Looking at Betsy DeVos’s Book (2022) “Hostages No More” (Part 5 of 8)

0028 State and local initiatives3c contextualize a perspective-level actuality2c that manifests the potential of educational freedom1c.

0029 What is freedom1c and how is it different from (il)liberalism1c?

(Il)liberalism1c maintains regulatory control while promoting the appearance of individual autonomy.

Freedom1c requires the person to take initiatives in the face of uncertainty.

0030 What do I mean by freedom1c?

The virtual nested form in the realm of potential says, “The normal context of educational freedom1c brings the actuality of one’s occupation1b into relation with the potential of ‘both personal motivations and the perspective-level normal context of educational initiatives’1a.”

What is a one word label for the perspective-level normal context of local initiatives1c projecting motivational awareness into the content-level potential1a?

Does the term, “empowerment”, apply?

0031 Uh-oh, Betsy DeVos now replaces three elements in the interscope of BG3c(il)L1c education.

Figure 07

0032 Obviously, DeVos’s use of the term, “empowerment”, does not coincide with its use the normal context of big-government3c.  For BG(il)L, “empowerment” conveys the illusion of individual autonomy within the (hidden) normal context of regulatory control.  

0033 When a parent and a student hear the word, “empowerment”, they imagine that there is only one meaning to the term.  Is that not the way that spoken words work? Words are placeholders in a system of differences.  One cannot have one placeholder in two systems of differences.

Or… can one?

Obviously, the meaning of the word, “empowerment”, depends on whether the perspective-level normal context is the Department of Education’s big government3c or Betsy DeVos’s creative initiatives3c.

0034 Is this some sort of language game?

Betsy DeVos made a move, substituting a new terms in for three elements of the BG(il)L interscope.

What are her opponents, the devotees of BG(il)L, going to do?

0035 What is the opposite of freedom? 

How about slavery?

Slavery is a system where every person is certain to have a job.  It is the ultimate act of equal employment.  Slavery is the ultimate occupation in terms of certainty, even though no one wants the jobs.

0036 What does this imply?

Freedom associates to uncertainty.

Slavery associates to certainty.

BG(il)L offers the facade of individual autonomy while retaining regulatory control.

BG(il)L offers the facade of freedom while keeping the subject a slave.

BG(il)L offers, in a world filled with uncertainty, certainty.

If you get the certificate2a, then you will get a job1b that shows that you belong to a profession2b.  That is certainty1c.

BG(il)L initiatives3c cultivate certainty1c and job security1b.

Betsy DeVos’s initiatives3c create uncertainty1c and jobs that are not defined by federal regulations1b.

0037 Here is a picture of how the manipulative permanent members of the Department of Education respond to the establishment-challenging rhetoric of Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of the Department of Education

Figure 08

Power must be restored to the bureaucrats,.

0038 What does this back and forth imply?

In the imperial capital, it is all a game of words.  Each technical term, such as “empowerment” and “freedom”, has one meaning in the interscope of BG(il)L3c and another meaning in the interscope of Betsy DeVos3c, the eleventh Secretary at the Department of Education.

0039 The three-level interscope is the game board.

Betsy DeVos makes a move.

The establishment counters.


Looking at Betsy DeVos’s Book (2022) “Hostages No More” (Part 6 of 8)

0040 Given the tussle between the established players of the Department of Education and the Secretary of the Same Department, I wonder.

Are there any other tussles going on?

After all, this rhetorical game of element substitution for the interscope of BG(il)L education can also be played by factions within the Department of Education itself.

0043 The Department of Education’s BG(il)L perspective serves the interests of a central government attempting to manage individual ambitions by providing pathways to specializations2b, hence jobs1b, through certification2a.  The central government engages in cultural selection3b (in the specializations that they regulate) and individual selection3b (in that individuals exercise automony1a in their alignment with BG(il)L incentives1a towards certification2a).

0044 So, what happens if factions within the central government desire more?

What if a faction desires to manage the individual itself?

How weird can BG3c(il)L1c get?

0045 Well, I already know that, in some universities in the West, social constructivism replaces all fields of inquiry that presume that humans encounter mind-independent realities (including the reality of others’ mind-dependent beings, both past and present).

Indeed, social constructivism replaces the potential of truth with the potential of the human will.

Or, something like that.

0046 See Looking at Sad Gaad’s Book (2020) Parasitic Mind, at Razie Mah’s blog, running in April 2023.

What do individuals socially construct?


