By "necessity" I mean the unavoidableness. I mean that it is part and parcel of the human identity and that to evade this need takes tremendous psychological effort and leaves the soul scarred and twisted. even if, and especially if, you can give that evasion process the force of a semi-automatized habit. Of such persons Ayn Rand wrote " write down, to talk down to think down: Nothing much can be left of a person and nothing ever is" Now we have found out how come.

Two decades ago, the intellectual Activist did a piece called "Why Act on Principle" which gave the definitive answer to that question. Thing have changed.

In my From the Cockpit article, CREDIBILITY I went over Dr Dean Edell far worse than I had intended to, making him one of the poster children for the lack of credibility. What made it that bad is his on your case in your face manner of presentation. As part of the demonstration of his lack of integrity, I pointed out that he rails agains mysticism like a pit bull (I second that emotion) and then he reads a report from which he concludes that we are "hardwired to believe in magic" and his seeming lack of understanding of the scientific proess and its social value: Anyone who give a nanogram of support to the Earth Day crowd doesn't have a clue, espeiclally to the fact that this is the most virulently anti-science bunch in history. Just look at the 40 year track record of attacks aimed spacifically at science and you'd think they were being run by Pope Urban VIII. Their cloven hoofprints are all over Ergo (the Bottom of the Pit), Reason, Acess to Energy and even Ad Astra and if you see how much part and parcel they are of the left, you would not be surprised at the way the mainstream media has their head practically up to the greenie-weenies' duodenum and you would run like hell away from McCain and Arnold Shrivernegger to the point where you'd vote for Obama just to keep that virus from taking root outside the Democratic party. Their shrill attempts to sell this latest scam are the desperate attempts to win in a make-or-break situation, having had such an abysmal record of prediction and leaving a swrth of destruction through the US economy and its underlying techno-structure. They know that if they are unmasked again they will be known for what they are and it will be finito so they and their allies are pulling the biggest "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" acts in the history of the world. (not only that but the emperor knows that if Toto does pull the curtain back he'll be seen as buck nekked and shivering in the non-gobal warming that he's peddling).

Let me point out here that I do not regard integrity as a moral virtue, but a psychological one. It is the recognition that 1+1=2. That it did so 2 years ago; 20 years ago or 20,000 years ago: That it will 2 years from now, 20 years from now and 20,000 years from now. and that on the basis of that some things go together and some things don't. Now, science is the antithesis of mysticism. So what is missing in the mind of a loudly self-proclaimed apostle of science and by nature enemy of mysticism who then tells us from a supposedly scientific report that we are hardwired to be mystics and by direct implication anti-science? What is missing is integrity. Somewhere the good doctor did not stop and say "Hey, wazzup with this? This runs against all I preach and aids and abets my enemies". Integrity is the bit of mentality that looks at these kinds of things and conducts a "smell test", thus preventing you from wetting yourself in this fashion. Integrity is such a natural part of the human psycho-structure that if one chooses to be a dishonest person. you have to actively disable it or outside forces have to disable it. If it is to be disabled internally it is the "blank out"s that Ayn Rand callled the blackest marks on the human soul that accomplish this task. But lest our conservative friends think they are off the hook on this, the act of disabling the mentality is what religionists call "having faith"; same stuff different decade. If I have to make an effort to believe something or gin up a "reason" to believe something, then it's obvious that this something is false and I'm coercing an override of my better judgement or trying to con that judgement. Care to guess the ultimate end of that? And it's worse if I succeed becuase then I will get into the habit of doing this precisely when I need most to not do it and when the universe falls in on my head, I'll wonder why and who can I bleam for it (having broken all the mirrors in the place).

Let's look at some history:

  • In 1972, at the ripe old age of 27, as part of my Psychology of Personality course, I was given the assignment of devising a theory of personality. I did this based implicitly on the primary distinguishing humna quality being the intellect the purpose of which was knowing. I proposed a stage of development called "Final Integration". At this level not only could a person use formal, linear reasoning but could run several separate chains of these "lines" concerning the same matter. I had it in mind that this level is fully operational at about 25 and that this was in addition to the approx 14 to 19 year stage where "formal operations"s were acquired. This last stage pertained to abstract thinking and reasoning. It is not for no reasons that the framers of the U.S. Constitution set the legal age of adulthood at 21. I have since learned that brain development and neural connections are formed up to about the age of 25.
  • in the mid'70's Ayn Rand wrote in her article, "The Missing Link" that the "sub-human" antrhopoid is the "range of the moment metality" that had not made it to the conceptual leve of thought and could not hold a significant idea across time or subject.
  • In a 1983 Science Digest article titled "Was Early Man Schizophrenic", a Dr. Jaynes who wrote a book on the topic was said to have located the focus of human-ness in the rational faculty.
  • In "Why Do I Need THis Crap, Anyway?" I wrote:
    We have a central nervous system and a co-ordination system that is the best on the planet. By it's structure, it seeks to expand its range, depth and scope of things under ordinary circumstances. It works by processing data from the senses or instruments into wholes that work.
    All of this was at least two years before Dr. Edell read his report. So what gives?

