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Archive for June, 2014

Man cannot live without a permanent trust in something indestructible in himself though both the indestructible element and the trust may remain permanently hidden from him.

 

–Kafka

 

I am in a sort of limbo at the moment, attempting, I have convinced myself, of reconstructing my life after recovery from the lapse in 2009, a momentary lapse of reason perhaps.   Kafka, and the criticism of Kafka by Corngold has been on my mind especially for efforts for recovery. Financially at least, Disability Insurance covers my daily existence although more ambitious ideas I have had regarding trading or a technology startup are in disarray.   Kafka began keeping a diary—a very famous diary—during a lull in writing. He writes about it in terms of constructing two houses, of ego and of writing. Food, sex and philosophy are the needs of the ego according to him. My extreme ambitions preclude building a comfortable ego house. It is clear that my inner genius treads ground not fully digestable by society. I am rather glad that Corngold’s distaste for political reading of Kafka elicited in me a questioning of centering political concerns, even if they are about fundamental issues of justice, in my life. Appeal of a homeland on the moon is growing stronger.

 

I wish that S4 physics were 20 years more developed with significant talent. Then it would be much easier to attempt to understand consciousness in terms of four dimensional electromagnetism. This would allow a clearer understanding of the nature of conscious existence much better. I really do have extremely high hopes of how much humanity can penetrate into the unseen existence via science.   But this seems like a hopelessly ambitious task for a single person; I appreciate the special anxiety of the difficulty of moving in a never-ending staircase.

 

What is there that is indestructible, then, that I can detect within myself. There is certainly a conceit in the unique destiny of the entire universe and therefore a sort of automatic indestructible destiny with fortune and misfortune being arbitrarily interpreted. But these sorts of abstract properties are fundamentally unsatisfactory. The seemingly important practical particularities: daily life in San Francisco living in El Capitan Hotel, spending the day attempting to be productive at my virtual office at Muddy Waters Café on Valencia and 16th retracing my way back to some normal existence and integration with society. In self-deprecating humor it is tempting to consider the arrogance of a Lucifer to be this indestructible element but this is obviously not right although I have explored this side of reality with some interest.

 

If self-destruction is meant to be an easy way ot discovering the indestructible element, it is actually not, as one can consider the events of 2007-9 to be a self-destruction without producing a coherent answer. Perhaps a Romantic. Vanity induces the idea that my delusional performances in the real world were the artist of the self.

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In an exercise of imaginative excess, perhaps, I came across a metaphysical space where demons competed with each other to act out mythologies for human beings.  An entire economy bustled within this space.  Half-completed mythologies were in high demand for which payment was in flipped golden coins.  Perhaps a fantasy but I had come across bustling markets for war as well.

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Drivers of fate?

Kafka died around 41, around my current age.  He contemplated death throughout his work, the death of the empirical ego in ecstatic writing, the literal deaths of Josef K. and other main characters.  I had been excited since 2008 when I first realized that the universe must be a static scaled 4-sphere governed by deterministic laws, and therefore eternal with a well-defined ‘fate’ in the abstract sense of being a dynamical system in a compact geometrical space.  I have spent an enormous amount of effort imagining ways in which ‘meaning’ can be made of events in the objective universe.  Theoretical answers are not difficult to construct–these are precisely the exercises undertaken by the mythologists of every age.  Creation myths simply changed from Hesiod to Big Bang.  The trouble with the question is not a dearth of answers but an overabundance of noise: the religious explanations will provide us with extreme specificity of God/Devil and their minions thereby evading the issue altogether.  The S4 picture, as unspecific as it is regarding the detailed structure of the metaphysical universe, gives us broad bounds of the possible, and thankfully eliminates a creator God.  Kafka could consider God intimately and be able to write, ‘God does not want me to write–but I, I must’.  I cannot be so fortunate as it is unclear to me whether there is any coherent God responsible for my fortunes and misfortunes.  Several years of creative myth-construction had left me with many strange metaphysical experiences in which none of the myths fit completely, and the interpretation of the events of my own life in disarray.  How fortunate are the empiricist zealots who have a particularly simple mythology by eliminating all metaphysical possibilities as subjective.  Drivers of fate remain completely mysterious to me, even of personal fate.  A vague sense that there may be possibilities for human beings to affect great events metaphysically has no empirical evidence whatsoever.  Ultimately narrative of events based purely on considerations of geopolitical power are deceptive, too shallow, to give indications of drivers of fate.  Reading Nietzsche’s Schopenhauer essay one might feel that drivers of fate might be such apparent empirical features such as the laziness of human being as a feature of nature are drivers of fate.  There is some truth to this but of course this sort of answer is unsatisfactory with anyone with a serious interest in this matter.