My identity becomes my job1b.

The group that I identify with becomes my specialization2b.  Another word for specialization is “lifestyle2b“.  What are your chosen pronouns?

Individual and cultural selection3b then morphs into group-identity… er… lifestyle selection3b.

0047 Here is a picture of the substitutions on the situation level.

Figure 09

0048 For the perspective level, BG(il)L interventions3c replace big government3c.

These interventions3c select in favor of some lifestyles3b (take a guess, I bet that none of the guesses describe Betsy DeVos) and against other lifestyles3b (take a guess, I bet that many of the guesses apply to Betsy DeVos).

Indeed, a whole new suite of expertise is demanded.  This expertise2c is capable of explaining BG(il)L perspective-level interventions3c in terms of social justice, critical theory and social constructivism.  Interventional expertise2c emerges from (and situates) the potential of ‘certainty’1c.  In turn, certainty1c virtually contextualizes identity1b.  Plus, identity1bvirtually situates the personal choice that one is groomed for1a.

0049 Here is how the “woke” faction of the Department of Education alters the three-level interscope of BG(il)L.

Figure 10

Looking at Betsy DeVos’s Book (2022) “Hostages No More” (Part 7 of 8)

0050 Surely, Gad Saad, Heather Heying, Bret Weinstein and Betsy DeVos address an unanticipated historical moment,marked by a failure of the Federal Department of Education to maintain the virtual nested form of (il)liberalism1cbringing jobs1b into relation with the possibility that individuals are motivated1a to become certified2a as specialists2bwho will then fill those jobs1b.  The student loan crisis is a symptom of that failure.  Students are not getting the jobs1bthat they are specialized2b in, indicating a failure of the federal educational system3b.

0051 In contrast, Betsy DeVos proposes educational3c freedom1c.

Her proposals alter the ongoing BG(il)L three-level paradigm.

Figure 11

Indeed, these are just the beginning.

0052 Federal bureaucrats counter with BG(il)L initiatives2c that promise certainty1c, rather than the uncertainty that they rhetorically associate with freedom1c.

Figure 12

0053 At the same time, a faction within the Federal Department of Education wakes up.  They see that the central government is no longer interested in just regulating the organization tier. It wants to control the society and individual in community tiers as well.

Plus, the central government is catastrophically failing in its control of the economic sphere, as witnessed in the fact that (1) certified individuals are saddled with enormous amounts of debt that they cannot seem to pay off and (2) one of the (if not the) largest assets of the federal government consists in student loans.

This faction becomes “woke”, initiating a substantial overhaul of the BG(il)L interscope on the basis of three intellectual movements: social justice, critical theory and social constructivism.

Figure 13

0054 None of these interscopes are fixed.  They are like pictures of a chessboard during certain moments in a tournament.  At the same time, they suggest what is at stake.  If federally financed education is not about training for jobs1b, then is education about being groomed for an identity1b?

The game plays out in the theater of politics, just like Shakespeare’s King Lear plays out in a conventional theater.  Actors speak their lines, hoping to convince a naive audience that their stories are real.  But, the real drama goes on in the minds of the audience, who are constantly asking themselves, “What the hell is going on?”


Looking at Betsy DeVos’s Book (2022) “Hostages No More” (Part 8 of 8)

0055 Now comes the moment of truth.

The curtain is closed.

Before it opens, I want to thank Betsy DeVos for taking this reader beyond the notion of school choice and into the dynamics of educational freedom1c.  There is more to be discovered in this new jurisdiction, standing outside the prison of big government3c (il)liberalism1c.

0056 Of course, the curtain may never open.  People may decide that it is better to live as slaves under the appearance of freedom.  But, that collective decision only assures the experts that appearances are no longer necessary.  Experts are trained to know these things.  Certain experts are prepared to make us slaves to the identities that they have manufactured for us.

0057 Be that as it may, the following diagram presents (what I imagine) is behind the curtain.  Betsy DeVos’s educational interscope is a vision to behold.

Figure 14

Looking at Brian Kemple’s Book (2019) “The Intersection” (Part 1 of 4)

0001 According to Neoplatonic legend, the descent of the soul starts with a small immaterial gem resting on an undefinable pillow in the presence of transcendental beauty.  Then, a trap door opens and the little source of illuminationbegins to fall.  As it descends, it accrues matter.  Matter enters form.