    There is a process of some kind going on here. What is abouve points to, but does not lock onto something else. What is that something else?

    Aristotle identified three kinds of activities in a hierarchical arrangement. Vegetive; eating and things like that (It is psychologically interesting that the "Greens" choose to identify themselves with the color of vegetative life. A more telling emblem they could not chosen had they given it conscious thought. And they called Reagan "vegetable": Cluck cluck, roost rost), animal; feelings and the actions they lead to and human. science, mathematics and other intellectual and reasoning behaviors. At no time did he conclude that one occurred necessarily at the expense of the other. That appears to be a product of the Stoics. Thus logic and feeling were not antitheitical although one was supposed to be the final arbiter. It is interesting that Ayn Rand described the emotions as a kind of computer that needs to be programmed and, failing proper measures, gets its instructions how it may. Another fact is that feelings and emotions are not the saem. Emotions are the mechanism, feelings are the "read out". The reason that young persons have such a hard time separationg the two is that the feelings are experienced and it takes a bit of living to learn that these feelings are the result of things going on in the personality. This is leared when one gets that the feelings are transitory, but that they come back again later on and then form a pattern of coming and going. However, the personality is constant.

    Some 22 years ago I heard that data had shown that the weight of the brain changes in accordance with the findings of the early psychologist Jean Piaget. Specifically the stages of mental growth. The change points are at around ages 4, 7 and 14. which he labelled pre-operational, single-operational and formal operational with birth to 4 being "sensory-motor". If you look at the first item abouve. there should be another. Well it's been reported in the past few years that many of the neurons in the brain finish building the synapses at around 25. Some 7 years ago on the Outpost Galifrey fourm one of the posters who goes by the name Nickgeezer age 27 started complaining about becoming "rigidified". It is known that the learing curve starts to slow down in the late 20's. I hypothesized that learing becomes secondary to thinking. I did not know if the "rigidification" was a result of this or of the "been there, done that" experiences.

    Anyway, in 2008, this year. Dr. Edell read his report about being "hardwired to believe in magic". This is what I had been waiting for.

    Now you might say to me. "Why would you want something to validate magic or mysticism?"

    Not necessarily magic. If you know anything about magic. It posits that there are higher orders that control lower. The more spiritual controls the more physical. Contrary to common beilief, magic is not the beiief that wishing makes it so but that the 'spells" and incantations activate higher order activities. much like E. E. "Doc" Smith's higher order of beams and fields or the way magicians in Jack Vance's The Dying Earth used their voices and the pronounciation of certain syllable to "twist space". Even Star Wars posited the abundance of some kind of biological entities in the bodies of the Jedi Knights as the source of the ability to use "the Force". Marion Zimmer Bradley's Darkover series of which I was a fan for a quarter of a century, posited that control of the matrix crystals which "amplify thought" is the result of interbreeding with a quasi-humna spcies that had landed on Darkover millenia ago and Lovecrafts "Gods' were aliens banished from their home millions of years ago: Hint: if you get the collect call from Chthulhuu, DON'T ANSWER! If hte Caller ID says "RYLHE", Run like hell!

    If you look at science, laws, theories and ideas, you see much the same. And I won't even get into Mathematics. Ideas, scientific laws and priciples are called "abstracts" and "abstratcions". The test of the worth, or validity of an abstraction is can I use it to predict, influence or control outcomes in the area(s) to which I hypothesize that they apply. If the answer is "no" then these are "floating abstraction"; purported ideas and principles that have no relation to things in the real world. That is there is no "context" for thir worth. ONe such was one of the purported "reasons" to invade Iraq. "Regime change" did not specify a plausible regime to replace that of Saddam Hussein that would be any better, Hence the phrase "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". "Regime change" was and is a floating abstraction.

    Properly identified. an abstract is the conceptual model you have of a thing once you strip away the concrete specifics that vary from case to case. For example let's take "Corvette Sting RAy", it can be red, blue, yellow, etc. It can be a 1963, '69, 78, '90, etc and can vary in saveral ways so that you can have a 1965 blue fuel-injected 327 cubic inch engined Corvette Sting Ray. Whele the specifics of all of these can change, the basic idea of a Corvette Sting Ray does not change. Therefore, it is what integrates all the models, colors, engine sizes and things over time under one concept or idea.

    As explained elsewhere Dr Edell has no functional principles at the advanced or even adult level outside of medicine. Consequently he would consider the over-arching ideas involved in psychology, ethics and climatology to be magic becuase he could not trace them from the concretes over which they arch. What he gets, he gets by what Ayn Rand calls "osmosis"; usually floating abstractions which are abstractions with no connection to anything real or realistic< that are repeated many times and paired with concrete situations. Nobody is immune to that, It can happen to anyone and does happen to everyone. The wise person knows how to check and see if it is happeing to him.

    So, not only is it psychologically unavoidable and behaviorally necessary to act on principle. it is a biological necessity as well.

    But, since making the chain from the concrete to the abstract and back requires focus and effort, even if it becomes semi-automatic, you have to find the right (useful) attribute of the subject and then apply valid reasoning with conscious intent, the process is not guaranteed free of error. The subject may be beyond your knowledge, you may make an error in judgement (selection the attribute that you think is definitive), you may be misinformed or not advanced enough in the art of reason to make one or more connections. However, the process, being biologically set, still takes place. If a person does not run it, then it goes by itself like a computer with a set of instructions wired in and being fed data in an unorganized way. This computer then stitches together the data in some fashion. If it cannot get a good way to organize the data for processing and since it does not function in a vacuum: Nor can it, it uses what the person picks up just from being around from the surrounndings. This is called "osmosis". Education is the art of enabling a person to correctly use this computer. At present, there seems to be an almost willful effort to make sure that a person does not gain control of this faculty and to see that the material, both in data and programming is 180 degrees out of phase with reality and what one ends up with, above the merely functional level, is a rat's nest of floating abstractions that lead to and from nowhere, On the left, "multi-culturalism" is an example, on the right "weapons of mass distruction" is an example. The former gives David Duke (who's stuff I can only believe is tongue in cheek in this day and age) more secret suppor than you would believe. The latter makes people disinclined to deal with Iran, having been gulled once (besides which, we lack the wherewithal to do the full job anyway: Boots follow bombs and that would be a catastrophe, if Iraq is any example, so it's best left alone for the time being).

    Given the above, There are systmes that are millenia old to fill in the vacuum. Most go under the name "religion" and is what is usually "osmosized" (yeah; I know, "neologism". Shove it!), being the culturally dominant form of pseudo-intellectual activity. Attempting to live in this intellectual vacuum as a substitute for questioning the mystsicism of earlier times and finding the right answers, is Nihilism and is the particular form of mysticism chosen by the pseudo-intellectuals and Beautiful People and is why societis periodically kill off the intellectual class. Magic is the form that the "doing things" component of mysticism takes and is why, according to Clarke's Law "sufficiently advanced technology appears to be magic and alien abductions and medical exams are the modern replacement for the demonic abduction, torture and posession of earlier ages. That this gets any run in the major media outlets, which should be ignoring or, at most, correcting this, is powerful evidence to show their evil intent either to promote or at least cash in on this and other sociogenic mental disorder(s). It's practice is percieved to give one control of the higher functions as engineering really gives us control of the higher functions of making things.

    In the end, the cosmic joke is on the "Beautiful People". Unable to produce the food they need, the instruments of media they need and enjoy and having "dumbed down" the "hoi polloi" to the point where they cannot function sufficiently to be the cultural slaves and produce these goods. Then what? They become useless eaters. The "hoi polloi" turn to looting this very same class whom they believe are satanic anyway. The "hoi polloi" can live with Sharia Law, which they will find superior to the Nihilism of the "Beautiful People", as in fact, having some orgaized creed to it, it is, far better than the "Beautiful People". Look at the Muslimization of Europe. Also note that the Nazis also had a mystical framework in the Theosophy of Helena Blavatski and the Communists had the mysticism of collectivism-alturism to guide their kindly hand. But then, If Dr. Edell applied the same effort to the Humanities as he does to Medicine, he'd be a Randian straight up and to the bone. And for the same reason I am. It is the most science-friendly, like totally, philosophical system anywhere ever.

    But to return to the earlier portion of this article."Thangs have changed". What has chanbed is that we now know that higher-level mental activity is not an option, it's a biologically built in necessity the implements itself no matter what and if you don't drive it, it will drive you.

    So what's it goona be, Cadet: Reason and life or Mysticism and the dirt nap?