WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENCY: Locked in by High Switching Costs
We WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are plagued by dysfunction that is ‘built in’ to our cultural foundations, a phenomenon known as LOCKED-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COSTS.
Einstein described this psycho-physical entrapment in terms of people who have laboured long and hard to climb to the peak of a mountain, but on reaching the summit and surveying the surrounding landscape, discover that they are not on the MAIN PEAK but only on a FOOTHILL. This predicament of LOCK-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COSTS can not only trap people who have invested heavily in Microsoft Windows from switching to the Mac, it can trap WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS from switching from ‘reality’ based on RATIO-NAL intellection and its concept of GROWTH, to MODERN PHYSICS and EASTERN understanding of ‘reality’ based on INTUITIVE intellection and its concept of TRANSFORMATION.
For example while we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS understand as REAL, the language-inferred concept of GROWTH of a Town, EASTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS (and modern physics) understand this same physical phenomenon as TRANSFORMATION of the Landscape. GROWTH is a LOGICAL RATIO-based concept which is EFFABLE-because-LOCAL-and-EXPLICIT while TRANSFORMATION is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT and while graspable by INTUITION, lies beyond the reductions of LOGIC and RATIO.
GROWTH is a psychological possibility when we notionally SPLIT FIGURE AND GROUND INTO TWO such as when we speak of the MOUNTAIN and the VALLEY as if they were TWO SEPARATE things as in FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO. TRANSFORMATION does not make this split and is a mode of comprehension in which FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE.
Language allows us to play around ambiguously with these concepts such that one person (a WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENT) may say ‘The Town is GROWING larger and more productive’ while another person (an EASTERN CULTURE ADHERENT) may say ‘The Landscape is TRANSFORMING’.
WHICH IS REAL? Reflection will inform us that TRANFORMATION is affirmed by our sensory experience of inclusion in an all-encompassing relational TRANSFORMATION while GROWTH is a RATIO-based INTELLECTUAL abstraction which, as Nietzsche has pointed out, derives from the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING (to impute LOCAL thing-in-itself existence) conflated with GRAMMAR (to impute the power of SOURCING actions and development to the NAMING-instantiated (notional) thing-in-itself.
While TRANSFORMATION as in ‘the TRANSFORMING Landscape’ is the relational SENSORY EXPERIENCE AFFIRMED REALITY, GROWTH as in ‘the GROWTH of the TOWN’ is INTELLECTUAL ABSTRACTION.
TOWNS DO NOT “GROW”. Conceptualizations such as “The TOWN IS GROWING LARGER AND MORE PRODUCTIVE’ are exemplary of THE DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR. In the physical reality of our sensory experience, what is going on is relational TRANSFORMATION of the Landscape and the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE that hosts a TOWNING development is FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-ONE. YES, LANGUAGE AND GRAMNAR can capture this in a FIGURE-and-GROUND-as-TWO conceptualization but that is ABSTRACTION where the splitting into TWO cannot be affirmed by sensory experience. The signs that say “YOU ARE NOW LEAVING/ENTERING HIS TOWN” along with signage documenting the popular GROWTH of the “Town” are not affirmable by sensory experience.
The four-leggeds and the birds and the slithering ones know nothing of this purported reality since it is not affirmed by sensory experience but is intellectually constructed from the abstract psychological constructions of language-and-grammar.
As fare as serving as a communications tool to assist coordination in a social collective, there is no problem with speaking of a Town, and the GROWTH of a town when the REALITY is instead the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE.
NOTA BENE! The ‘TRANSFORMING landscape’ is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT. In other words, THERE IS NO LOCAL “IT” at the core of this fuzzy-because-purely-relational reference ‘Landscape’. On the other hand, ‘the Town’ is something WE IMPOSE LOCAL BEING on by way of the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR. This makes it a PSYCHOLOGICAL REALITY but it does not make it a SENSORY EXPERIENCE affirmable reality because the Landscape (which is ever-changing/transforming) has first dibs on SENSORY-EXPERIENCE-AFFIRMED REALITY.
Talk of ‘the Town’ and ‘its GROWTH’ is abstraction-based construction that can facilitate coordinated cognition as is also the case with ‘The Black man’ or ‘the Redskin’. There is NOTHING REAL THERE,
Thus, the current complaint registered by BLACK LIVES MATTER is taking us in the opposite direction from that which is needed. The basic mistake is the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR, and it is a “mistake’ because it has us thinking in terms of the LOCAL EXISTENCE of a notional THING-IN-ITSELF that is notionally equipped (thanks to GRAMMAR) with its own powers of SOURCING actions and developments.