One may say that the matter is evil and the soul, good, and conclude that the immortal soul becomes encased in corruptible matter.  But, the story is more complicated, because the term, “matter” slyly includes the capacity to become entangled with purely relational being.  Matter holds the capacity for meaning.  Matter substantiates form.  So Christians, following the complication, witness the baby as bearing a message.  The message?  Baptize me.

0002 The book before me is Brian Kemple’s The Intersection of Semiotics and Phenomenology: Peirce and Heidegger in Dialogue, published in 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Press (Boston/Berlin).  The masterwork is dedicated to the memory of John Deely (1942-2017 AD), who served as Kemple’s professor.

0003 The book presents a complex argument.  I, a simpleton, fixate on the titular word, “intersection”.

For me, the term has a technical definition, as formulated in the chapter on message in the e-book How To Define The Word “Religion” (by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues).  An intersection is a single actuality composed of two actualities, each with its own category-based nested form.

Say what?

See A Primer on the Category-based Nested Form.

0004 A photon is an example of an intersection of two actualities: a wave and a particle.  The normal context of a diffraction apparatus3 brings wave properties of light2 into relation with the potential of ‘observations of wavelengths’1.  The normal context of a metal plate3 brings particle properties of light2 into relation with potential ‘observations of the photo-electric effect’1.

0005 Here is a picture.

Figure 01

0006 Here is another way to look at the photon as intersection.

Figure 02

0007 In the following blogs, I will endeavor to visualize whether Kemple’s use of the term, “intersection”, coheres with this technical definition.

In order to do so, I will locate two category-based nested forms, one for both Peirce and one for Heidegger, and see whether the two actualities meld into one. 


Looking at Brian Kemple’s Book (2019) “The Intersection” (Part 2 of 4)

0008 The intersection is a technical term describing a single actuality constituted by two seemingly independent actualities.

Figure 03

Now I collect two nested forms from prior works by Razie Mah.

0009 For Peirce, I consider A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  Point 0062 presents a three level interscope, depicting Peirce’s social construction.  Here is a diagram of the virtual nested form in the realm of actuality.

Figure 04

0010 The content-level actuality2a is the discovery that signs are triadic relations2a.  Triadic relations are luminous2a and Peirce cannot situate that luminosity2b within the modern philosophies of his day.  This difficulty2b situates the content-level actuality2a and demands social construction3c. Peirce realizes that three categories contextualize all experience2c(because all experience utilizes signs2a).  The categories of firstness, secondness and thirdness are discussed in detail in chapter four of Kemple’s book.

0011 For Heidegger, I turn to Comments on Alexander Dugin’s Book (2012) The Fourth Political Theory.  Point 0037 presents a three-level interscope for Heidegger’s construction of Being (Sein).  Once again, the virtual nested form in the realm of actuality captures my attention.

Here is a diagram.

Figure 05

The normal context of inzwischen2c (in between-ness) brings the actuality of Dasein2b (the realization that Being is there (da-)) into relation with the possibilities inherent in Sein2a (Being Itself).

0012 For these two virtual nested forms to serve as the nested forms for an intersection, the perspective-level actualities2c, must take on the character of thirdness (over and above their location in secondness).  This makes sense in so far as the perspectivec level corresponds to thirdness, the realm of normal contexts.

The same “taking on” applies to the content-level actualities2a.  They take on the character of firstness (over and beyond their location in secondness).  This makes sense because the contenta level corresponds to firstness, the realm of possibility.

0013 Here is the resulting intersection.

Figure 06

Looking at Brian Kemple’s Book (2019) “The Intersection” (Part 3 of 4)

0014 Unbeknownst to author, Razie Mah proposes a technical definition of the term, “intersection”, that adorns the title of Brian Kemple’s book.  An intersection is a single actuality composed of two actualities.  Every intersection is riddled with unresolved, and unresolvable, contradictions.  The intersection is inherently mysterious.  The philosopher strives to delineate these contradictions, not to resolve them.

0015 Here is the intersection derived from Peirce’s social construction and Heidegger’s construction of Being in the prior blogs.

Figure 07

0017 To me, the coincidence is amazing.  Kemple identifies the category-based structure that brings Peirce and Heidegger together and, in the subtitle, suggests a name for the single actuality.  The name is “dialogue”.

I wonder if “dialogue” is the same as “delineating a union of two actualities without resolving their contradictions”.

The word that labels the single actuality should intimate the difficulty of Kemple’s task and perhaps, the genius of his approach.

