Free Four

July 11, 2018

One, two, free, four!

— Pink Floyd

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

— Origin unknown

In the United States of America we celebrated freedom on July 4th. Here are four free or not so free things.

It is useful to consider Richard McKeon’s words on freedom from his Philosophic Semantics and Philosophic Inquiry:

The question, What is freedom? is one of the recurrent ambiguous questions of philosophy which has opened up new dimensions in contemporary thought and action. It is a significant question because the initial interpretation, “freedom is the absence of external impediments to action,” focuses attention on the need to remove the ambiguities of “absence”, “external”, “impediments”, and “actions” and the growing host of ambiguities in each clarifying statement. The semantic scheme constructed from the modes of thought sets forth, thus far (see chart p.253), three sets of determinations of the question, What is freedom? What is freedom in fact or interpretation, What things are free?; What is freedom in thought or method, What property do free things share?; What is freedom in being or principle, What are the grounds of the possibility or the actuality of freedom? The question takes on a vast scope of meanings under these distinctions; and since a complete interpretation of the question makes use of all four semantic headings, the number is increased by the number of possible combinations of the four. The indefinitely large number of possible meanings is the source of the richness of philosophic inquiry, for each interpretation may be used as the hypothesis for further investigation.

Further Reading:

http://www.richardmckeon.org/content/e-Publications/e-OnPhilosophy/McK-PhilosophicSemantics&Inquiry.pdf

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_will

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freethought

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_lunch

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_ain%27t_no_such_thing_as_a_free_lunch

Also:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_wants_to_be_free

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_the_press

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_Bird

Four Freedoms

https://equivalentexchange.blog/2012/04/09/the-four-freedoms/

[*9.184]

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The Eisenhower Matrix

July 7, 2018

What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important.

— Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the USA.

For your self improvement, here is a simple two by two matrix that can help you decide how to prioritize your “To Do” list. Sort everything into four groups, depending on whether it is important or not, and whether it is urgent or not:

  • Important & Urgent : Do First
  • Not Important & Urgent : Delegate
  • Important & Not Urgent : Do Later
  • Not Important & Not Urgent : Eliminate

Further Reading:

https://blog.trello.com/eisenhower-matrix-productivity-tool-trello-board?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=paid-content&utm_content=trello-blog-4&utm_campaign=trello_pocket_sponsor-content-h218

Other images of the Eisenhower Matrix:

https://www.google.com/search?q=eisenhower+matrix&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjon7_y9fbbAhUxwlkKHam9BEgQsAQIKw&biw=1398&bih=985

[*10.120]

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Tanabata

July 3, 2018

Soon it will be Tanabata (七夕) in Japan on July 7th.

Make a wish!

  • Orihime: 織姫
  • Hikoboshi: 彦星
  • Vega: 織女星
  • Altair: 牽牛星
  • Deneb: デネブ
  • Amanogawa (Milky Way): 天の川 or 銀河?

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata

http://www.iromegane.com/japan/make-a-wish-for-tanabata/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Triangle

[*10.48]

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Fearless Living

June 30, 2018

We can live with no fear if we remove these four pairs of opposites and have Right View.

— Thích Nhất Hạnh

  • No Birth
  • No Death
  • No Sameness
  • No Otherness
  • No Coming
  • No Going
  • No Being
  • No Non-being

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Nh%E1%BA%A5t_H%E1%BA%A1nh

https://tnhaudio.org/tag/pairs-of-opposites/

[*9.226]

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The Eightfold Path

June 26, 2018

The Noble Eightfold Path of Buddhism (八正道):

  • Right View (also Understanding) (正見)
  • Right Intention (also Thought) (正思唯)
  • Right Speech (正語)
  • Right Action (正業)
  • Right Livelyhood (正命)
  • Right Effort (正精進)
  • Right Mindfulness (正念)
  • Right Concentration (正定)

I’ve also translated the diagram into Chinese.

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noble_Eightfold_Path

https://tricycle.org/magazine/noble-eightfold-path/

https://www.buddha101.com/p_path.htm#The%20Eightfold%20Path

https://www.orientaloutpost.com/shufa.php?q=eightfold

[*10.118]

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Hannah Arendt: The Human Condition and the Life of the Mind

June 22, 2018

In her book “The Human Condition”, philosopher Hannah Arendt discussed the vita activa, the active life:

  • Labor
  • Work
  • Action

In “The Life of the Mind”, she wished to present the vita contemplativa, the contemplative life:

  • Thinking
  • Willing
  • Judgment

Unfortunately, she died just as started working on Judgment, so that aspect was just outlined with notes.

