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 Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts” (Part 3 of 4)

0012 From the prior blog, I construct the following Greimas square.

0013 Each word is a placeholder in a system of differences.  Clearly, the word, “expert”, is not the same as the word, “bureaucrat”.  But, the words are entangled, and therefore, the distinction is subject to manipulation.

0014 What are the key relational features of this distinction?

0015 The first contrast involves rules (A:B contrast in 1 and 2).

The expert knows the rules.  The expert does not make the rules.  The expert is rule-bound.

The bureaucrat makes and enforces rules. The bureaucrat is rule-following.

Hammer reinforces this contrast by saying that the vast majority of rules governing the everyday lives of Americans are made behind closed doors, by federal bureaucrats.  This governance fulfills the vision of progressive President Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924, President 1913-1921).  The administrative state has grown for over a century.

0016 The second pair of contradictions (A2 to B1 and B2 to A1) involves performance and discourse.

Expert discourse is bound to subject-matter.  The expert knows the rules of the subject-matter.  Personal and organizational circumstances are not supposed to influence the expert’s advice.  The expert is supposed to be objective (and, ideally, suprasubjective).

Administrative discourse is bound to rule-making and rule-enforcing.  The bureaucrat engages in ministerial operations.  Bureaucrats tend to be subjective, while pretending to be objective, and intersubjective, while feigning to be suprasubjective.  Hammer highlights these points by saying that bureaucrats disdain give-and-take political wranglingand prefer the ministrations of an enlightened clerisy.

0017 What does this imply?

The use of the word, “expert”, by the federal government, for a person in its employ, is misleading.

The word, “bureaucrat”, is not misleading.

0018 Does the slogan, “Trust the experts”, sound as convincing as “Trust the bureaucrats.”?

Here is a good example of deception through the manipulative use of spoken words.


Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts” (Part 2 of 4)

0005 First, I ask the question, “How does the term, ‘expert’, distinguish itself in spoken language, defined by Ferdinand de Saussure as two arbitrarily related systems of differences?”

Or, more briefly, how does the spoken word, “expert”, hold a place in a finite system of differences?

0006 An answer: The word, “expert”, has a unique Greimas Square, a configuration of four elements (A1, B1, A2 and B2).  Each element forms a corner in a square.

Here is a picture.

0007 Here are the rules: A1 is the focal word.  B1 contrasts with A1.  A2 contradicts B1 and complements A1.  B2 contrasts with A2, contradicts A1 and complements B1.

0008 The term, “expert” goes into A1.

What contrasts with A1?

How about the word, “bureaucrat”?

“Bureaucrat” goes into B1.

0009 What contradicts the bureaucrat?

Expert discourse focuses on the subject-matter and does not take into account other issues.  Subject-matter discourse (A2) is content-oriented.

0010 What contrasts with subject-matter discourse (A2)?

Administrative, rule-making discourse does (B2).

0011 In the next blog, I show the diagram.


Looking at Josh Hammer’s Opinion Piece (2021) “…Experts” (Part 1 of 4)

0001 Josh Hammer authors an opinion piece for The Epoch Times.  Zerohedge reprints the opinion on Friday, June 4, 2021 at 9:00 p.m.  The full title is “Covid-19 Has Forever Destroyed America’s Trust in Ruling Class ‘Experts'”. 

0002 I only want to look at the first paragraph.

0003 I will look at this paragraph in two ways.

First, I will use the Greimas Square.  The Greimas Square is introduced in Comments On Philip Marey’s Post (2021) “Insurrection”, appearing in this blog in January 2021.  To date, no series has been generated for the Greimas Square in smashwords.

Second, I will use the first two levels of the society tier.  The two-level interscope is introduced in A Primer on Sensible and Social Construction (available at smashwords).  The society tier is posited in the masterwork How To Define the Word “Religion” (also available at smashwords).  

The two-level interscope recently appears in this blog with Saturn-Jupiter Conjunction in Aquarius (Jan. 2021), Be Little Men (Sept. 2020) and Comments on Yoran Hazony’s Post (2020) “Challenges of Marxism” (Sept. 2020).

0004 Here is the first paragraph of Josh Hammer’s opinion piece, reproduced for examination in the following two blogs.  There are three sentences in this paragraph.  I present them in sequence.

Hammer writes, “As even many casual observers of America’s fractious politics are aware, the overwhelming majority of lawmaking at the federal level no longer takes place in Congress as the Constitution’s framers intended.

“Instead, the vast majority of the ‘rulemaking’ governing Americans’ day-to-day lives now takes place behind closed doors, deep in the bowels of the administrative state’s sprawling bureaucracy.”The brainchild of progressive President Woodrow Wilson, arguments on behalf of the administrative state are ultimately rooted in, among other factors, a disdain for the messy give-and-take of republican politics and an epistemological preference for rule by enlightened clerisy.”


Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language” (Part 5 of 5)

0019 Chris Sinha’s essay is a contribution to a huge, obviously well-funded, academic project, led by Prof. Michael A. Arbib, of the University of California at San Diego.  An outline is presented in the same issue of Interaction Studies(19:1-2 (2018) 370-389).  The title is “The Comparative Neuroprimatology 2018 (CNP-2018) Road Map for Research on How the Brain Got Language“.

0020 The project’s slogan is a little humorous.

It’s like How the Birds Got Flight.

Does anatomy tell the tale?

To me, comparing the neural structure of the great apes, including models of our hominin ancestors, tells the ontogenesis side of the story.

0021 What about the phylogenesis side of the story?

The story of how the brain got language cannot be restricted to DNA, genes, genotypes, phenotypes and body development.  Phylogenesis cannot be ignored.  In this regard, Chris Sinha’s essay is crucial.  

The intersection of ontogeny and phylogeny re-capitulates the intersection between body development and natural history appearing in Speculations on Thomism and Evolution.

Chris Sinha adds weight to the natural history side, covering environment, ecology, niche, adaptation and natural selection.

0022 To this end, I suggest that the seventeen authors on this magnificent quest consider Razie Mah’s Comments on Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language”.  The contribution may be unexpected.  Nevertheless, it is properly attired.


Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language” (Part 4 of 5)

0012 Sinha’s EcoEvoDevoSocio framework associates to all the terms in the title of Chris Sinha’s Essay.

0013 Eco-Socio are bookends describing the long arc of time from the emergence of the Homo genus to the appearance of Homo sapiens.  At the start, signification primarily comes from the ecology.  At the end, significations primarily come from social interactions.

0014 EvoDevo are the twin tomes of phylogenesis and ontogenesis, bringing me to the truth-bearing fiction within Sinha’s narrative.

What is this fiction?

Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny.

0015 Biologists have debunked this slogan, as fact.  But, it lives on as fiction.


It must be true, even though it is factually incorrect.

0016 How else can one draw a thread through these two terms: language and the human brain?

Language goes with phylogenesis.  As discussed in the masterwork, The Human Niche, plus its attendant commentaries, the biological capacity for language evolves in the milieu of hand talk.  Hand talk develops phylogenetically, from signaling, to functional representation, to symbolic communication, then to fully linguistic.  The adaptation of language occurs within the evolution of hand talk.

The human brain goes with ontogenesis.  The capacity to read ecological significations expands to reading intentional manual-brachial gestures.  Intentional gestures retain their semiotic qualities as icons and indexes as they become more conventional, habitual, lawful and so on.  They become more and more like symbols. The neural substrate in the hominin brain finds a way to process symbols.

0017 Ecological significations are icons and indexes.

Intentional manual-brachial gestures are perceived as icons and indexes, even though they increasingly operate as symbols.

0018 So, instead of the slogan, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny”, we can adopt the saying, “ontogeny intersects phylogeny”.

A traffic intersection belongs to both roads. So does the intersection of ontogeny and phylogeny.


Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language” (Part 3 of 5)

0008 Allow me to further elaborate Sinha’s EcoEvoDevoSocio framework.

In the prior blog, the Eco-Socio bookends touch base with the title frontpiece of praxis, symbol and language.

0009 This implies that the EvoDevo inner coupling expresses the title endpiece of developmental, ecological and linguistic issues.

0010 Evo associates to phylogeny.  Phylogenesis consists of adaptations into a niche.  The human niche changes from one where ecology is the primary source of signification to one where symbol-ready hominins are the primary sources of signification.  

Devo associates to ontogeny.  Ontogenesis consists of alterations in DNA, genes, genotypes and phenotypes that permit the drastic shift in the primary source of signification.

0011 Sinha cleverly encapsulates the inner drama of phylogenic and ontogenic changes over evolutionary time(EvoDevo) within the outward motion from an ecology-centered Umwelt to a socially-centered Lebenswelt (Eco-Socio).


Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language” (Part 2 of 5)

0005 What about Sinha’s EcoEvoDevoSocio framework?

0006 The outer terms, “eco” and “socio”, signify a broad arc of human evolution.

Adaptation by a line of apes starts with ecological adaptations.  For example, bipedalism is evolutionarily ancient.

However, the fact that bipedalism frees the hands for communicative gestures creates new opportunities.  A truly human niche appears.  One hominin can intentionally gesture to another.  The other hominin can interpret that gesture.

0007 The frontpiece of the title captures Sinha’s EcoSocio vision.  The praxis (or habits) of intentional manual-brachial gestures for communication proceeds from signaling to functional representation.

Functional representation metaphorically runs around the symbol, defined as a sign-relation whose sign-object depends on conventions, habits, laws and so forth.  The more that intentional manual-brachial gestures act as words, the more symbolic they become.

In this way, hominins become symbol-ready and capable of engaging in language.


Looking at Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language” (Part 1 of 5)

0001 Chris Sinha, writing from Hunan University, publishes another article on human evolution.  The journal is Interaction Studies (volume 19(2), 2018, pages 239-255).  The complete title is “Praxis, Symbol and Language: Developmental, Ecological and Linguistic Issues”.

The title of Razie Mah’s commentary is Comments on Chris Sinha’s Essay (2018) “Praxis, Symbol and Language”. The commentary is found at the smashwords website under the series: Buttressing the Human Niche.  Other vendors also sell the e-commentary.

0002 This blog complements the commentary.

0003 Sinha’s article covers from the start of the Homo genus, around two million years ago, to the speciation of Homo sapiens, around two-hundred thousand years ago. That is a lot of territory.

Several issues intertwine.  One is individual development (devo).  Another is a transition in natural selection (evo) from ecology-driven adaptations (eco) to adaptations driven by social interactions (socio).

0004 Sinha loves terminology.  He searches for a EcoEvoDevoSocio framework.