The oxymoron MÖBIUS-STRIP.
Have you ever met a person whose mind move “crawling” endlessly between two opposite views along the length of her/his own binary Möbius strip mindset and skilfully covering any sign of gross dishonesty with her/his own logical reasoning?
This mind “crawling” mechanism tends to unfold a particular pattern of thinking. It hatches two opposite views, both being put forward, but when one surfaces the other one lags behind, on autopilot, ready to “naturally” strike when its opposite has become an ubiquitous truism that now censors against the paths of non censorship it started with.
This might not make full sense right now, specially because it seems to violate the basic logical principle of non contradiction, but bear with me, it will as we go along.
When two ideas act like a Möbius strip they can take on any two opposite stands and lock the mind in a closed and mutually self serving loop of contradictory, yet complementary binary viewpoints.
Contradiction in thoughts is not ill-suited per se, on the contrary, it is the contradiction that is passed as non contradiction and is left unresolved what becomes ill-suited as it is forcefully covered up by a human agent.
These covered-ups, trapped in closed loops, induce disorders in our minds precisely because they try to hold in equal eclectic ratios of 50% — 50% any opposition, sacrificing the optimal expression of an idea for its median, its average, which cause both ideas to collapse and decay faster than expected since they leave no remainder, no margin nor surplus.
Two opposite ideas can actually be held as simultaneously valid, but not at the same ratio of values, nor by equating them as opposed with the same “marginal utility”, but by connecting different uneven gradients from both and assessing to which one we can lean more in search of a better optimised outcome.
However, not even two contradictory ideas craftily kept separated and strongly connected under underlying polarising principles will collapse immediately. Nature “loves” fakery and Logic too, but there is a gradient of fakery that neither Nature nor Logic are “willing” to tolerate for long. Entropy is a voracious “animal” and it does its work from the dead. Zombie-like ideas are everywhere awaken as a fakery of life and of our spirit.
Order can win against chaos and entropy, but we know they have always been in a “truce”, not an easy one. Easy short-cutters don’t get a chance to endure when it comes to matters of the spirit and energy optimisation.
These two narratives or views operating on the same Möbius strip do not run simultaneously on the same level playing field. The fact that they both can still follow a rigorous logical path through their loosely coupled contradictory double stands, allows their ill-suited binary views to rapidly widespread with certain level of success.
This Möbius strip of the mind can be tattooed with any opposition. It can hold at one side of the strip relativism and at the other absolutism, or totalitarianism and extreme liberalism. The list of what it can hold at each side can actually be endless.
We might wonder what could possibly cause such Gordian knot of double ideas, whose attempt to cut it keeps failing in front of our very eyes while we are forced to believe that it needs cutting instead of unbinding?
Back in ancient times, Alexander the Great attempted to untie the knot. When he could not find the end to the knot to unbind it, he sliced it in half with a stroke of his sword, producing the required ends (the so-called “Alexandrian solution”).
However, another solution was presented by Aristobulus, which indicates he unfastened it quite easily by removing the pin which secured the yoke to the pole of the chariot, then pulling out the yoke itself.
In another telling of the story, Alexander actually pulled the knot out of its pole pin, exposing the two ends of the cord and allowing him to untie the knot without having to cut through it.
The mental disorder related to the binary thinking on the Möbius strip is not as much related to the binary thinking per se, but to the way we allow it to turn into a Gordian knot that we have to cut instead of unfastening.
Let’s call this delusion of cutting the Gordian knot of our pattern of thinking
to free the chariot of our ideas the “Alexandrian delusion.” Let’s also approach the Gordian knot from another angle.
Oxymorons and game theory (zero-sum games) might give us some head-ups.
Why do we humans get tangled up with oxymorons not only as a device of irony and jokes, but as a real drama of our lives?
Imagine when we refer to a jumbo shrimp. The shrimp is jumbo (big) and is still a shrimp (small). Is the jumbo quality of the shrimp(being big) affecting radically the shrimp quality of the shrimp(being small)? Of course, no.
The “big” quality of the shrimp is a gradient of the shrimp and it is just one of the many elements of its DNA blueprint. If it were to surpass such gradient beyond certain threshold and such surpassing were to spread over the shrimp specie then that would be a sign that shrimps have evolved into lobsters or a new specie.
Let’s get into the ideas behind game theory as either zero-sum game or non zero-sum game.
When we pursue freedom we want the input we use to achieve it to allow us to generate a surplus of energy that output abundance for us and if it inputs abundance for others we don’t want it inputting scarcity back to us.
We don’t want the energy we input and output to end up in a zero-sum game for us.
A zero-sum game is a situation, especially a competitive one, in which there is no net gain among the participants. If one gains, it means others have to lose an equivalent amount. For example, if the only way for you to gain $1,000 is to deprive someone else of $1,000, you’re in a zero-sum game. The term is also sometimes used to refer to situations in which one’s own gains offset one’s losses.
