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Pezer
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PostSubject: Power   Power Icon_minitimeMon May 14, 2012 12:11 pm

First, a disclaimer:

Many in the ILP site (and, though on a higher level, this site) have the deep and probably painful confusion that words themselves form part of the concepts they describe, usually as an extention of the confusion that concepts are pure reflections of the reality they attempt to cover, that "they were right even before they were spoken." This post does not suscribe to this confusion.

Where, what is power? Is it action that has consequences, the amount of power being determined by the amount of consequences?

Or does action eliminate power, drain it? Isn't power rather the potential for such action, and only the potential?

Indeed, I am proposing a Heraclitan opposition here: on one side power, on the other action. Lack of power lies outside the opposition; power can exist only when action is possible, and action can only exist at the expense of power.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeMon May 14, 2012 12:50 pm

Pezer wrote:
First, a disclaimer:

Many in the ILP site (and, though on a higher level, this site) have the deep and probably painful confusion that words themselves form part of the concepts they describe, usually as an extention of the confusion that concepts are pure reflections of the reality they attempt to cover, that "they were right even before they were spoken." This post does not suscribe to this confusion.

Where, what is power? Is it action that has consequences, the amount of power being determined by the amount of consequences?

Or does action eliminate power, drain it? Isn't power rather the potential for such action, and only the potential?

Indeed, I am proposing a Heraclitan opposition here: on one side power, on the other action. Lack of power lies outside the opposition; power can exist only when action is possible, and action can only exist at the expense of power.


Release of potential power is force. Force is also power; a conversion of potential into action, effect, as physics would say.


Not all action has a deleterious effect upon the potential store of power, some actions are effects of this potential while at the same time also re-energizing it, adding to the store of potential power.


If power only means something in potentia then it means nothing.

 

___________
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”.  -N

“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning
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Pezer
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeMon May 14, 2012 1:10 pm

It does: it means the heraclitan opposite of action. Potential, as you use it, would be a substitute word.

I agree that power without action means nothing. In fact, I am effectively claiming that action determines power. Potential is a word that keeps its sights on action, and ignores the reality of power.

You don't think it means anything? Then why is an authority figure scary when they stare you down? Because they are showing power, i.e. action that could be. On the other hand, once they carry out the action, they are no longer scary, there is no longer a hidden possibility: the actor is powerless.

The only use I can find for the word "power" is this.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeMon May 14, 2012 2:50 pm

I have commited the crime of employing metaphysics (heraclitan opposites as a thing in itself. You must forgive me this, I am a post-christian and thus attracted to pre-christian metaphysics like a pampered businessman is attracted to BDSM).

I will now attempt to rectify.

What is the use of separating power and action?

Its attachment to evolutionary science theory. Evolution theory demands that any given state must make sense, in itself, in relation to its environment. It also demands that we explain how it came to be, without employing the concept of a "transicionary" link; that is to say, each state, even when leading to another state, must make sense by itself relative to the environment it exists in (it must be able to exist without leading to the aformentioned "consequent state")

Action already makes sense to us as a state that, in itself, makes sense relative to the enviornment it exists in, yet we must provide an explanation of what leads to it.

Here I propose power. Power is a state that leads to action, but it cannot exist solely as a transit to action. How does power make sense in itself relative to the environment it exists in? How can there be power that doesn't translate into action yet distinguishes itself from simple idleness?

I have muscles. These muscles can contract and expand to throw a ball. I am not throwing a ball, but I have the muscles. To be able to but not to do is power. To be able to and to do is first power, then action.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeWed May 16, 2012 2:15 pm

Pezer wrote:
I have commited the crime of employing metaphysics (heraclitan opposites as a thing in itself. You must forgive me this, I am a post-christian and thus attracted to pre-christian metaphysics like a pampered businessman is attracted to BDSM).

I will now attempt to rectify.

What is the use of separating power and action?

Its attachment to evolutionary science theory. Evolution theory demands that any given state must make sense, in itself, in relation to its environment. It also demands that we explain how it came to be, without employing the concept of a "transicionary" link; that is to say, each state, even when leading to another state, must make sense by itself relative to the environment it exists in (it must be able to exist without leading to the aformentioned "consequent state")

Action already makes sense to us as a state that, in itself, makes sense relative to the enviornment it exists in, yet we must provide an explanation of what leads to it.

Here I propose power. Power is a state that leads to action, but it cannot exist solely as a transit to action. How does power make sense in itself relative to the environment it exists in? How can there be power that doesn't translate into action yet distinguishes itself from simple idleness?

I have muscles. These muscles can contract and expand to throw a ball. I am not throwing a ball, but I have the muscles. To be able to but not to do is power. To be able to and to do is first power, then action.

I do not think our latent abilities need make sense in the immediacy of environmental evolutionary need. Maybe this is the case with other life, but the storing up of potential even without its release into (powerful) action is probably a condition if evolution itself, of later action to emerge in subsequent generations (think the accumulation of presently unused or underused genetic information). The greater store of potency here, even unactualized, is also the greater possibility of future actuality and "power". Any species which was able to accumulate this latent potential would end up, in the end, giving itself a better potential for power. So what seems fundamental here is not the relevancy of potential to immediate environmental action and utility but rather the lack of this inherent potential to infringe upon this utility and action -- if potential is able to be stored up over time, over generations, even unactualized, this would end up being selected for meta-generationally so long as this storing up does not cause some imbalancing survival detriment. Maybe this is why life, including us humans, is said to have so much junk DNA.