0018 At first, Kemple tempts the reader by mentioning an author who, early on, inspires both Peirce and Heidegger.  A manuscript by Thomas of Erfurt, long attributed to the scholastic philosopher Scotus, discusses modes of signification for a speculative grammar.  Speculative grammar?  Look at the above figure.  Should the single actuality be labeled, “speculative grammar”?

Yes, Peirce and Heidegger are inspired by Thomas of Erfurt.

0019 After that tease, Kemple devotes a division (chapters two and three) to Heidegger, followed by a division (chapters four and five) to Peirce.  In these two divisions, Kemple introduces a term that takes a step beyond the German compound-words of Umwelt and Lebenswelt.  The Umwelt is the significant world for each type of animal.  The Lebenswelt denotes the world of signification for our kind, to which I add a caveat.

There are two Lebenswelts.  The first is the Lebenswelt that we evolved in (characterized by hand- and hand-speech talk).  The second is our current Lebenswelt (characterized by speech-alone talk).  In one more step, Kemple introduces the compound-word, “Bildendwelt”, for civilizations within our current Lebenswelt, such as the one discussed in Looking at Heather Heying and Bret Weinstein’s Book (2021) A Hunter-Gather’s Guide to the 21st Century.


Looking at Brian Kemple’s Book (2019) “The Intersection” (Part 4 of 4)

0020 The term, Bildendwelt, sounds like the concatenation of the words, “Bilden” and “dwelt”, as in the English statement, “I dwelt in that Bilden, before it came crashing down.”

In order to appreciate my humor, consider the October 1, 2022, blog at www.raziemah.com, titled, “Fantasia in G Minor: A speech written for Gunnar Beck MEP”.

Da Bilden is coming down!

Oh, I meant to say… the Bildendwelt makes no sense at all.

0021 So much for wordplay.

The compound-word, Bildendwelt stands, waiting to be refined in the furnace of postmodern use.

0022 The third division of Kemple’s book weaves together divisions one and two, titled World and Sign, into an intersection.  In the process, Kemple focuses on two elements in the following figure: Sein1V and sign1H.

Figure 08

0023 To me, Kemple’s focus is remarkable, because Being1V and triadic relations1H are crucial for bringing our lineage from Umwelt, to Lebenswelt, and further into Bildendwelt.  Indeed, I wonder whether these compound terms should be used to label the single actuality of Peirce’s experience2H and Dasein2V.

0024 But, let me not ignore one further possibility, the single actuality is us.

Here is a list of labels for the single actuality.

Figure 09

0025 Now, I can portray our descent.

Imagine us, as purely spiritual illuminations, perched on undefinable pillows, in the presence of transcendent beauty in an era when all time is now.  A trap door opens and we descend into Being and Time.  As we fall, we accrete two actualities, coinciding with Peirce’s experience following his realization that signs are real1H and with Heidegger’s vision of Dasein1V.  These actualities are full of contradictions.

As we descend through Being and Time, we accrue World and Sign.  We pass through our primordial Umwelt, the Lebenswelt that we evolve in, the first singularity, our current Lebenswelt and now, our Bildendwelt.  Descent with modification.  Then we are born, in the present, and each one of us bears a message.  Baptize me.

0026 What does baptism do?

Baptism cleanses us of Gestell, the grammars of our world, carrying temptation, misdirections and lures that entrap us, confound us, and, in the end, convince us that the truth can never be found.

How so?

Truth is just a spoken word.  We create our own “truth”.  Spoken words are merely projections of our Innerwelt upon that which is outside ourselves.  After temptation fixes our occasions of sin, after our own projections redirect the projections of others and weave a veil of reality, and after we begin to believe in our own self-divinizing speculative grammar, we construct artifacts that validate our spoken worlds.  We build our own prison.  Heidegger calls it, Gestell.

0027 When the waters of baptism pour over an infant, the baby often cries. The baby represents all of us.

The waters of baptism disturb.  Dasein2V!  We enter a world perfused with signs.  We are welcomed into a world where the material finds meaning in the immaterial.  The human niche is the potential of triadic relations.  How all encompassing will Peirce’s experience2H be?  We stand on the threshold of a new age of understanding.

Kemple offers the reader a portrait of John Deely’s vision, in a book that lives up to its title, in more ways than one.  Bravo!


Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 1 of 17)

0001 Professor Gad Saad is an expert in applying evolutionary psychology to contemporary consumer behavior.  He publishes a book, titled, The Parasitic Mind: How Infectious Ideas Are Killing Common Sense.  The cover of the book is adorned with a graphic.  A hand holds one end of a thread that goes on to become a line drawing of the human neocortex.  Is the thread going into the head?  Or, is the thread (of common sense) coming out of the head?

I suppose I have to read the book to find out.

0002 Saad gets into the push-pull operation in chapter four, titled, “Anti-Science, Anti-Reason and Illiberal Movements”.  He lists four contemporary academic beings… er… parasites: postmodernism, social constructivism, radical feminism and transgender activism.  Each movement… er… parasite is founded on a demonstrable falsehood.  Each desires to be free from reality.

For these comments, I use gender as an example.

0003 In order to diagram these statements, I consult A Primer on the Category-Based Nested Form and A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction.  These primers, by Razie Mah, are available at smashwords and other e-book venues.  They are not long.  They are very informative.

0004 A parasite feeds off a host.

The host goes with the content-level.  The parasite places content in an alternate situation.

0005 I begin with the host.  The host takes the actuality of men and women2a, which emerges from a biological distinction (which, in turn is an actuality in another nested form)1a in the normal context of an orthodox view3a.  The term, biological distinction1a, is short for the potential of sexual dimorphism, as expressed in humans1a.  Roughly, “ortho” means “right” and “dox” means “doctrine”.

Figure 01

0006 Obviously, this content-level is scientifically, reasonably and liberally situated by cognitive psychology and its companion discipline, evolutionary psychology.  Evolutionary psychologists explain the findings of cognitive psychologists in terms of natural selection and genetics: adaptations and phenotypes.

0007 The social constuctivist approach runs opposition to cognitive (and evolutionary) psychology.  The social constructivist claims to situate the orthodox view, with the possibility that biological distinctions are irrelevant.  Instead, only the human will is relevant.  Gender is a personal choice.  Gender is an act of the will.

The resulting situation-level nested form looks like this.

Figure 02

Looking at Gad Saad’s Book (2020) “The Parasitic Mind” (Part 2 of 17)

0008 Now, people talk about men and women all the time.  They act within a traditional framework3a where ideas about men and women2a emerge from (and situate) the potential of sexual dimorphism, as expressed in humans1a.  Explicit ideas2a can be articulated in speech-alone talk.  Conversations may be recorded for scientific inquiry.  Implicit ideas2aproduce expressive phenomena, such as blushing or averting one’s gaze, that can be observed and measured using instrumentation (surveillance cameras).

Consequently, cognitive psychology3b virtually situates the same content-level nested form as social construction3b.

Figure 03

0009 The difference is obvious.  Social constructionism does not observe and measure1b attitudes and behaviors associated with the orthodox view3a.  Rather, social construction3b virtually situates othodox views3a with a situation-level potential1b, the human will1b, which is an explicit abstraction concerning human nature.

Saad calls the forced choice between the scientific potential of observations and measurements1b and the constructionist potential of the human will1b“intellectual terrorism”.

Well, terrorists hold people and things hostage.  What do social constructionists hold hostage?

Ah, it must be observations and measurements1b.

Is that what makes these postmodern movements anti-science?

0010 But, there is more.

The content-level is also virtually situated by traditional formulations about the nature of the content-level.  In the West, these forms come from churches, for the most part.  They are very old, but still remain within our current Lebenswelt.

Figure 04

0011 The normal context of traditional doctrines3b brings the actuality of marriage and the family2b into relation with the potential of male-female pair bonding1b.

Isn’t that reasonable?

The relational logic of marriage is portrayed in A Primer on the Family, by Razie Mah, available at smashwords and other e-book venues.

Nature appears to express its own will.  There is a natural intention1b (male-female pair bonding) that virtually situates a biological distinction1a.  Plus, that natural intention1b appears at the very start of the foundational text for Christian civilization.  Remember Adam and Eve?

0012 What is another thing that social constructionists hold hostage?

Ah, it must be male-female pair bonding.

0013 The possibility of male-female pair bonding1b underlies marriage and family2b in the normal context of tradition3b.  Plus, male-female pair bonding1b emerges from (and situates) the entire contenta level.  Male-female pair bonding1baccounts for the entire contenta level.  It is perfectly reasonable that human bodies are adaptations into the niche of male-female pair bonding

This is what makes postmodern movements anti-reason.