Sunday, September 5, 2021

937: The New Semester...

 It's a delight to see you all again after this long vacation period. I hope you'll enjoy this new academic year as much as you did the previous one. So, let's give it a try.


From the beginning of his existence, characterized by self-awareness and self-reflection, 


Homo sapiens has been engaged in understanding the narrative of his existence and that of the world around him. 


As we saw in the previous semester, homo sapiens discovered all kinds of patterns and principles that helped him understand his world. 


He learned to count, to apply it to the world around him, discovered mathematical principles, learned to describe the movements in the cosmos. 


Slowly but surely the knowledge grew, which seemed to tell the story of his world. In those early days, homo sapiens was still impressed by gods and mythical patterns, which he thought he recognized in daily life. 


How different is that here and now.  The importance of individual positions and personal prestige in our society, in large companies and politics, seems more important than a truly binding narrative. 


The typical cardinal sin of our time is "The Vacuum", the emptiness. 


Today's citizen experiences a chronic feeling of emptiness and is left alone because in recent decades he has been detached from original bonds, such as community, nation, religion or ideology. 


Today's individual wanders lonely in search of reward incentives to fill this fathomless void. Easy to make money of, ideal to keep under control. 


Our biggest task today: ENJOY, CONSUME and be the ideal revenue model without offense. 


The horrors of the Holocaust and state communism have made us suspicious of group's power. The big stories have been unmasked. 


The spine has been ripped out of society and to this day there is no new narrative that transcends us. 


However, being human is only worthwhile when we have a shared story for which we want to live or die. 


Today we are willing to believe in the craziest conspiracy theories, even sometimes convinced that our brains are being hacked by secret services or aliens. 


Historian Yuval Harari warns us that we have indeed become hackable animals. He refers to the technological possibilities that enable companies, but also governments, to understand us better than we do ourselves. 


Our most intimate and human patterns are used to predict and manipulate our behavior. By tracking eye movements you identify someone's sexuality. 


You offer the appropriate advertising and ensure that someone unconsciously buys your soft drink or underwear. 


The horrors of totalitarian regimes such as Nazi-Germany or the former GDR are still sharply etched in our memory and the recent COVID curfew once again confronted us with a touch of unbridled lust for power from the past.


The big corporations pay lip service to the constitution and politics, but in practice have corrupted the various layers of power to the point that we as citizens are powerless. 


So it is naive to assume that we are now "safe" and only have to shiver about the past.


Starlings fly in a flock to protect themselves from birds of prey. We no longer have a common story to protect us and have fallen prey to emptiness and addiction. 


So we've really become hackable. Our greatest threat is that we sell our souls to the devil and surrender our humanity in the ignorant belief that we are free. 


That is why we must continue with this project and continue to search for that connecting and transcendent narrative, which we can derive from the patterns and principles that underlie our reality.


Thank you for your attention again.....


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Rens Bod: "Een Wereld vol Patronen".  2019
TROUW, Esther Fenema

The Discussion


[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wow

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): confronted with it all at once is scary

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): back.sorry tel

[13:21] herman Bergson: The essence of what I want to say is that we have no binding narrative. Take for instance Human Rights.....

[13:21] herman Bergson: Today personal positions are more important....

[13:21] herman Bergson: you see it in American politics....

[13:21] herman Bergson: but today also in Dutch politics....

[13:22] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): human rights means different things to different people too

[13:22] oola Neruda: manipulation

[13:22] herman Bergson: We had elections and still no government.....and why???

[13:22] herman Bergson: Not because big differences about cpolitical content....

[13:22] oola Neruda: follow the money

[13:22] herman Bergson: it is all about personal positions

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MONEY IS EVERYTHING! BUY BUY BUY MORE!

[13:23] herman Bergson: YEs oola

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): AND MORE!

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true

[13:23] oola Neruda: power ..... comes with money... like bribing senators by the lobbyists

[13:23] herman Bergson: America is bought and sold by big companies and billionairs....the individual citizen has no influence on that

[13:24] oola Neruda: YES

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): very true

[13:24] herman Bergson: I don't think Europe is much different.....but more concealed

[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): big pharma is one that drives me nuts

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok sure This year i bought a 3D printer and a new laptop but also that old one had been with me for around at least 8 years and i wanted also a small factory at home

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but i dont overconsume for consumption, but because i need a particulat thing and i expect it to last for long after

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope so

[13:26] herman Bergson: There is nothing wrong with buying new things or replacing old ones, Bejiita....

[13:26] herman Bergson: The problem is that we are incited to buy things we don't actually need...

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the issue is when companies want to make u buy loads of stuff u dont really need

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): exactly

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mr mind reader

[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well i hear that to do any business in some Euro countries needs bribes

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to get the permits through etc

[13:27] herman Bergson: FB, Twitter, Google......they only exist because of advertising....

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): "commercials are for making people buy things they dont need and we dont need things we dont need right?"

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a thing i heard before

[13:28] herman Bergson: Ideologies have driven this world......

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed, they are klike trojans. the service is just a mask for us to sell us to them so they can make MONEY

[13:28] herman Bergson: the dominant one that is left is neo liberalism.....

[13:28] herman Bergson: and THAT is only based on consumerism....

[13:29] herman Bergson: our gospel is THE ECONOMY

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the issue is that it started as a good thing but then FB GHoogle ect bacame way too big and then they got greedy

[13:29] herman Bergson: when the economy is fine all is the mantra

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and now my FB is full of spam

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so is tv

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): here anyway

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least i find my friends there still and the groups i want to be in

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true Herman

[13:30] herman Bergson: when tv commercials started on TV in the Netherlands, there were blocks of 2 minutes......

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now??

[13:30] herman Bergson: Now you get 10 minutes long commercials all the time

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ouch

[13:30] herman Bergson: before, during and after the movie for instance

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): TV4 here in Sweden is unwatchable, commercials are longer then the actualk programs

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and more and more move over to premium channels copsting at least 50 dollars / month

[13:31] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): sometimes i forgot which program I was watching after all the commercials

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right here too not that much tho

[13:31] herman Bergson: we are flooded with advertisement.....because we MUST consume....profit maximation is our god

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like OS, we just got to see the scraps, before u could watch the entire OS for free

[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now u have to shell out a monthly payment

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to see it

[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think most of us get around the worst of it

[13:32] herman Bergson: I hope so

[13:32] herman Bergson: Let me give you another example

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i ignore the ones i dont interested in

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ohoh

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i love watching Belgian tv, commercials are very short after the program

[13:33] herman Bergson: We have a huge problem in the Netherlands..... Affordable housing.

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): here too

[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not in my town!!!!!

[13:33] oola Neruda: and here

[13:33] herman Bergson: what is going on.......

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is the manta

[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): mantra

[13:34] herman Bergson: Investers buy whole blocks of houses and ask insane rents....

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the rich are building for the rich who can pay for maximum profit and ordinary people are left out on the street

[13:34] herman Bergson: thus they ruin options for newcomers

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): profit maximization even here

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): those who need affordable housing dont belong in my town they say

[13:35] herman Bergson: right Gemma...that is what they dare to say

[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a small house in Amsterdam costed 1.5 milion dollars

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats insane

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if ur poor u can go die basically

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no money = no human value

[13:35] herman Bergson: and it is all about money.....

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats insane and sad

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): human

[13:36] herman Bergson: not a narrative about how to shape our world

[13:36] bergfrau Apfelbaum: hi Marlena:-)

[13:36] herman Bergson: Hello Marlena :-))

[13:37] Marlena Rickettsi (marlenalilly): Hello Professor, everyone

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hihi

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): if you want to rent a house here in the Netherlands you have to wait about 10 years

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hi MArlena

[13:37] Marlena Rickettsi (marlenalilly): It's good to b back here.

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh wow

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): rent here is very high too

[13:37] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): just in the last 5-6 years

[13:37] bergfrau Apfelbaum: i sent a note card from today's lecture

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:38] herman Bergson: We have social housing for which the rent is limited to a maximum

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not here  it differs from state and town to others

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): everyone should have access to good living, noone left out on the street

[13:38] herman Bergson: But such houses are sold after a while and put on the free market

[13:39] herman Bergson: That would be a human narrative Bejiita.....but that we don't hear among politicians

[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lot's of young people live with their parents

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they can't afford a house

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Hotel Mama

[13:40] herman Bergson: ^_^

[13:40] Marlena Rickettsi (marlenalilly): I am so sorry to be late, I looked at the time wrong!

[13:41] herman Bergson: Well, unfortunately we couldn't yet save the world today....but I think we made at least a good start :-)

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no worries

[13:41] herman Bergson: Happens, Marlena....:-(

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u got the note to catch up I hope

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa we tried

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we  shall see what comes nex

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): next

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a good start on the Semester

[13:42] Marlena Rickettsi (marlenalilly): I have it, thank you.

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): fun fact, semester in sweden = vaccation = opposite meaning

[13:42] herman Bergson: I gonna try to make it to the 1000th lecture GEmma ^_^

[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg

[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!

[13:42] herman Bergson: this one was 937....

[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wowowowo

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): óp naar de 1000

[13:43] bergfrau Apfelbaum: wow 1000!

[13:43] herman Bergson: There is one problem though....

[13:43] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): a few years i think 

[13:44] herman Bergson: the counter here on my pulpit can only handle numbers till 999 :-)))

[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oops

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa the Y2K issue repeats itself!

[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well 2000 all over again

[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:44] herman Bergson: Indeed Bejiita!!!!

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u need to upgrade then

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): naaah

[13:45] herman Bergson: I still got time :-)

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its not like this lecture room will go down a black hole when that counter reach 000

[13:45] herman Bergson: 63 lectures to go....that is about a 32 weeks :-)

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 2 per week

[13:46] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ok

[13:46] herman Bergson: I hope you can keep up with me that long at least :-))

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): absolutley!

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): of course

[13:47] bergfrau Apfelbaum: sicher!

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): natuurlijk

[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): if  we dont have tooooo many holidays

[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lol'

[13:47] Marlena Rickettsi (marlenalilly): I need to keep a better grasp of time.

[13:48] herman Bergson: I want to thank you all for this nice and entertaining start of our new academic year.....

[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we missed it

[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): true

[[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): blij dat je er weer bent

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:49] herman Bergson: I already have the subject for the new project ready....

[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha

[13:49] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:49] herman Bergson: though we still have a long way to go in this one :-))

[13:49] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): tell us:)

[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they get easier now that you are retired

[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): easier to decide on that is

[13:50] herman Bergson: yes...plenty of time now :_)

[13:50] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): and busier then ever

[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:50] herman Bergson: actually yes, Beertje :-)

[13:50] herman Bergson: So, thank you all again....class dismissed...