LS On thrones and chairs ++

Bodvar Skutvik (
Fri, 19 Sep 1997 10:38:28 +0100

For Diana:

I read the portion of LILA you referred to, and you are right; he speaks
about various things as CELEBRITY DEVICES. The line opens by his saying
that celebrity is a dynamic quality within a static social level of
evolution (like sex is on the static biological level). OK, I may be
painting myself into some corner here, but this is the way I interpret

It is the celebrity which is the value, and only human beings can be
celebrities (It touches on the term "power" - the dynamics that formed and
glued together societies of old and still does in many ways - but I am not
so sure if this quality can be said to reside in the "devices" themselves
except as my Oxford dictionary says: "invented for a purpose" - a symbolic
purpose. (The two topmost patterns utilize symbols to a great extent. The
concepts of language are inventions for intellectual purposes).
Money/wealth is another side of celebrity complex (fame&fortune), but the
value symbols coins/bills are but devices for payment. A bill is worthless
the moment it is found false, and a Rolls Royce car loses its worth in a
fuel crisis. Even pyramids are just heaps of stone now that its symbolic
forming society (of people) is gone. (Sitting down) to decide what level
each and every thing belongs and what subtle shifts takes place when it is
moved from place to place baffles me). Let's call chairs merely sitting
devices and thrones celebrity devices. So did Pirsig. Running the risk of
Magnus boycotting me I uphold that this leads nowhere.

For Magnus:
You ambushed me there! How I don't know, I haven't yet had the time to
elaborate on the AI/Robotic issue, and right now I planned to bring one
last argument in our definition of the Intellect issue.

You accused me of suddenly claiming demigod status for humans. The
Intellectual value level IS a higher morality than the Social one, so in
that capacity we have occupied the high ground and dominate the lower, but
in no way do we have a (demi-)God's eye view of OBJECTIVE REALITY. I do
not deny your cat a rich experience, wisdom, emotions, ability to "think",
miss its pal etc., but not by way of symbols - language. In the old days
there was a famous American author/advisor, Helen Keller (Platt may
remember her?) who was born blind, mute and deaf. In her autobiography she
describes the event when she crossed into the realm of language and
intellect. Her tutor had tried to bring her over by writing in her palms,
but Helen had not grasped the connection between words and sensation, until
one day when she poured water over one of her hands and wrote "water" in
the other. She describes it as a flash: a revelation, she suddenly "saw".
>From then on it was plain going and she became an intellectual celebrity
(!) giving "chautauquas" in magazines and newspapers. There is no smooth
transition from the Social to the Intellectual, it is another dimension.


PS: Welcome to Gene on the board.

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