Saturday, February 7, 2015

introducing the norm family

Existence is power. Given basic laws of physics, everything that exists does so at the expense of something else. At every fork in the road, world became this and not that. I reckon forks in the road are either always or never. I prefer always.

Expense is a loaded word. Is existence good? Humans act as if it is. It's a part of the programming. I'd say existence of the local (a human body, for example) is the foundation of the word "good." Of course it's nothing more than that, nothing stand-alone transcendent. But if we're to describe it, we're describing something very real, as this is simply the way those natural systems called "humans" function.

Yesterday, I wrote about normativity in language. Words like "ought" I'll call Little Norm. On the other hand, existing locally, in opposition to the world, I'll call Big Norm. The question there is how local, how wide the net gets cast. Little Norm is logical, Big Norm is ontological. In my scheme, Little Norm is a part of Big Norm. Descriptive statements fall back into normativity because there's always something thinking it. Things that exist have power. Things that think think about the things they're thinking about, and those thoughts exist in some form or other. Oh fuck. I stand by that sentence, but...apologies.

To speak descriptively, on the other hand, means to stand outside the world, if only illusorily. So as to stand against it, normatively. So that the information gained can be exploited to further the repetition of the local same. The descriptive falls back into Little Norm, always was Big Norm. But again, that net can be wide.

Now let me introduce Extensive Norm, who is some kind of hippy. He's a widener of the local. Sees himself in other humans, perhaps in everything. OK, maybe he belongs to an eastern religion. Of course, he has to eat -- he exists at the expense of other possible worlds! -- so he's a hypocrite. He wants to extend his way of being to everything, wants being empathic to take over. Not empathic? Get out of the way!

Then there's Intensive Norm, a psychopath who will destroy anything that interferes with his narrow self-interests. Someone's gunna slaughter that village and enjoy the spoils, may as well be him. He thinks he really does stand outside the world, an unnatural creature. He preaches determinism, claiming he's doing description. Whereas that argument itself is Big Norm standing against the world, acting. I reckon everything is either free or determined. I prefer free.

In any case, those villagers he's slaughtering are him. Absent post hoc rationalization, that is. After they're slaughtered, he can say he's the winner, they're the losers, therefore they're different. Issues of idiosyncrasy aside, he just killed himself, and moved some words around to rationalize it. Whether he felt guilt or not is beside the point. He's a hypocrite. Imagine the psychopath being brutalized, then saying on his death bed, "it is as it should be." Approving of one's own death after having tried to live is just more post hoc rationalization. Rationalization is power disguising itself. Not unrelated to, see first paragraph, power being a death threat. For deathbed psychopath, power was him, then it wasn't, and when it wasn't, he told power's story that non-existence is good, when we know that word "good" means the opposite.

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