Thoughts on Konmari and sustainability

In a causal conversation that went to the topic of Kondo Mariko the famous cleaner upper guru it was said she quit her system because it cannot cope with the variable of children.

This to me is hilarious and a sad truth of systems we set up. As long as the parameters are within limits it works. Beyond the limits and the system fails.

This, I think, is a great analogy for sustainability. Every since I have had kids the idea of sustainability has been thrown out the window. I simply cannot cope. The effort to bring things within sustainable means will, I believe, end with divorce or in death. I am not saying this jokingly. Today’s reality is without exaggeration beyond sustainability.

Changing metaphors

If you do change the metaphor half way through the poem the change should represent change itself. Starting with LOVE IS A JOURNEY e may change the metaphor to LOVE IS A LONG DISTANCE RACE with images of struggle, uphill battles, not lasting the distance, rivalry, etc.

Stay with one metaphor

When writing, especially poetry, stay with one metaphor. It may not confuse you, the writer, but mixing metaphors often confuses the readers.

For example, if you start with LOVE IS A JOURNEY then continue with metaphors about roads, signs, bends, distance, loneliness, etc.

Love is not a thing

Love isn’t a thing.
It’s not a
you-either-have-it-
or-you-don’t thing.
It is what you do.
And it is what
someone does to you.

Go do love. Go love.
Go get loved. Be loved.
Then you will understand
what love is. Love is
not a thing.
Just love.

via negativa, via positiva

The obvious problem overlooked with describing God is that describing what He is not is to assume there is a god (or gods) in the first place.

The problem is really the same as describing unicorn with positives. That is, a horse with a straight horn on its head. The speakers assume there exists something horse-like with something horn-like on its head-like part.

The difference is that God has no attributes to describe (which is its description) and a unicorn had attributes to describe. Either way we have described an assumed something.

… faith or none

I am rather curious of the grandnarrative that when people of faith (whatever that means) talk about having faith or none, it somehow assumes that faith is the default, and none is the choice one deliberately makes.

True, most people do not make a choice, that is, their religion is given to them by birth. Bit that is assuming religion is the default mode to start.

This narrative is kind of forcing to say that I believe there is no god or gods. Often one makes the mistake and says ‘I don’t believe in God’. The former rejects the concept of god or gods (hence there is no god or gods). The latter rejects existent god or gods.

Is/ought, descriptive/prescriptive, truth/value

Yesterday, I happened to have a conversation about Hume’s is/ought problem with someone. It was the first time I had touched on this subject with anyone even though I had read about it.

What happened was that I had the construct of the problem backwards in my head — what ought to be could be derived from what is. Or did I?

I had suggested that what someone pays for a painting such as a Da Vinci is over-inflated because it’s worth is that of the cost of its material and labour. The discussion was derived from a discussion on what is truth and value.

Noticing my mistake, I thought more about it. I realized this problem is similar to the descriptive/prescriptive conundrum in linguistics.

Where as linguistics of the earlier generations were about prescription (telling what the rules of language are to be adhered to) later generations up to now is about description (telling you how language actually is used). That is, to describe is to say what it is and to prescribe is to say what it ought to be.

It also seems that this does indeed relate to truth and value. Truth is what something is thought to be. And value is what something is thought to be worth. But does it?

Is/ought is about experience and judgement of reality. Descriptive/prescriptive is about data and its interpretation. But truth and value do not seem to be a “natural” binary in the same way as the other two. Truth is usually discussed with false or falsity of facts or reality. And value is usually discussed with subjectivity and objectivity. Their domains are different. This is an uneasy relationship and perhaps should not be discussed together.

Religion from a biological or anthropological point of view

It seems to me that everything we do is for one purpose and one purpose alone, and that is to survive. We eat, sleep, exercise, work, play, wear clothes, buy houses, read, write, speak, listen, study, teach, sing, have sex, defecate, pretty do everything as a way to survive.

We create institutions to survive. Health care, education, science, philosophy and religion are just some of the institutions we have as a way to survive as a group rather than as an individual.

Seen this way, religion is no different to the ballroom dancing club, tennis club, academic associations that we create in order to survive. Religion, God, souls, mind and self, therefore, are concepts to help us, and should be studied as a biological and anthropological necessities. It should be off-limits to scrutiny.

Is realism colorless reductionism?

Realism that has been described as colorless reductionism I call your colourful additionalism*. My move is a kind of Ockham’s Razor and partly Zen Buddhism. I was taught that some things are unnecessary.

*Mix of American and British spelling fully intended.

Things are individuated. The p=q is not a truth. Categorically, this can be true. Realistically, p is p and q is q.