 

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The thing to remember about R’s optim function is that the objective function takes a single parameter.  The parameter set for an LMSV (with ARMA(1,1)) are (\sigma_\eta, \sigma_\epsilon, a, b).  One defines the LMSV (negative) log-likelhood via the Whittle approximation in the frequency domain

LL(\omega_k) = \frac{1}{n}( \log F_\beta(\omega_k) + I(\omega_k)/F_\beta(\omega_k)

The periodogram can be calculated with FFT using stats function spec.pgram.  Then define an objective function on the four-dimensional parameter and then one can call optim for the maximum likelihood estimation.  This is relatively fast so long as FFT is used to calculate I.

> opt<-optim(par=c(0.5,0.5,0.5),fn=objective,method=’BFGS’,control=list(trace=1))
initial  value 1.842240
iter  10 value 1.610545
iter  20 value 1.593672
final  value 1.592394
converged
> opt$par[1] 0.9849976 0.9179985 0.9677956

 

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I started studying Kafka probably early 1990s but I don’t think I understood him at all until last week with some effort expended.  Kafka’s stories are so rich with temptation to interpret–the torture machine that tatoos the sentence on the skin of the prisoner in “In the Penal Colony” is overdetermined in its interpretative possibilities for example.  One must look beyond the temptations to interpret individual elements of such stories to understand that Kafka considered his task as a writer precisely to shatter the empirical reality precisely to reach metaphysical states of extreme symbolism.  In ‘A Country Doctor’ we find a specific way in which quick twists break up empirical expectations: the doctor had gone to treat a young boy who at first seemed to be not ill and soon after was found to have a remarkable gash infected with worms both twists shaking up the doctor’s normal expectations.

Kafka’s project of reaching a homeland on the moon through writing I concretely understand in the context of the S4 picture of the universe with objective metaphysics of literally reaching privileged states in a four (spatial) dimensional universe.  We are clearly quite far from any scientific understanding of the metaphysical since we do not have an established physics that can even allow the existence of the metaphysical; but Kafka’s approach is extremely valuable, of voluntary self-extinction for art, to reach the state of Phlebas, who ‘forgot the cry of gulls and the deep sea swell and the profit and loss’.

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I feel Stanley Corngold’s Kafka as ecstatic writer-mystic is spot on.  A concrete example of the sort of way in which Kafka proceeds to destroy the empirical reality to find a ‘homeland in the moon’ is apparent in ‘A Country Doctor’ which tells of a day when a series of events leads to the doctor stuck in a gig with unknown horses naked in the cold.  That this might be touching on a universal aspect of art might be supported from another artist: Eliot in The Waste Land:

Phlebas the Phoenician, a fortnight dead,
  Forgot the cry of gulls, and the deep sea swell
  And the profit and loss.
                                           A current under sea
  Picked his bones in whispers. As he rose and fell
  He passed the stages of his age and youth
  Entering the whirlpool.
                                         Gentile or Jew
  O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,                          
  Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.

This is a very different manner of disintegrating the empirical reality; in both Eliot and Kafka, the natural forces of fate overwhelm the protagonist but the ‘current under the sea’ of Eliot becomes much more concrete theater and inscrutible acts of fate or perhaps events in a location free of time.

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A dream vision

With a periodicity of millions of years, I learned, the universe is reborn by the phoenixes.  Phoenixes compete in the process with elaborate intrigues.  Things went badly wrong and the entire universe became unstable and we had the task of creating a stable universe in which to escape.  We had a craft of type capable of moving to safety.  We went far into the edge of existence where time itself was negated.  It was a dog named Prometheus who for many centuries helped mediate conflict between us and the shadow people who.  Altogether elsewhere, demons competed with each other to produce for us the mythologies for a new universe.

 

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