Archive for June, 2009

Expert-ism Daf

June 17, 2009

Initiation rites hazing, certifying or establishing you as expert, into guild, profession

Brotherhood vs. priesthood, belonging vs. sacred, kavod vs. ‘the kavod’

Participants: Irene Diamond,Matthew Mausner, Meir Simcha & Dvora Pantzur, Betzalel Edwards, Rachel Leah, Sarah Weil, Avigail, Adiella Jones, Gershon Gottlieb, Shira Rachel (Ami/ Yoni music)

Metaphor signifies the understanding is beyond the means/ framework. Making, defining truth, terms

Think for Yourself!!

Should psychologists determine who’s sane or not?

According to whom? 1984 e.g.

Psychology, the new priesthood (Zerzan), decides legal boundaries of reality, sanity behavior, power

Knowledge vs. Wisdom

Black fire vs. White fire

society doesn’t value the white/ space/ less defined

Not relying on previous knowledge, constant re-evaluation. Answers always change: Sword at entrance to Garden of Eden always moving. Chochma, Bina, Daat: Creativity/ creation?

Do the ‘experts’ in each field of human endeavor know what they’re talking about? Does expertise deserve the respect, money, attention, power that societies give it? Committee corporate breeds conservatism & mediocrity. Advisors not responsible or accountable: other people’s money Are “parents”–mothers and/or fathers, qualified and deserving of authority/power over children? Is a ‘parent’ a natural expert? What’s best for kids, SW, judge decides? In divorce/ orphan
Who determines and has power over the way we define and understand human bodies and souls?

Masculine vs. feminine values. Ratzo v’Shov Acting vs. processing. Predictions vs. Blessings. Talmud many opinions- one truth. Levels

Academic specialization: people study longer to know more and more about less and less. Reputation. Narrow fields don’t talk to each other; is publishing, tenure, grants, etc. proof of merit? Test scores vs. social measures & cooperation.

Where are moral distinctions or purpose? Is there a void?

What criteria determines whether ‘experts’ have valid expertise? In which fields is expertise objective, quantifiable, meritocracy, verifiable? External vs. self-defined expertise. Black Swan Taleb: closed systems, misapplied Gaussian & other models, confirmation error, Data regression, arrogance- worship of experts. Herd mentality. Is real problem professionalization of expertise? Scale, bigness causes… Brain surgery requires the best trained neurosurgeon: nobody else can do it: Not everyone can know everything: Or is best doctor bedside manner? Acupuncture effective even if not understood.

Being needed as reason to be expert? In which fields is expertise needed?

Society should take care of all its members? So merit is defined by the good you give to others/ community?Deserving if chesed & for others and achieves its purpose then yes.
Identify w/ career

In a place where there’s ‘no man’- be ‘the man’ -prkA

Moshe sees no man, kills the Egyptian, takes responsibility

Financial ‘experts’ didn’t understand, predict, plan for, or protect all of us from the subprime and derivatives crashes. Nobels; quant. over qual.; platonic/ ideal forms over reality chaos Fear of risk: we depend on experts to minimize or insure against, esp. complex, higher stakes situations. Too busy to think for ourselves, adopt view of majority, ‘common sense’, convntional wisdom, we abdicate responsibility for life. Professional power relations, hierarchy of perceived, accredited expertise: scarcity. Salary, pay =? status which professions are respected/ paid/more?

job satisfaction? if->

happy at job dependent on psych. outlook? selfish / selfless motivations for work, career, achievement, attention
Each person (Tselem Elokim) has their unique gift ‘expertise’? Anarchist ideal no experts: ALL are empowered. Society Against the State. Each society only allows certain (limited) types of expertise. E/W, ‘civilized’ division of labor vs. H/G Kabbalists warn against mistaking the map for territory, forms for reality

Materialist/ rational/ quantifiable expertise or is merit more subtle/ alternative/ holistic? ‘true cost’ how to determine? ‘Objective’ vs. Verifiable Double-blind scientific method and its limits. Statistics- numbers- irony lowest mundane means proves ‘higher reality’

Being in ‘Flow’ state Csikszentmihalyi music, athletes, 10,000 hours of practice = ‘genius’ ‘talent’. Does that account for intention? ‘Calling’? ‘Obsession’? workaholic? Innovation vs. Repeatability True chidush can destroy a field, dangerous, New is always from the unknown. Einstein. Tzaddik = expert at life? God guides when you’re in unknown place if you’re ready, above your sechel. We receive laws at liminal moments, Phase changes, thresholds, of indiv. & coll. identity crisis. Thomas Kuhn- science progress. Revolution. Ideas in air, free speech, tipping points, zeitgeist. Bat .300 makes you a star who fails 70% of time. We’re here to fail & make mistakes-> Tikun fixing, taking responsibility, risk, blame (buck stops). Personally meaningful goals, go beyond your limits. Experts out of their fields- Freeman Dyson, Richard Feynman, Bertrand Russell etc. Is expertise or success defined by others’ ignorance or failure?

