any more than throw-away opinion .. maybe I should write to teh TED conversations team about that ;)

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