BUT THIS IS NOT WHERE THE DYANAMICS OF THE WORLD COME FROM, FROM “LOCAL SOURCING”. INSTEAD, THE WORLD DYNAMIC IS TRANSFORMATION which is INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT.
Our substituting of FALSE-in-the-sense-of-ABSTRACT, EFFABLE-because-LOCAL-end-EXPLICIT icons to construct reality, such as ‘the Town’ or ‘the Human’ is an expedient psychological ploy that enables sharing of IMPRESSIONS of relational forms in the flow which are INEFFABLE-because-NONLOCAL-and-IMPLICIT. ‘The TOWN’ with its notional capabilities of GROWTH of POPULATION and PRODUCTION of PRODUCTS’ is abstraction that invokes the notion of LOCAL SOURCING, displacing in our psyche the reality of TRANSFORMATION as affirmed through our SENSORY EXPERIENCE.
TRANSFORMATION is the REALITY but we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS have already constructed a huge mutually supportive (HOUSE OF CARDS) pseudo-reality based on the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR featuring notional LOCAL THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES such as ‘the Town’ with their own GRAMMAR-GIVEN powers of GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT. TRANSFORMATION as in the transforming Landscape IS GONE, REPLACED by notional LOCAL NAMING-INSTANTIATED THINGS-IN-THEMSELVES such as TOWNS-THAT-GROW and that SOURCE the PRODUCTION of PEOPLE and PRODUCTS. All of this LOCALIZATION of actions and development serves up a SUBSTITUTE for NONLOCAL TRANSFORMATION, giving us something EFFABLE-because-LOCAL-and-EXPLICIT.
As Emerson and Wittgenstein and others have noted, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are letting this TOOL of DOUBLE ERROR reduction RUN AWAY with the workman, the human with the Divine. Just as the TOWN is really a TOWNING or ‘relational development’ in the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka the Tao (the transforming landscape), so is the HUMAN really a HUMANING or ‘relational development’ in the transforming relational continuum aka the Wave-field aka the Tao.
RIGHT NOW, we WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS are perched on a secondary peak or ‘foothill’, as Einstein points out, and we have constructed all kinds of stuff in support of our residency of this secondary peak, putting us in the situation of that nonlinear dynamic termed LOCKED-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING COSTS. For example, the overs-simplistic abstraction of LOCAL SOURCING attributable to HUMANS abstractly understood in the DOUBLE ERROR terms of LOCAL (NAMING-GIVEN) things-in-themselves with their own (GRAMMAR-GIVEN) powers of SOURCING actions and developments, … is a foundational contributor to our being stuck on the peak of a foothill. This foothill based situation is what gives us LOCK-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COSTS. How many of us have been promoted above the rest and rewarded more than the rest on the abstract basis of OUR OWN POWERS OF LOCAL SOURCING OF ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS?
In reality as understood in Modern physics, as also in indigenous aboriginal cultures, Taoism/Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta, there is no such thing as LOCAL SOURCING of actions and developments, there is only relational TRANSFORMATION.
How would WESTERN CULTURE WIDE acknowledgement of the non-existence of LOCAL SOURCING wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-TWO and the reality of TRANSFORMATION wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE alter our WESTERN CULTURE? ESSENTIALLY, it would transform it into Modern physics conformant EASTERN CULTURE wherein FIGURE-and-GROUND-are-ONE.
How strong is the LOCK-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COSTS? It is strong enough to sustain and continue to build an internal social polarization based on belief in LOCAL SOURCING. When we substitute LOCAL SOURCING for TRANSFORMATION there is a problem of AMBIGUITY of the type; ‘Does the hurricane stir up the atmosphere or does the atmosphere stir up the hurricane? This ambiguity is NOT RESOLVABLE because it derives from the imputing of LOCAL SOURCING and LOCAL SOURCING IS NOT REAL, it is a DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
This is just ONE of those LOCKED-IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COST blockages to cultural evolution, but it is a BIGGIE because it contributes to an EGO based sense of SELF.