Bernie Siegel

Gennup,Victor Turner (Arizal) Dr. Pierre Grimes.

Birth and the Earth Daf

June 17, 2009

Zero Population Growth (ZPG) :

People becomes a population- number?: scientific reductionism: The Population Bomb:


Ben David won’t come until all the neshamot have been in bodies: Generations from the seeds/ Zera:

Amartya Sen: Famine is political: Not about food but money and distribution:

Potlatch: Abundance thinking as potential not as actual: Abundance means there can be enough for everybody:

5-5-09 ‘TANAIM’: Irene Diamond, Micha Odenheimer, Matthew Mausner, Shaul Judelman, Sarah Weil, Mia Rachel xx, Eliyahu McLean, Rachel Leah xx, Gershon Gottlieb, Amos xx. ed. MM

Ecological science and environmentalism tend to accept a model that puts human birth in conflict with the well-being of the earth.


Demographic reductionism and the population/resources model a. Is there a simple relationship between the number of people and the impact on the environment?

b. Are humans even ‘separate’ from the natural world/ environment?

Why (in first Ohr Esther event) attack envir. mov. rather than corrupt capitalism?:
Adam 150 years spilling seeds: This fallen seed was reincarnated in [slavery in] Egypt:

Have more kids to speed moshiach: descriptive or prescriptive?

Environmental footprint: One american = 50 Bolivians e.g.: Developed vs. undevel. countries: Ecological time vs. human time: Last 200 years accel. impacts and change:


Pru R’Vu Go forth and multiply:

Birth Control: condom, pill:

Famine-> halacha to stop sex/birth:

Infanticide (tribal): Abortion (modern): Empower women: choice: wanted vs. unwanted children: Medicine- birth defects & diseases live: “Nature’s beautiful & perfect, humans just destroy it: So why am I alive?”: Do humans ‘belong’ or see ourselves as belonging: Hopelessness, Apocalyptic eco crisis: Nihilism & Existentialism: Brave to commit suicide?:

c. Is ecological science dominated by conceptions of scarcity?
d. Are ecosystems stable in any way that can be ‘preserved’?
e. Can an approach of
abundance better serve both science and human needs?

Chesed/Gvura of abundance: CH sharing, GV taboos

Sukka fem. protecting masc.: schach klippot over kli: raising up kilppot tikun:

biodiversity = cultural diversity, +-

Relevant insights of ecofeminism:
1.Establishing that healing the earth is inseparable from social justice
2.Establishing that spirituality is intrinsic to solving the environmental predicament
3.Linking environmental sanity to the creation of sustainable peace:
Roots of environmentalism, secular & scientific values: in rationalism (Yavan) and Christianity: Christians born in sin: Jesus self-sacrifice: Crucifixion ultimate infanticide: God sacrificed his own son: Akeida: Are Jewish & indigenous values opposed to Greek/rational/Christian?: How much do we get to control our reality or others’ actions?: Categorical imperative:

Our context/ assumption: yes there’s a world crisis: ecological, spiritual, capitalism/ material:

Jews’ population: census in torah: usur to count Jews:

Shoah: Replace Holo. victims with big families: Haredi mindset 10+: Haredim moving closer to Christian right: Catholic Pope against birth control: Pope seen as against eco.: India village intro. TV-> birth rate went down: college degree predictor of lower birthrate: JUDGING traditional peoples for valuing life/ birth differently:

Rainbow colors about earth: Gold & Silver about divine: gold inward/ defining: silver outward/open: Jews linked to gold & silver matrix:
Purpose of creation is tikun?: Static vs. dynamic: D. Quinn’s “Takers” and “Leavers” relevant: DQ accept birth and earth opposed?: Eve gift of life: life without limit?: The dominant economic model- global corporate capitalism- is wrong/evil: dependence: exploitation: mistreatment of women: Empowering women = choice Inheritance (tribal or divine): justice related to land:

Mopsik “Body of Engenderment”

souls come back into bodies to do their tikun: