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tointellect's Journal

Toronto Intellectuals
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A community for the networking of intellectuals and their pursuits focused around Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

"Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority."
- Thomas Henry Huxley

"Nearly every great advance in science arises from a crisis in the old theory, through an endeavor to find a way out of the difficulties created. We must examine old ideas, old theories, although they belong to the past, for this is the only way to understand the importance of the new ones and the extent of their validity."
- Albert Einstein

"There is in the universe something for the description and analysis of which the natural sciences cannot contribute anything. There are events beyond the range of those events that the procedures of the natural sciences are fit to observe and describe. There is human action."
- Ludwig von Mises

"Now, my own suspicion is that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose, but queerer than we can suppose. I have read and heard many attempts at a systematic account of it, from materialism and theosophy to the Christian system or that of Kant, and I have always felt that they were much too simple. I suspect that there are more things in heaven and earth that are dreamed of, or can be dreamed of, in any philosophy. That is the reason why I have no philosophy myself, and must be my excuse for dreaming."
- John Burden Sanderson Haldane

"We can see from how capitalism manipulates the commodification of ideas, that what it tends to do is flatten and trivialize, because it appeals to the mass mind. Is this simply a momentum of the print technology, that will play itself out in the new media multiverse? Or is it a more pernicious tendency that is going to try to actually survive the cultural transition? I certainly fear the latter, and feel that the best antidote to the survival of that tendency is for people to consciously celebrate diversity. Consciously insist on an expansion of language and an erasure of categories, and a psychedelicization of the cultural enterprise in the service of beauty, diversity, astonishment... ideology flattens reality because it denies the Mystery, because it claims it "has all the answers." Whatever it is, it doesn't matter; the ideology, by providing a complete explanation, automatically certifies its own falseness. In the interests of cultural maturity and living a postmodern existence, and taking art as our -- the image comes to me, T. S. Eliot says in The Wasteland, "Come in under the shadow of this red rock." For him it was the churches. For us, I think it has to be art freed from ideology, a celebration of beauty, culture with a direct relationship to beauty through the felt presence of immediate experience. That's what the growing beyond ideology and certitude gives back to us, is actually the dynamic sense of being alive in uncertainty. Civilization denies that, and in a sense cheats us of our birthright in uncertainty."

"We have to stir it up. We have to mix it up. Ideas dictated out of the agenda of washed-up capitalism and science and religion is simply insufficient. Reason has failed. History has failed. And what we all have to do, I think, is fall back on ourselves. We have to stop waiting for the revelation to come from CNN or Time Magazine, and get lives!"

"We have to begin to take seriously the consequences of generalizations like quantum connectivity, it’s one thing to bask in the light of the overarching metaphor which says everything is connected to everything else, it’s quite another thing to say ‘and so then what are the consequences for me of this?’ and the answer seems to be to be that the imagination, the inside of our heads, really is the most vast frontier imaginable, and we must leave it for future evolutionary biologists to figure out why a animal nervous system would evolve a propensity for accessing bell non-local data, in other words, quantum mechanically accessible data at a different level of the physics of things. There must be a reason, and in the same way that the problem of speciation posed a problem for 19th century biology, this can pose a problem to our thinking without it sinking our intellectual enterprise. It is for some more sophisticated future group of thinkers to understand why this is so, what we have to grapple with is that it is so. It is so. You have the Hubble telescope inside of you. You have inside of you an information-gathering instrument that can give you good intelligence about things so immeasurably distant from this point."

"The message coming back at all of us is: live without closure. That's the honest position, given that you are some kind of a talking monkey, some kind of a primate, some kind of creature, on a planet, in an animal body, incarnate in a time and space. In the face of that, life without closure is the only kind of intellectual honesty there is."
- Terence McKenna
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