Power that does not translate into action may exist because potential for action itself is advantageous, either in the above non-teleological sense or in the teleological sense of the human being who as "Dasein" determines himself based on his apprehension of himself as a possibility, as pure potential. Unactualized or not-yet actualized futurity directly acts upon the present moment through the human who is able to extract embedded conditions from the present-moment and abstract these upon an anticipated future moment. In this sense thought itself becomes directly "powerful" even when it is not acting -- in this sense thought is action, to look at it another way.

Ignorance then, impotency being the "pure" form of inaction in thought, a pure formless potential not acting upon futurity... this might be more the sort of powerlessness which you speak of. But even here this latent formless and impotent potency might still be useful, in that, like the example with genetics and all life, it creates an implied context wherein possibility is gathered and focused. Maybe in most people this never manifests, but it will manifest within some people, so the cultivation of this impotent potency in people in general still might serve an "evolutionary" end.

 

___________
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”.  -N

“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 4:01 pm

Sure, but you must not missunderstand me as substituting "good" with "evolution." In other words, I see no moral obligation to aid any part of genetic evolution. In fact, I sustain that evolution happens "whether you want to or not," so to speak.

If you want something to work but it doesn't follow the guidelines of evolution, I guarantee it will not work.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 4:30 pm

I'm not saying its good (or bad), nor am I saying that you are saying its good or bad. Im just saying that's the way it works.

 

___________
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”.  -N

“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning
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Pezer
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 5:02 pm

This is a quote from you that shows that we agree: "Maybe in most people this never manifests, but it will manifest within some people, so the cultivation of this impotent potency in people in general still might serve an 'evolutionary' end. "

Precicely this is my point: that even when a certain evolutionary process is stunted or modified, it is only as a result of an alternate evolutionary process.

The sneaky thing about evolution is that it is only retro-active, so we evolutionists have the easy position of "if it works, it's evolution. If it doesn't work, it's involved in a larger evolutionary process that we are not seeing, and thus works."

I appologize for suggesting the "good and evil" misdirection, I obviously missunderstood.

Quote :
I do not think our latent abilities need make sense in the immediacy of environmental evolutionary need.

Whence these latent abilities? How do they manage to remain? These are evolutionist questions.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 5:28 pm

"Latent abilities" will tend to remain if they do not produce a detrimental effect on survivability potential. Not everything in the genetic code is there because it directly aids survivability, a lot of things are there "arbitrarily", because they have mutated and produced no effect on survivability either way. They get to hang on for the ride, neither selected for nor against.



 

___________
“Be clever, Ariadne! ...
You have little ears; you have my ears:
Put a clever word in them! —
Must one not first hate oneself, in order to love oneself? ...
I am your labyrinth ...”.  -N

“A man is not great if he is not small, and he is not small if he is not great. Concepts flirt with the loss of their significance in the oscillation between ambiguous states, and this is in part the function and purpose of concepts.” -Primer on Meaning
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Pezer
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeThu May 17, 2012 7:30 pm

Right. Evolution can be random if the evolved trait can remain in contact with the environment it exists within, free of contradictions.
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitimeSat Jan 19, 2013 9:25 pm

Capable wrote:
Pezer wrote:
First, a disclaimer:

Many in the ILP site (and, though on a higher level, this site) have the deep and probably painful confusion that words themselves form part of the concepts they describe, usually as an extention of the confusion that concepts are pure reflections of the reality they attempt to cover, that "they were right even before they were spoken." This post does not suscribe to this confusion.

Where, what is power? Is it action that has consequences, the amount of power being determined by the amount of consequences?

Or does action eliminate power, drain it? Isn't power rather the potential for such action, and only the potential?

Indeed, I am proposing a Heraclitan opposition here: on one side power, on the other action. Lack of power lies outside the opposition; power can exist only when action is possible, and action can only exist at the expense of power.


Release of potential power is force. Force is also power; a conversion of potential into action, effect, as physics would say.


Not all action has a deleterious effect upon the potential store of power, some actions are effects of this potential while at the same time also re-energizing it, adding to the store of potential power.


If power only means something in potentia then it means nothing.
I agree that a comprehensive definition of power can not equal the scientific definition of potential. I say power is more than that - it is also the noble quality of defining oneself self consciously. Thence: to act consciously. To stand not because of gravity and utility, but in order to stand. Also act, not because it is convenient, but because it is an act. This is the noble way, the divine creative holy grail, this is how myths are born to seduce other, lesser actors of times down the declining line to the idea of nobility - the false dream, the repose of the Last Man. No myth can inspire man to act. Only a deep rage, an intolerance, can make a man separate from his familiar causes, "that which determines him". The Father. Self-determination presupposes intolerance. New-Age people are the most intolerant of dogmatics. They will have nothing to do with the past, with history, with reason. All of them are resentful, all New Agers I have met, except the astrologers, who are ancients and still wise, fearful of Saturn.


 

___________
" The strong do what they can do and the weak accept what they have to accept. "
- Thucydides
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PostSubject: Re: Power   Power Icon_minitime

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