- The Psychological Uncertainty Principle. Adnotated.

Thursday, 13 August, Year 12 d.Tr. | Author: Mircea Popescu


A commenter, who I believe is a physics undergrad (his blog here) emailed me some of his thoughts on narcissism, and [in there he] wrote:

...those studies where people rank each other in a room for different attributes having never met them... I think what's going on is we assign people personalities based on how they look and force them to become a certain thing, creating a whole custom world for them...

which puts the idea of "profiling" on its head. Do we actually ever "figure people out," or do we change them into what we think they are by the act of engaging in a relationship (on any level) with them?i

It sounds a lot like a psychological version of quantum entanglement:

When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective representatives, enter into temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them, and when after a time of mutual influence the systems separate again, then they can no longer be described in the same way as before, viz. by endowing each of them with a representative of its own... By the interaction the two representatives have become entangled.

Which, unfortunately, sounds a lot like this (p. 236)ii ):

The unreflective consciousness does not apprehend the person directly or as its object; the person is presented to consciousness in so far as the person is an object for the Other. This means that all of a sudden I am conscious of myself escaping myself, not in that I am the foundation of my own nothingness but in that I have my foundation outside myself. I am for myself only as I am a pure reference for the Other.

You can't know who a person is without relating to them, and once you do that, you irrevocably change them.iii

Only in relationship to another do you get defined.iv Sometimes you can do it with your God; but either way, any adjective has to be placed on you by someone else. Are you brave? Strong? Funny, stupid, nervous? All that comes from someone else.v So when someone relates to you, they define you. You can try to control this -- hence the narcissist preying on the borderline to get her to see him the way he wants to be seen -- but ultimately it's up to the other person.

So we're are, or become, whatever a person thinks we are? No, it's worse than that -- we want to be what they think we are. That's why we maintain the relationship, otherwise we'd change it. ("I divorced her because I didn't like who I became.")

We do it because it is easier, and it serves us. You're kind because he sees you as kind -- which in turn allows him to be seen as someone who can detect And you accept that you're kind -- or mean/vulnerable/evil/brilliant -- because it serves you -- there's some gain there. But a strong person accepts that on the one hand the other person gives you definition, and on the other hand you are completely undefinable, free, at any moment, to redefine yourself. You can defy him, biology, environment and be anything.vii

You say: but I can't be a football star just because I want to. But that's wanting someone else to see you in a certain way. Do you want to play ball? Go play ball. "But I won't get on the team." Again, that's wanting to change someone else. Change you first.

But what about -- identity? That's the mistake, that's bad faith. Thinking that our past is us; what we did defines us. Our past can be judged -- what else is there to judge?- but it can't -- shouldn't -- define us, because at any moment we are free to change into somethingviii, anything else. And so, too, we can be judged for not changing.ix

Ultimately, you are responsible for everything you do and think. Not for what happens to you, but for how you choose to react. Nothing else made you be. Nothing else made you do.

Trinity said it best: The Matrix cannot tell you who you are.x

  1. Hurr. What actually dies and is mourned when actual people die and are mourned isn't the actual people that were there ; but the imagined people that were not, ever, anywhere besides the mourner's own mind. []
  2. Proposing that a statement of quantum entanglement "sounds like" a quote from Sartre is exactly, but I do mean exactly the sort of marauding, offensive idiocy so typical of pantsuitards, and so infuriatingly common in this dork's body of work. Who predates who, motherfucker ? Who predates who and moreover, why the fuck not quote properly ?

    Here :

    When two systems, of which we know the states by their respective representatives, enter into temporary physical interaction due to known forces between them, and when after a time of mutual influence the systems separate again, thenthey can no longer be described in the same way as before, viz. by endowing each of them with a representative of its own. I would not call that one but rather the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought. By the interaction the two representatives (or ^-functions) have become entangled. To disentangle them we must gather further information by experiment, although we knew as much as anybody could possibly know about all that happened. Of either system, taken separately, all previous knowledge may be entirely lost, leaving us but one privilege: to restrict the experiments to one only of the two systems. After re-establishing one representative by observation, the other one can be inferred simultaneously. In what follows the whole of this procedure will be called the disentanglement. Its sinister importance is due to its being involved in every measuring process and therefore forming the basis of the quantum theory of measurement, threatening us thereby with at least a regressus in infinitum, since it will be noticed that the procedure itself involves measurement. Another way of expressing the peculiar situation is: the best possible knowledge of a whole does not necessarily include the best possible knowledge of all its parts, even though they may be entirely separated and therefore virtually capable of being "best possibly known ", i.e. of possessing, each of them, a representative of its own. The lack of knowledge is by no means due to the interaction being insufficiently known -- at least not in the way that it could possibly be known more completely -- it is due to the interaction itself.

