systems

Mankind is a creature of space, a space race living on a planet in orbit around a star, as others are also doing. Mankind is not unique, as he fondly imagines. He is merely a part of the vast interstellar human family bred and nurtured by us through the eons of time on planets in different solar systems throughout the galaxy.

Protecting something as wide as this planet is still an abstraction for many. Yet I see the day in our own lifetimes that reverence for the natural systems - the oceans, the rain forests, the soil, the grasslands, and all other living beings - will be so strong that no narrow ideology based upon politics or economics will overcome it.

Man has such a predilection for systems and abstract deductions that he is ready to distort the truth intentionally, he is ready to deny the evidence of his senses only to justify his logic.

Man is greater than a world, than systems of worlds; there is more mystery in the union of soul with the physical than in the creation of a universe.

Of the systems above us, angelic and seraphic, we know little; but we see one law, simple, efficient, and comprehensive as that of gravitation - the law of love, extending its sway over the whole of God’s dominions, living where He lives, embracing every moral movement in its ;universal authority, and producing the same harmony, where it is obeyed as we observe in the movements of nature.

I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built upon the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think. Whereas, if the child is left to himself, he will think more and better.

Our personal question about our life’s purpose may very well be the tip as well as the foundation of the collective iceberg – part of the much larger question of where do we go from here? If we consider these individual longings in light of systems thinking, perhaps we can see them, not as isolated, narcissistic musings, but as equivalent to the DNA of our soul, the generative driver of evolution itself.

The ultimate function of the neurons in the prefrontal cortex is to excite or inhibit activity in other parts of the brain.” In prohibition and shame we excite the most destructive systems and inhibit the creative ones.

The exploitation of the weak by the powerful, organized for the purposes of economic gain, buttressed by imposing systems of law, and screened by decorous draperies of virtuous sentiment and resounding rhetoric, has been a permanent feature in the life of most communities that the world has yet seen.

Computational irreducibility tends to make infinite questions undecidable. The presence of universality implies that there must at some level be computational irreducibility… This means that today’s mathematics will be viewed as small and surprisingly uncharacteristic sample of what is possible. If a system is computationally irreducible this means that there is in effect a tangible separation between the underlying rules for the system and its overall behavior associated with the irreducible amount of computational work needed to go from one to the other. And it is this separation that the basic origin of the apparent freedom we see in all sorts of system lie – whether those systems are abstract cellular automata or actual living brains.

It is hard to let old beliefs go. They are familiar. We are comfortable with them and have spent years building systems and developing habits that depend on them.

Our species is unique in its great creativity with respect to meaningfulness. Our systems of meaning vary tremendously from moment to moment, from one individual to another, and from society to society.

All systems of morality are based on the idea that an action has consequences that legitimize or cancel it. A mind imbued with the absurd merely judges that those consequences must be considered calmly.

All systems of morality are based on the idea that an action has consequences that legitimize or cancel it. A mind imbued with the absurd merely judges that those consequences must be considered calmly.

Your values are your belief systems about right and wrong, good and bad. Our values are the things we all fundamentally need to move toward... Our values change when we change goals or self-image... There is no real success except in keeping your basic values.

Virtue is as little to be acquired by learning as genius; nay, the idea is barren, and is only to be employed as an instrument, in the same way as genius in respect to art. It would be as foolish to expect that our moral and ethical systems would turn out virtuous, noble, and holy beings, as that our aesthetic systems would produce poets, painters and musicians.

The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their constitutions of government. But the constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government.

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign asters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and law. Systems which attempt to question it deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue; likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust. Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others. It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled; the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests.

A positive emotional state entrains, or unites, our systems for thought, feeling, and action; shifts our concentration and energy toward support of our intellectual and creative forebrain (old mammalian and neocortex); and allows us to both learn and remember easily. In very young children, the primary caregiver’s emotional state determines the child’s state, and therefore the child’s development in general. Any kind of negative response, any form of fear or anger shifts our attention and energy from verbal-intellectual brain to our oldest survival brain. This shift shortchanges our intellect, cripples our learning and memory, and can lock our neocortex into service of our lower brain.