Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts” (Part 4 of 4)

0019 Second, I look at the confounding of the sovereign and institution levels of the society tier, implicit in Josh Hammer’s opinion piece, and intrinsic to BG(il)L corporate media’s use of the word, “expert”, in reference to a federal bureaucrat.

0020 The following two-level interscope portrays the first two levels of the society tier.  The interscope for the society tieris developed in the masterwork, How To Define the Word “Religion”, available at smashwords.

0021 Here is a diagram.

0022 According to the first paragraph of Josh Hammer’s opinion piece, bureaucrats exercise federal power2b within the “bowels” of the administrative state3bC.  They do so by filling in legislative ambiguities and authorizations2bC. Bureaucratic decrees2bC establish the order1bC that vague legislation2bC mandates.

0023 How do federal bureaucrats develop their rule-based protocols?

They follow their “guts”… I mean… their “experts”.

0024 Of course, the metaphors of bowels and guts point to digestion.  Digestion nourishes the body.  What body?  The administrative state?

0025 So, I ask, “What if the administrative state is a body?”

Well, the body is animated by a soul.

What is the soul of the administrative state?

0026 Well, why do the legislators pass vague laws2bC that authorize federal bureaucracies to do what they deem appropriate in order1bC to achieve certain organizational objectives2aC?

They do so on the basis of righteousness1aC.

0027 Does this imply that the Congress confounds the potential for order1bC with the potential for righteousness1aC?

Yes, for the past century, Congress establishes institutions3a within the federal government3bC on the basis of righteousness1aC, leaving the (federal) institutions themselves3aC to fill in the details of the authorizations2bC.

0028 This confounding constitutes one of two types of religion.  Infrasovereign religions are institutions3aC arising out of righteousness1aC and bounded by the necessity of order1bC.  Sovereign religions are institutions3aC that require (and exercise) sovereign power3bC in order to implement their organizational objectives2aC.

The other type of religion is suprasovereign3cC.

0029 While Josh Hammer’s point concerns the manipulative use of the word, “expert”, to refer to a federal bureaucrat, there is a deeper current in his opinion.  Vaguely-worded legislation authorizing bureaucracies to fill in the details2bCconfounds order1bC and righteousness1aC and constitutes the formation of a sovereign religion3aC.  Such legislation2bCviolates the first amendment of the Constitution, forbidding the federal government from establishing a religion.


Looking at Manvir Singh’s Article (2021) “Magic, Explanations, and Evil” (Part 5 of 5)

0016 To me, Singh’s three cultural selection schemas for malevolent magic recapitulate the scaffolding below them.  Evilis a privation of good.

0017 Malevolent magic is like a figure in a mirror.  It is not the good that stands before the mirror.  Instead, it is a purely relational being that recapitulates the figure that stands before it.  Something is wrong.  Something is missing.  There is nothing behind the surface of the mirror, even though the reflected image seems real.  The reflected image seems to stand behind the surface of the mirror as if occupying space in a real world.

Can anyone see what is behind a mirror?

0018 Perhaps, this explains why Singh cannot see the magic of everyday life that both underlies and supports his expert statistical analysis.  He cannot see through the glass upon which he stands.  He looks down and sees the world above him, full of witches and sorcerers, instigators of mystical harm.

0019 Razie Mah’s comments associate features of Singh’s essay to elements in a category-based nested form.  Singh’s argument retains its integrity, even as his vision is transubstantiated from a reflection into a real anthropological subject of interest.  What is the nature of magic?  Does magic touch base with the presence underlying the word, “religion”?

0020 Anthropologists take note.

Print out copies of Manvir Singh’s publication in Current Anthropology and Razie Mah’s Comments on Manvir Singh’s Essay (2021) “Magic, Evil and Explanations”.

Present the pair to a few graduate students, asking, “Which is real and which is fake?”

Is Anthropology a science? Or is it a discipline of interpretations?


Looking at Manvir Singh’s Article (2021) “Magic, Explanations, and Evil” (Part 4 of 5)

0014 For example, a number of ladies in the community, noting that berries are in season, set out to collect several baskets.  They perform the rituals of gathering to ensure success.  Then they set out, chattering, as always.  During the harvest, one mother is bit by a spider that no one can identify.  After hastily returning, they bring the spider’s remains to the shaman.

The shaman is concerned.  He makes a paste to put over the bite.  The next morning, the woman is dead and the berries, left overnight in the baskets, are mysteriously rotted.

0015 Later, questions arise.


Looking at Manvir Singh’s Article (2021) “Magic, Explanations, and Evil” (Part 3 of 5)

0010 Singh identifies two principle components to harmful magic, witchiness (PC1) and the evil eye (PC2).

What happens next?

0011 Singh proposes a model to account for the observation.  The model consists of three schemes of cultural selection.

The first selection (F) is for intuitive techniques of harmful magic.