Zero-sum games can also take place in the marketplace of ideas in which one’s own gains in ideas can offset one’s losses and that of others.
Let’s try to bring together the tie connections between the closed Möbius strip of the mind, the Alexandrian delusion, oxymorons and game theory.
We can see this in radical feminists like Julie Bindel, whose ideas aim to a more egalitarian and democratic society over the bases of women dictatorship.
She locks herself in a zero-sum game between her ideas and the ideas she opposes. Her game is one in which what women have to gain is what men have to lose.
Such ideas, however, are older than they appear. We can see it in Carl Marx, whose thinking aimed too to a more egalitarian society over the bases of proletariat dictatorship. In Marx, whatever the working class have to gain is what the ruling class has to lose.
The question to pose in here is whether any kind of freedom or betterment of society is ultimately achievable by the use of force, dictatorship or by the gain of someone at loss at the cost of someone’s gain.
Julie Bindel is kin to stand by her war-mongering separatism and put the stigma of patriarchy on the very nature of man’s gender.
We might need to go back to the jumbo shrimp oxymoron. Shrimps come not only in big and small sizes, but they also come in variations of females and males. However, gender nor size contribute enough to the relevance of what it is to be a shrimp.
In humans, gender, be it woman or man, doesn’t contribute enough to express what we are as humans, even when in some cases it might manifest with more than the usual relevance.
New Mexico whiptail lizard is a female specie of lizard. They reproduce by cloning. In this particular case gender says more than enough to contribute to the nature of this specie.
When one of the female lizard is on heat the one that is not plays the role of the male by simulating male-female copulation through skin rubbing. The rubbing activates the necessary hormones for generating offsprings.
Dominance and power in human societies have not their origins in gender differentiation even when the way human societies have organised their distribution of power is reflected through gender roles.
The reasons why male dominance over women has prevailed throughout human history or rather why dominance of some people over others has existed at all are interwoven with many other factors, which go far beyond the gender divide.
If we were to lock men “in some kind of camp”, as Julie Bindel stated in one of her interview, it won’t be long before a power structure and of dominance is created between the male “inmates,” not to mention the one already existing by locking them up. The same would apply if the “inmates” were women.
Power and structures of social dominance are not originated by gender, race or class division, even when gender, race and class structures are ways in which they have manifested.
A radical differentiation within a specie driven by sexual differences is rare in evolutionary terms, but not impossible (we saw it in whiptail lizard lesbianism). I very much doubt that women liberation will lead us towards a separate women specie that will enter into a “truce” with men until they get their manhood fixed.
Power is the exercise of a force by way of knowledge (information), technology (craftsmanship) or brute force (violence). The agents exercising that power (human or nature) could empower, submit or destroy us depending on whether our relation to it is based on a zero-sum or a non-zero-sum game.
Power is not directly equated with violence or coercion, and yet power carries with it both, the forces of destruction and the force of creation. Power, from nature or from humans can give energy and empower, but it can also deplete energy and disempower.
We tend to see nature and planet earth as female symbols, but in reality the feminine and the masculine, if they were to be taken as symbolising our physical and spiritual worlds, are truly everywhere in the universe.
There is nothing fundamentally wrong and nothing fundamentally advantageous nor disadvantageous about being a woman or man. The relationships between woman and men throughout history has not been a bed of roses, but neither any other human relationship.
Then, the pattern that start emerging here is one in which any main contradiction between two sets of things (women-men) cohabits with subsets (white male versus black male, adult versus child, the rich versus the poor) and superset (human versus machine, human versus nature, life versus machine) of many other contradictions.
As we navigate through the subsets and supersets of the oxymorons of human existence we can see how binary relations and Gordian knots generated in different closed Möbius strips of our thinking and of reality itself get unfastened depending on whether they enter into a zero-sum or a non-zero sum game of energy or meaning exchanges.
Let’s try a different approach by disassembling and starting from scratch assembling this bipolar-binary Möbius strip loop of the mind.
Imagine that you tend to oppose everything that is mainstream. Imagine also that you tend to support anything that is on the fringe of society.
Imagine now that you wanted equality between [the fringe] and [the mainstream].
Imagine that, in your search for equality, you realised that [the fringe] should also enjoy of the same privileges as [the mainstream].
Imagine that you wanted to vindicate for [the fringe] [the mainstream] values without betraying [the fringe].
Imagine also that, in a further radical move, you started questioning the validity and fairness of [the mainstream] privileges and that, ultimately, you wanted [the mainstream] to be “fixed” or even banned.
Imagine that you and your already formed [fringed] “tribe” discovered that what needs to be fixed of [the mainstream] values dated back to the beginnings of human societies and that something has gone terribly wrong from those beginnings onwards, causing [the mainstream] to gain unfair supremacy.
Imagine that your mission has turned into an activism to “fix” history, the whole of it, including its culture and all human dominant behaviours since ancient time so that it can accommodate for your radical [fringed] worldview.
Now, this logical process encourages the assumption that human societies got it wrong from the beginnings by having created power structures in which [the mainstream] has unfairly prevailed over [the fringe].
If we put aside, for the sake of a further analysis, [the mainstream] and [the fringe] and start placing in the brackets other polarising relations, new interesting patterns start emerging.
We could think, for instance, of new polarising relations like:
-[Western societies] and [the rest of the world].
-[Patriarchy] and [Feminism].
-[White Caucasian race] and [Any other race].
-[Heterosexuality] and [Any other sexual orientation].
-[Business owners] and [Workers].
-[Pro-technologists] and [Luddites].
-[The rich] and [The poor].
-[Corporatism] and [Entrepreneurism].
-[Statism] and [Anarchism].
We could add many more polarising relations. As we might continue to do so, we will start noticing that those terms build clusters and networks of neighbouring relations with many other elements, which have more forbearing oppositions coming from the opposite camp.
What initially appeared as atomised, abstract and in plain binary oppositions, eventually show signs of merging either in playful harmonious exchanges of gradient elements from the opposite camp or merging in cynical, incongruous and hostile exchanges of gradient elements from the opposite camp.
Polarised oppositions eventually open up their inner making to show us that two opposite camps actually exchange “genetic” materials from their mutual inner makings.
If Julie Bindel is not happy with the way human sexuality has evolved throughout history and she is eager to find in men the “bad apples” of the gender divide, she should back track her radical view right at to bacteria. She will see that the conflict is more primitive and gender division wasn’t even around.
One doesn’t need to blame one of the gender for what sprung out of a natural conflict. If something has gone wrong after that, and it definitely has gone wrong many times over, both sexes have been equally implicated.
Cloning and bestiality are rampant at the bacteria level of our biological order. At this level there isn’t even gender and it makes no sense to blame some bacteria for playing the “trans” of “transsexual” and of “transgender” with such ease.
Bacteria move with the imperative to take genetic material from each others and “fix” their “sex” (blueprint) as they go along. In such world reproduction without sex and sex without reproduction is what constitutes “mainstream.” All other practices are fringe.
Being different, hetero-sexual is not popular at the microbial level, while homo-sexuality and a-sexuality are the dominant and “oppressive” forces at work.
When heterosexuality caused a mayor “revolution” and a “paradigm shift” in the evolution of life, asexuality, beastiality and homosexuality didn’t die out, wasn’t “banned”, nor “fixed”. They have continued to operate at their levels and at many other levels on the living. That is precisely what all those people anthropomorphising heterosexuality into human “heteronormativity” keep failing to understand at both, a political and a biological level.
If Julie Bindel really wanted to fix men’s behaviours she should learn from her microbial fellow mates dwelling right inside her mouth. They truly “enjoy” two of their favourite activities. They do sex without reproduction (taking genetic material from other bacteria), while they keep themselves exactly as they are through reproduction without sex (cloning).
Biological patterns are mimicked in human thoughts and social evolution through the ways ideas have evolved in societies. This however doesn’t mean that biological processes are “social constructs”. Imagine a software program in a computer telling to its hardware: “You are an “algorithmic construct” in my CPU and, in fact, my CPU is a “construct.”
As biology has gained subtleties in the human mind chances are that the mind takes off and creates with its own “landing gears” the earth from which it flies. However, chances are too that that very “earth” that grounds the living is able to show in retribution “her” interstices, crevices, fissures and slits, which mimic the non-biological mental and social processes that “love” to “construct” the very edifice from which it has risen.
At the level of mind’s processes we can actually find the same patterns of “reproduction without sex” and “sex without reproduction”. We sometimes do both separate as ideas become blueprints of different “schools” of thought.
There is a bacteria-like behaviour manifested at the level of our thoughts and emotions. We cannibalise clusters of “generic” material (ideas) from other “species” (viewpoints with blueprints different to ours). Obviously, we don’t do that exactly like bacteria nor we do it as a defining quality of who we are.
We practice bacteria-like reproductive and sexual behaviours just as a cis-male/female would practice sometimes homosexuality without being bisexual nor homosexual.
A possible and effective solution to the oxymoron-bipolar-möbius-strip-disorder, as much to the riddles of oxymorons and Gordian knots would be optimising bacteria-like behaviours in our way of thinking by way of selectively extracting and adding “genetic” materials from and to the blueprints of the “DNA” of ideas which are different or opposed to ours instead of promoting extreme behaviours by trying to fix, ban or alienate any other idea, person, mainstream or fringe group through coercion or violence.