Russian Magazine Interview

(Wilson posted the following to the Maybe Logic Academy main forum back in April of 2005)

My first interview with a Russian magazine….

1. Tell something about yourself for Russian readers.

I have 35 books in print in my own country, and they seem to stay in print. Some also have infiltrated Germany, Greece, Japan,    Brazil, the Scandanavian countries etc.  This seems remarkable to me because I don’t believe in anything — my whole philosophy consists of non-philosophy: persistent and vehement agnosticism — but I still remain just popular enough to stay in circulation. I’m not sure I understand why. Maybe the world has more cynics and relativists than any of our diverse Establishments suspect?

2. It seems like you want to see marijuana regulations liberalized, why?

Right now, I have personal reasons — marijuana helps a good deal with my post-polio symptoms – but I have always opposed the currentUSAanti-drug laws since I first heard about them, for three reasons. [1] the drugs on the Tabu list seem selected by highly eccentric and unscientific methods; I suspect commercial motives. As Lenin said, when you see injustice, ask: cui bono? I suspect that “our” government acts to support the major drug corporations and to stifle competition. 2. Because of its very nature, a War Against Some Drugs cannot succeed without the full apparatus of a totalitarian state, and I dread that; need I explain why? 3. At 73, I don’t feel like a child and i resent being treated like one by our Drug Tsar. I supported a wife and 4 children for most of my adult life. I think me and my doctor know what’s best for my health better than a Tsarist bureaucrat 3000 miles away, who hasn’t even given me a medical examination. I mean, it’s like living in a Kafka novel.

3. Is there any correlation between Taoists sense of humor and your sense of humor?

I often quote the old Chinese proverb, “The wise become Confucian in good times, Buddhist in bad times and Daoist in old age.” Since we live in good times [technologically], bad times [politically], and I feel as old as the last dinosaur, I’ve become Confucian-Buddhist- Daoist all in one package. I try to treat all people kindly, or at least politely, in Confucian terms; my empathy with all sentient critters has increased, in  quite Buddhist manner; and I grow increasingly detached from fixed ideas and emotions, in the Daoist mood. I don’t know whether to consider this Wisdom or just senility, but it appears harmless and doesn’t seem illegal, immoral or fattening.

4. Is there any real conspiracy that affects global processes?

I suspect that not one “conspiracy” but dozens —or hundreds — of competing gangs of goons affect global and local processes. On any given day, one of these bands of Great Pirates might have more clout than  the others, bit it’s seldom the same gang for two days, much less two years. Not  to appear evasive,the gangs I would  worry about the most, if still inclined to worry, would include the Vatican/Mafia mob, the Orange gang [Dutch-English bankers,  who own American banking, too]], the CIA, fundamentalist Islam in general, and the World Bank. But they all have lots of rivals.

5. What would you say to someone claiming there is Global Government?

I think I already said it.To say  it again, I’ll  quote Juang Ju: “There is no governor anywhere.”

6. What is the most disgusting prejudice can you point out?

That seems totally relative…asked the most disgusting, to me, I’d have to say the American prejudice against intelligence in politics. I don’t know where that began– we didn’t start that way — our first three presidents included two of the best minds of their century, Adams and Jefferson, and George Washington doesn’t seem a nitwit either….but nowadays any inadvertent revelation of intelligence by anybody in politics means their career dies immediately. We have lots of intelligent people in the sciences and arts, but politiics remains closed to them. I guess that results from the success of what  George Bush calls “faith-based organizations.”

7. Tell us, what do you think of democracy?

CONSTITUTIONAL democracy, with strict limits on government powers, seems to me the best possible government, if we must have government. Without constitutional limits, democracy easily becomes another damned tyranny. I’d also accept a constitutional monarchy, like the Decembrists. But I remain, in my heart of hearts, an anarchist.  I’d prefer contractual syndicates to any government.

8.AmericaandRussia, how do you see relationship between our countries?

I don’t feel informed enough to speculate, beyond saying I feel damned glad the Cold War has ended and I don’t have to fear that either of our crazy governments will start heaving H-bombs around

9. What do you think of the works of L. R. Hubbard?

What do you think of Stalin and Hitler?