The second selection (G) is for plausible explanations of misfortune.

The third selection (H) is for myths that demonize a subgroup (in this case, sorcerers and witches).

0012 Singh misses the scaffolding beneath the glass that he stands on.  His exposition is on malevolent magic.  He does not seem to realize that malevolent magic recapitulates the open, generative magic of group living, including…

…intuitive techniques for beneficial magic (F’)…

…plausible explanations of fortune (G’)…

…myths that celebrate the group (H’).

0013 Here is a table.


Looking at Manvir Singh’s Article (2021) “Magic, Explanations, and Evil” (Part 2 of 5)

0005 Anthropology stands astride the narrower, more technical, disciplines of Sociology and Psychology.

Manvir Singh constructs a modern paradigm for a topic dear to Anthropology, but not to the narrower disciplines.

What is the nature of magic?

0006 Singh publishes the results of a Mystical Harm Survey, applied to 60 societies on the Probability Sample File of the electronic Human Relations Area Files.  He uses principal component analysis to reduce forty-nine raw variables to two principal dimensions with the greatest variation.

Principal components?  Greatest variation?

0007 Principal components are the dimensions with the greatest variation in a scatterplot.

Typically, principal component analysis shows variables that are relevant to the topic at hand.

For example, when considering mystical harm, one would expect significant variation between a common person and, say, a warlock, along some parameter that might be called, “warlockness”.

0008 Singh finds two parameters distinguishing common folk, sorcerers and witches.  Witches are high in PC1 and low in PC2.  Sorcerers are low in PC1 and high in PC2.

PC1 is witchiness.  Witches fly, meet in secret in the forest on a full moon, suddenly appear and disappear, and so on.  To me, witchiness is the embodiment of malicious magic.  Witches not only perform magic, they live it.

PC2 is the evil eye.  Sorcerers do not embody the magic that they perform.  Instead, the magic resides in their gaze.  The evil eye is a harmful mystical operation that signifies a whole range of magical works.  The evil eye is the worst.

0009 Singh does not dwell on the seemingly philosophical distinction between embodiment and gaze.  Neither do the anthropologists who are pleased with the scatterplot of PC1 and PC2 in Figure 1 (of the article).  Anthropology looks like science.


Looking at Manvir Singh’s Article (2021) “Magic, Explanations, and Evil” (Part 1 of 5)

0001 This blog compliments Comments on Manvir Singh’s Essay (2021) “Magic, Evil and Explanations”, available at smashwords and other websites selling electronic works.

0002 Singh’s article appears in Current Anthropology.

Manvir Singh is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse, France.

To me, his work contrasts with Sasha Newell, who, in 2018, publishes a theoretical piece titled, “The Affectiveness of Symbols”, also in Current Anthropology.

Singh aims for science.  Newell focuses on interpretation.

0003 Will the discipline of Anthropology turn towards an empirio-schematic approach or towards an approach where the word, “science”, is no longer relevant?

Mark Horowitz, William Yaworsky and Kenneth Kickham publish a survey, under the title, “Anthropology’s Science Wars: Insights from an New Survey”, in 2019, in Current Anthropology.

0004 These three papers tell us much about the divided discipline of contemporary Anthropology.


Comments on Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection” (Part 3)

0013 Here is the complete Marey square, once again.

Figure 4

0014 Do I see a problem?

Modern economists advocate for federal policies to reduce income inequality (A2) as a way to keep the peace (A1).  In other words, inequality (A2) feeds into economic causation (A1).

Does the same pattern apply to the contrasting elements (B1 and B2)?

Should modern economists also address the contribution of identity?

Or does that responsibility rest with a different suite of experts?

You know, the one’s who argue that “identity” is fully malleable, yet behave as if it is fixed.

0015 Does the proposed solution of reducing economic inequality (A2) create an unintended consequence of forcing equality (B2) onto identity (B1)?

Is there a word that describes forcing equality (B2) onto identity (B1)?

How about the term, “conformity”.

If, identity cannot be fashioned out of the creative expression of experts, then identity is not something that readily changes.  Identity is not so easily altered.

0016 What happens to the proposed solution?

Reducing economic inequality entails conformity, which explains government and private-public sector behaviors subsequent to the incident in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, the so-called “insurrection”.

The US Congress passes legislation to crack down on “domestic terrorists”, that is, people who do not conform.  They also impeach, for a second time, a figurehead that serves as the “other”, the one who does not conform.  Onto this other, they project their own crimes.

Private-public sector companies purge their platforms of people who do not conform with their corporatist stance, where the federal government handles the problem of economic inequality.  In doing so, they promote equality of identity for those remaining on their platforms.  Those who remain are complicit in purging those who do not have identities worthy of equality.  Of course, those who are unworthy of equality do not believe the experts.