    Self-obviously the thing, quote correctly healed by competent hand, does not discuss, does not come even close to discussing the half-baked nonsense Ballas loaded his misfortunate brains with. It's about limitations on mathematical representation, problems of perfect knowledge are discussed, it's central to a general theory of the fundamental limits to representation which is why I'm familiar with it -- it was in my philosophy abilitur paper or w/e you call it -- but me aside, it's been quoted upwards of a thousand times by sane people, it's well understood and thoroughly digested (by such intellects as have any business digesting such things).

    Evidently it's also been misquoted and misunderstood who knows how many untold billion times by celenterates like this here ignare "scientist". The problem with not citing properly (equal half to the other major problem with "public participation" qua public participation -- the misusing of terms of art) is that if it "succeeds" (in the sense the morons doing it misrepresent success) then it therefore creates the very nooks and crannies in which kooks and crazies best breed. If the moron manages to separate the quote from its author (such that the author can't well tell him where and wherefore he's wrong) while any portion of the prestige of the quote endures outside of this separation then voila! The marketing engine! Now there's a fucktard trading on stolen credit ; get enough of these together and the world ends.

    And since we're on the topic : the scandalous "Grammarly" nonsense, whereby the erstwhile meat shannonizers are now specifically equipped with thesaurus lists implicitly ordered by frequency (such that they can now avoid the principal heuristic previously deployed to distinguish humans from the socialism-bred pseudohuman atrocities -- tedious repetition leading through reiteration to wooden tongue formation) is mere incremental evolution on the previous nonsense of "keywords" and "website niches", whereby they were "writing" such that "nobody could tell" it's not something they wrote, but something they copy-rote.

    The idiots of the world are now trading on something built by generations prior, namely, the frequency with which words appear in historical usage. This wasn't an accidental result, it's not coincidental that dulcet or halcyon are rare whereas word, or country are common. It was not a deliberate result, granted, if the idiots of ages past had functional access to electric memory to supplement their limited cognition it'd have been fucked earlier, I'm sure ; nevertheless that it wasn't deliberate doesn't impinge on it not being coincidental.

    Consider the future : under the pressure of this idiocy, all words will become similarily common, and therefore similarily meaningless. You know, like "rape" : after having been used "for effect" rather than for its actual meaning so many times, it ended up having a buttload of... no effect whatsover anymore, and also no meaning at all left anywhere inside. Yay for pantsuitism, wrecking social relations ain't good enough, such that every pantsuit is this fucking weirdo beyond any hope in any and all social contexts, isolated from any and all things besides that precious red star above his head ; no, no, the blade must cut on, the destruction of language would be a step forward towards baring shut even the theoretical possibility of communication, on which in principle one could leverage the possibility of socialization (as exactly one in practice does leverage, and precisely no one else ever did or ever could). Insanity must follow, it's not enough to have lonely, alienated fuckwards, thoroughly derealised in their concrete cubes. It must go further, the mind itself must find no solace and no support, floating atop a sea of meaninglessness inside the headbox ossature. This "painless civilisation" thing is quite the fucking wonder, it don't seem long now at all until they finally manage to actually build the human cow. []

  3. Holy shit. All Sartre's doing is engage in insanely elaborate gymnastics to reconcile his brute, low-level, "personally held" notions of individualism with his high level, socially-infused pantsuitist notions of general and universal collectivism, Great All-Cunt In the Sky and assorted nonsense. It's not even internally consistent, to leave aside how utterly laughable it is.