10. What is conventional logic down side?

Aristotle’s damned either/or doesn’t make any sense to me. My thinking — or my stumbling and fumbling efforts to think — derives largely from  non-Aristotelian systems. That includes von Neumann’s three-valued logic [true, false, maybe], Rappoport’s four-valued logic [true, false, indeterminate, meaningless], Korzybski’s multi-valued logic [degrees of probability.] and also Mahayana Buddhist paradoxical logic [it “is” A. it “is” not A, it “is” both A and not A, it “is” neither A nor not A]. But, as an extraordinarily stupid fellow, I can’t use such systems until I reduce them to terms a simple mind like mine can handle, so I just preach that we’d all think and act more sanely if we had to use “maybe” a lot more often. Can you imagine a world with Jerry Falwell hollering “Maybe Jesus ‘was’ the son of God and maybe he hates Gay people as much as I do” — or every tower in Islam resounding with “There ‘is’ no God except maybe Allah and maybe Mohammed is his prophet”?

Why, the world might go stark staring sane!

11. In Maybe logic when one would encounter multiple options where to forward one’s conclusions, what is a guiding light for those who implement maybe logic groundings in applied studies?

Don’t believe ANYthing.  You will, of course, still have some suspicions and prejudices, but keep them in that category. Don’t ever elevate any of them to dogmas. Be prepared to learn more, even in startling and annoying ways.

12. Do you agree with such popular inRussiadichotomy (Due to Marx heritage) – mind – matter?

I rather tend toward the view of physicist David Bohm that the words “mind” and “matter” create endless confusion and should get put on the back shelf in a box labeled “Discarded Nonsense.” At most we should speak of “mind-like and matter-like phenomena.”

13. If there were Aliens what do you think they would be up to humankind-wise?

Any aliens aware of humanity would probably find us cute but possibly dangerous — sort of like I feel about polar bears. Or maybe that represents projection on my part — I find most humans cute but dangerous, not as cute as the bears but much more dangerous

14. How would you correlate Oriental and Western cultures?

I don’t know enough to generalize beyond their religions. I have a strong affinity with Confucianism, Daosim and Buddhism, which gives me a slight pro-Oriental bias. I regard Judaism, Christianity and Islam as three of the worst cults ever invented. Monotheism seem like intellectual poison to me. I fear all faith-based systems, including secular ideologies, which all seem like hangovers from the monotheistic dark ages.

15. If someone asked you – ‘Do you believe in God’ – what would you say?

Hell, no! Oddly, I don’t consider myself an atheist, though– not in the ordinary sense. The universe seems fundamentally rational to me, but I see no signs of a central government or a Tsar. The cybernetic concept of feedback and the Chinese concept of the Dao account for the intelligence I see in the world. To me, in my ignorance, Juang Ju’s axiom “There is no Governor anywhere” implies that “government” resides non-locally, as in a cybernetic system… or an anarchist syndicate maybe….

16. What is your favorite book?

Beyond all doubt, Joyce’s FINNEGANS WAKE.

17. What would you recommend to young people?

Don’ believe anything i say: think for yourself.

18. There is a prejudice among some Russian people that Americans are stupid, how would you comment on that?

I feel staggered. I can’t and won’t deny it. I just don’t know enough to generalize about 200,000,000 people, especially since that group includes me…For all I know, our Nobel scientists  compare unfavorably with other Nobel winners, our dentists with other dentists, our carpenters with other carpenters, our grocers with other grocers , and [gulp]  even our novelists with others, and so on. I simply haven’t done enough travel to offer an informed opinion, and     I defer to those who have.

19. What future according to you mankind is facing today?

I’m an unabashed optimist. I agree with Marx that politics follows economics, but I also agree with Buckminster Fuller that economics follows technology — and technology seems to lead more and more to decentralization of control or “Green” alternatives. Also we’re doing more with less energy every decade. Once we reach the point where Internet replaces all — or most — functions of government, we’ll solve the rest of our problems easily.

20. Do you think formal education is necessary?

That would depend on your ambitions. Most questions have no one answer. What you want determines what you have to do to get it.

21. What do you consider your most important single idea?

My “Idiot of the Century” Law. This has two sides. First, if you occasionally suspect that you have acted like the Idiot of the Century, you will act a little less like the Idiot of the Century, and the more often you entertain that suspicion, the less of an Idiot you become. Conversely, if you never confront such dark suspicions, every idiocy that ever enters your head will stay there and you might actually become the certified, undisputed Idiot of the Century, despite the heavy competition.

22.  What do you think of George Bush?

Well, he never suspects he might qualify as the Idiot of the Century, so I think he has a good chance…

23. Where can people learn more about your ideas?
But be careful. It just might be me, not Bush, who really qualifies as the Idiot of the Century….

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