0017 Marey’s square identifies two experts.  One drives the broadcast conversation, attributing social unrest (insurrection) to economic causes, particularly inequality.  The other drives a hidden conversation, where favored identities conform to the narrative.  In the latter case, experts are cultivated in order to chastise those who do not conform and to justify exclusion from public-private platforms.

0018 In short, Marey’s brief article hones in on a serious entanglement, which cannot be discussed, binding a BG(il)L public narrative (A1) with a hidden agenda concerning  identity (B1).  Forced conformity (B1, B2) is as disturbing as economic inequality (A1, A2).


Comments on Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection” (Part 2)

0009 The next slot, A2, speaks against identity issues.  Since identities are not equal, then the term, “inequality”, fits.  Yet, inequality is not the same as different identities, so the contradiction is real, yet confusing.  What happens when all identities are equal?

0010 What contrasts with inequality?

Equality, of course.

0011 Here is the completed Marey square for the causes underlying insurrection.

Figure 3

0012 What characterizes the word, “insurrection2a“, as situated by causality2b by modern academics?

Economic causation (A1) is the economist’s focal point.

Identity issues (B1) contrast with economic causation (A1) and lingers slightly below consciousness.

Inequality (A2) stands in contradiction to identity (B1) and complements economic causation (A2).  Indeed, many BG(il)L academics conclude that government policies should be designed to reduce economic inequality, in order to remove fuel for insurrection.

Equality (B2) contrasts with inequality (A2), speaks against economic causality (A1) and complements identity-as-cause (B1).


Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction in Aquarius (Part 4)

0015 Does Aquarius touch base with the first singularity?

Capricorn is half-goat and half-fish, which corresponds to the dual earth-water origin of the Ubaid culture, 7821 years ago.

The Greeks do not capture this image with their story of Pan being caught in an alternate chimerism.

0016 Neither do the Greeks capture the nature of how Aquarius resonates with the origin of astrology within our current Lebenswelt.

Ganymede is a youth so handsome that he is taken up to be the cupbearer for the Greek gods.  So Aquarius is symbolized by a youth pouring water from a jug onto earth.

0017 Ah, it turns out that in Babylon, the god Ea carries an overflowing vase of water.  This is the same Ea that is associated with both land and sea in Capricorn.  And, this is the same Ea that is associated with the primordial waters.

0018 So, bearing jugs of water for the gods?

In one Mesopotamian origin myth, humans are created in order to do the work that the gods were tired of doing.

Is that what is in store for the next 200 years?

0019 Against this speculation, the sign of Aquarius is an air sign, rather than an earth or a water sign.  So, where does Ea fit in with the creation of the air.

What does pouring water have to do with giving birth?

In one ancient Mesopotamian myth, Enlil, the god of the air, is born from the union of Aku, the sky, and Ea, the water.

0020 Ah, that is more like it.

Aquarius touches base with the birth of unconstrained social complexity.  Unconstrained social complexity has the character of the weather, the air, the storm and the wind. There is no telling how the spirit moves.  But, drop a coin into an astrologer’s hand and you may hear how the sun, the moon, the planets and the constellations put your turbulence into a celestial perspective and divinized opportunities.

0021 So, the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, in the sign of Aquarius, in December 2020, also resonates with the start of our current Lebenswelt.  Enlil is born again.

Figure 04


Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction in Aquarius (Part 3)

0011 In April 2020, I posted a series of blogs about the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, with Jupiter co-present (but not in conjunction).  This celestial event in January, 2020, marks the start of one of the most bizarre plagues of modern medical history.  Even though the novel coronavirus from 2019, has a fatality rate of less than 5% for people over 75 years old (and for people with co-morbidities, including asthma), the responses of governments throughout the world has been amazing.

Rather than protecting old folks, health-care bureaucrats locked down entire populations.

0012 How did the crisis start?

The novel coronavirus initially spread after the City of Wuhan held a huge banquet commemorating the upcoming lunar New Year, the Year of the Rat.  Already, the easily transmitted RNA-based virus had infected many. This was its opportunity. When Wuhan’s residents returned to their native homes for the Lunar New Year, the disease spread throughout China.  Also, the disease passed through international air terminals to the rest of the world.

0013 This mundane event coincides with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction.  Capricorn is the sign of government and organization.  Saturn is the planet of time (as in, ‘your time is up’ or ‘your time has come’).  Pluto is the sign of the underworld.

Is it any coincidence that health-care experts come out and declare this novel coronavirus to be a grave disease?

Here is a picture.

Figure 03

0014 As discussed in my blogs in April, 2020, the imagery of the sign of Capricorn touches base with the first singularity.Thus, the conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn resonates with the dawn of astrology, as a specialization within our current living world.