    And it has nothing to do with physics, or with quantum mechanics, or with math or with the theory of representation. Or with anything else properly called intellectual, really -- which is why the female fuckwads keep wanting to hook their troscoleta to it. Luce Irigaray is oft mentioned here because she's the ur-model of the pantsuit "thinker", as perfectly representative and thoroughly illustrative as Saint Elliot is the model of their social life. Readily disavowed, both of them equally, and to the same degrees and in the same ways and to the same exact effect : none whatsoever. The scientism of Luce is no different nor ever could be different from the scientism of Christos, just as the awkwardness of random girly before being killed and reborn is no different, nor could ever be different from the awkwardness of Elliot. Same things, off the same roots grown in the same ways, da fuck do you want already, same is same, let it rest. []

  4. They'll never be rid of that Crusoe lulz, are they.

    Wake up, ye troop of wanna-bes, toiling pointlessly upon them vast fields of intellectual curiosity, them gardens for your sad ilk so very arid, sad spaces of "accomplishment" and whatnot. Wake up, and smell the coffee : that Crusoe wank is not a crutch to thought, it is not helpful nor supportive, it's more in the vein of a Reader's Digest Secret Prize. []

  5. No it very well fucking doesn't ; nor ever could. []
  6. Must suck to be born without a soul, huh. []
  7. Yea, I'm sure. Ins'allah I mean god willing...

    By the way, how do you know when your God Of The Scripts has finished downloading kung-fu or whatever into you ? Is there a chime ? Like an audible ding or something ? How do you know ? []

  8. No, rather, "because if it does, that chick is fucked", her argument destructured, destroyed, completely quashed by my trivial observation that "most people won't trade three aces and two kings in hand for a ''whole brand new'' hand of unknown cards". And you absolutely want her to have a point, because what other excuse for pointlessly frittering away your time is there ?

    That's the structure of the "clever" uppity pleb -- that he doesn't have to anything because at any point he could anything and so therefore the homework piles undone and slowly but surely those "possibilities" come to exactly naught. But... who knows, maybe inflation fixes it all, magically, somehow ? Maybe the guy who was smart enough to do, and therefore has, can be overwhelmed by some sort of systematic process such that he won't forever come ahead, atop of and above the pleb, who didn't, and hasn't ? I mean... who knows, right ? Nobody could ever guess, we gotta wait and see, hmm... []

  9. You can judge just as soon as you get your warrant to so judge from me, and not before. All other nonsense purporting to misrepresent itself as "judgement" is by that very fact invalid. []
  10. The postmodern comicity of this nonsense. Trinity said it best, you know ? Epic. []
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7 Responses

  1. Hm, in the best possible interpretation, it reads to me as if he's possibly groping blindly for an in-WoT view essentially and for that identity is constructed, upon a fixed support, by others' view. That he visibly doesn't like where it leads (so that he starts picking and choosing, as if that's how it ever works) and that he anyway tries to build it all with a mishmash of rather sad references doesn't help at all, of course, but it also brings back to mind that previously noticed extreme poverty of that land of (some sort of) opportunity.

    Then again, perhaps I'm just still way too willing to see something where there's nothing to see at all.

  2. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Friday, 14 August 2020

    I suppose nothing in what he says actually bars the most charitable interpretation you propose. I don't even think it has to be that unlikely, really.

    But... man, what a fucking distance. What a gap! Like you know, listening to some poor fuck describe a princely meal, and somehow managing to not refund over his "really large pots in which straight sugar is cooked in palm oil, the best and most deliciously luxurious oil that there is". Nevermind actually eating that... who the hell can stand tall when winds like those blow ?! Yet the principle, you know, bereft of its illustrations proposed, just the principle buried somewhere in there... I mean yes, large pots with good stuff in them, right, true. Ouch.

    It is said in the everbook that everyone ever chooses the punishments that best fit them. You think you've spent the past year untangling "object code" for my sins ?

  3. Eh, I've always been untangling things, de cand ma stiu, it's just the sort of things that changes, perhaps upgrades, as time passes. So no, I did not think for a minute it had anything to do with you at all, I'm not even sure I see exactly how could it have. For that matter, the question actually came entirely as a surprise to me as I wouldn't have even thought of that perspective, huh.

  4. Mircea Popescu`s avatar
    Mircea Popescu 
    Saturday, 15 August 2020

    A, that last sentence has nothing to do with me but incidentally, it could've just as well read "it" instead of "my sins".

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