Will CONSERVATIVES and LIBERAL ever sort out their polarizing differences? This artificial polarization derives from EGO and EGO is swollen by the sense of being a LOCAL SOURCE OF ACTIONS AND DEVELOPMENTS, and nowhere in the world is this abstract belief in LOCAL SOURCING stronger than in the United States. This way of thinking that attributes actions and developments to LOCAL SOURCING AGENCY rather than to TRANSFORMATION not only impacts the system of rewards, but also the system of punishment for the notional SOURCING of negative actions and developments;
The U.S. penal population of 2.2 million adults is by far the largest in the world.”Just under one-quarter of the world’s prisoners are held in American prisons. The U.S. rate of incarceration, with nearly 1 out of every 100 adults in prison or jail, is 5 to 10 times higher than the rates in Western Europe and other democracies. — The Growth of Incarceration in the United States Exploring Causes and Consequences (2014) Consensus Study Report
THERE IS NO SUCH THING IN REALITY AS ‘LOCAL SOURCING’, THERE IS ONLY TRANFORMATION. LOCAL SOURCING IS A RATIO-BASED ABSTRACTION. BUT BELIEF IN LOCAL SOURCING IS UPHELD BY EGO AND BY THE RELATED SYSTEM OF REWARDS AND PUNISHMENTS APPLIED TO INDIVIDUALS ON THE BASIS OF THE DOUBLE ERROR OF NAMING AND GRAMMAR.
We can say that the TOWN is growing larger and more productive and spout off statistics that capture increases in population and agricultural and industrial output, but BELIEF in those figures depends on accepting as ‘real’ the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR which is the basis of LOCAL SOURCING. AGAIN, there is no LOCAL SOURCING’, there is only TRANFORMATION.
What would be involved in WESTERN CULTURE’s LOCK -IN-BY-HIGH-SWITCHING-COSTS, to come down from the belief in the ‘foothill’ of LOCAL SOURCING and psychologically re-tool’ with the belief-at-the-peak, of TRANSFORMATION?
We could, in theory, do it right here and now by shutting down our language based thinking and going with our sensory experience since notions such as the TOWN that GROWS LARGER can only come from the abstractions of language. Sensory experience informs us in terms of relational TRANSFORMATION.
As Wittgenstein says, as far as language goes, it is not capable of direct capture of representations of reality, since everything is in flux; i.e. it can only be used to bootstrap an impression of the fluid reality that lies beyond capture in language based on DOUBLE ERROR constructs (i.e. based on NAMING-instantiated things-in-themselves with GRAMMAR-given powers of sourcing actions and developments);
6.54 My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly.
7.0 Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent. (“Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen”),
–Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus
Summarizing this note entitled WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENCY: Locked in by High Switching Costs, or at least putting the understandings within it into context of or current global social dynamic, we observe that;
-1- Our WESTERN CULTURE has locked on to the DOUBLE ERROR based RATIO-nalizing of reality as gives rise to the abstraction of NAMING-instantiated LOCAL BEING with GRAMMAR instantiated powers of SOURCING of actions and developments.
-2- We are LOCKED IN to this belief tradition by HIGH SWITCHING COSTS including EGO-based belief in one’s own (or one’s nation’s or one’s organization’s) ‘superior record’ of LOCAL SOURCING of actions and developments. This EGO based belief has been secured for the long terms through systems of appointment and promotion to positions of power over changing the prevailing understanding
-3- The abstraction of LOCAL SOURCING splits logically into BIPOLAR antagonism over whether the hurricane stirs up the atmosphere (conservative) or the atmosphere stirs up the hurricane (liberal). [one can substitute ‘individual’ and ‘social collective’ for ‘hurricane’ and ‘atmosphere’]
SUM-UP: WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENCY is split into antagonistic social polarities (conservative and liberal) both of which employ belief in LOCAL SOURCING and thus are EGO based. The persisting focus and conflict as associates with this BIPOLAR DISORDER’ derives from the DOUBLE ERROR of NAMING and GRAMMAR.
It is simple to say that expressions such as ‘The TOWN is GROWING’ are unreal abstraction based on RATIO or RATIONAL thinking, but when such geometries are being used in rhetoric that serves as the basis for capturing (or constructing) reality, changing out such GROWTH based concepts for more realistic allusions to TRANSFORMATION such as refer to the TRANSFORMING LANDSCAPE is not easy for the same reason discussed above in shifting one’s perspective from the foothill to the overall peak. One is forced to BACKDOWN on a plethora of established concepts that are holding up the current popular conceptualizing of reality. This is the LOCK-IN-by-HIGH SWITCHING COSTS that keeps us WESTERN CULTURE ADHERENTS believing in (or at least feigning belief in) a DOUBLE ERROR based pseudo-reality.
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