The differences between the active and the contemplative can also be thought of as the practical versus the theoretical. This pair of triplets is not easy to turn into a troika of duals.Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Human_Condition_(book)

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/09/16/hannah-arendt-the-life-of-the-mind/

https://www.giffordlectures.org/lectures/life-mind

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/arendt/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hannah_Arendt

[*9.98, *10.102]

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Six Types of Philosophers

June 18, 2018

I have mentioned fourfold classifications of philosophers before, most notably the Philosophical Semantics of philosopher Richard McKeon (which is similar to the Archic Matrix of Walter Watson and David Dilworth). These are actually sixteen-fold classifications, since each of four attributes have four types.

Instead, consider this six-fold classification by Justin E. H. Smith:

  • Curiosa – Particularist
  • Sage – Systematist
  • Gadfly – Social Critic, Commentator
  • Ascetic – Disciplinarian
  • Mandarin – Academic, Professional
  • Courtier – Bureaucrat, Institutionalist

In addition, here is another diagram of this same classification scheme.Further Reading:

Justin E.H. Smith / The Philosopher: A History in Six Types, Princeton University Press, 2016.

https://ndpr.nd.edu/news/the-philosopher-a-history-in-six-types/

http://keyreporter.org/BookReviews/LifeOfTheMind/Details/2054.html

http://www.jehsmith.com/

[*10.96]

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Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

June 14, 2018

STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. We often hear that these areas of education and expertise are critical for the development of our modern society. To attract students to these fields, banners and logos are full of bright colors and crisp graphics. In comparison, above is my rather dull diagram. Not very enticing, is it?

Some are now adding Arts to the four, giving STEAM. I think the Arts are important of course, but fives don’t go with my oeuvre.

In addition, I give you a diagram with Chinese substituted for English (科學 技術 工程 數學).

Further Reading:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science,_technology,_engineering,_and_mathematics

https://www.google.com/search?tbm=isch&sa=1&ei=uQMhW4zXG8Wc5gK13ImoBw&q=science+technology+engineering+mathematics&oq=science+technology+engineering+mathematics

[*10.110]

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Wan Shou Wu Jiang

June 10, 2018

While eating out the other day I noticed a melamine plate with an interesting fourfold arrangement of Chinese characters on it. After asking the waitress what they meant and she didn’t know, I decided to figure them out using “the internet”. I first tried to use a photo of one of the characters with Google translate, but that didn’t seem to work. Next I tried several “draw the character” websites like Mobilefish, but those are tricky and require you to draw the strokes of the character in the correct sequence. Finally, with some success I was able to determine that the characters “Wan Shou Wu Jiang” (wàn shòu wú jiāng or 萬壽無疆) mean “infinite long life”, and are on many Chinese tableware, both antique and everyday.

I have to say I think representing fourfolds with such tidy logograms is quite beautiful and I would enjoy seeing my diagrams translated into them.

Further Reading:

https://watersilkdragon.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/some-notes-on-wan-shou-wu-jiang-万寿无疆-porcelains-since-the-late-qing-period/

http://gotheborg.com/glossary/wanshouwujiang.shtml

https://www.mobilefish.com/services/chinese_handwriting_recognition/chinese_handwriting_recognition.php

https://www.google.com/search?q=萬壽無疆&client=firefox-b-1&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjNocTB-r3bAhVEoFMKHTWDBaEQ_AUICigB&biw=1480&bih=985

[*10.110]

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The Infinity Stones

April 16, 2018

Sure, why not? Here is a handy-dandy diagram for the six Infinity Stones appearing together soon in the latest Marvel/Disney extravaganza.

Further Reading:

https://www.npr.org/sections/monkeysee/2018/04/16/601138466/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-infinity-stones-before-the-new-avengers-movie

http://www.syfy.com/syfywire/where-are-all-the-infinity-stones-before-avengers-infinity-war

Please compare to other fine six-folds in this blog, for example:

https://equivalentexchange.wordpress.com/2017/09/24/the-philosophers-wheel/

https://equivalentexchange.wordpress.com/2017/09/09/simon-magus-and-the-six-roots-of-boundless-power/

[*10.96]

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