Quora answer: What are some of the most mind-blowing facts?

Indo-european amazement expressed in Wordle.net form

For me an amazing fact is that only the Indo-Europeans have the concept of Being in their language. And that both Being and Having are the most irregular verbs in Indo-European languages, and thus artificially produced by blending together other verbs. This means that Being (Sein, Sat) is an anomaly in language with all other languages having either existence or copula or some other concept rather than Being at their core.

This coupled with the fact that the Indo-European homeland was in Turkey and that Hittite is the oldest branch of the Indo-European family judged on the basis of vocabulary rather than grammar using genetic mutation analysis techniques. That the oldest megaliths in Turkey are 27,000 years or so old, showing that the Indo-Europeans probably had the oldest civilization, much older than China, Egypt or Sumeria. That in Turkey in ancient times there was a natural breadbasket with more overlapping kinds of grains present than any where on earth and that the Indo-europeans probably invented agriculture by just foraging for these grains. There are loan words in both Sumerian and Indo-European that showed that these people interacted. That the oldest sumerian epic Gilgamesh contains a fight with a monster that is probably the representative of the Indo-Europeans in the north of Sumeria. Sumeria has a completely unique language unrelated to any other known language, and it is probably the oldest civilization after the Indo-European civilization. Cities in Sumeria went from 120 people in villages to 25,000 over night with no fortifications or palaces in them but only temples showing that Plato was right that Men were created only to serve the Gods and that all other formations of civilization came later. That the Sumerians called the Indo-Europeans the Kur which meant also Hell to them, and that they probably drove the Indo-Europeans out into the Steppes where the Indo-europeans built Kurgens (Burial mounds). The Skythians who appeared out of the Stepps during Greek times were probably the result of a foray against the nomads in China a century earlier. Various tribes displaced each other in a domino effect until the Skythians popped out the other side, showing that the whole of the Steppes were populated with Indo-Europeans. The Greeks saw the Skythians as completely opposite of themselves in every way, even though the Skythians were also Indo-european,and probably truer to that tradition than the Greeks. When the Persians tried to attack the Skythians they merely taunted the Persians and said that they could only be forced to fight if the Persians took their burial mounds because they held no permanent property. On the Steppes they Indo-european precursors to the Skytians and Greeks realized a genetic possibility of the horse being big by breeding them to be larger. And when the horses became big enough to pull chariots the Indo-Europeans started taking over the world. Chariot warfare preceded warfare on horseback because the horses were still too small to ride when they could pull a chariot. The first waves of Indo-European world colonialization began in about 6,000 BC in which they took over the known world. Now as a result of this and later colonializations by the Indo-Europeans 60% of the worlds populations speak an Indo-European language. Thus the world dominance of English and other Indo-European languages today had its beginnings about Eight thousand years ago. The Indo-Europeans have achieved world domination through the development of war horses and other technologies. That the central epic concerns one such artificial technological war “horse”. That the Epics of the Illiad and Odessey are older than but related to the Mahabharata each have chariot scenes in battle as central motifs in the stories. That most technical inventions credited to the Indo-Europeans were first invented by the Chinese a thousand years earlier.

Therefore, when you put these factoids together it appears there is a correlation between the uniqueness of Indo-European languages through the fact that it has Being, and the ascent to world domination due to technological change and the roots of this conquest began long ago. Colonialization and now Globalization had a distant precursor when the Indo-Europeans struck out and conquered the world based on the power of horses when they could not yet ride them because they were not big enough yet. And that the Indo-Europeans and every other kind of human that existed outside the Africa has Neanderthal genetic factors due to passing through the Neanderthal homeland in the Middle East on the way out of Africa. There are people with that bloodline still in the Steppes today after 70 generations who eventually came into Europe as nomadic invaders.

These factoids which I connect here are not connected elsewhere to my knowledge and has led to my believing that Ontology is important to understanding our technological superiority. My hypothesis for how this is so is that Being because it creates an imaginary substrate for connecting things, allowing stronger than usual metaphors, allows us to integrate technologies that are discovered into a functioning whole rather than their merely being forgotten and needing to be invented again in isolation later as happened with the Chinese. The ability to create synergetic and integral technological products seems to be a unique Indo-european invention. But that invention also brings with it the core feature of the Western worldview which is the problem of nihilism, and this problem was recognized and delat with at length in the Indo-european epics that have survived.

So we can construe this set of factoids to indicate that the dominance of the Indo-Europeans today was based on a series of accidents and special factors that coalesced to produce the world in which we live today. And this worldview we have today has a deep past that we do not really recognize properly. From archeological finds in Turkey we can say that the Indo-Europeans were probably the oldest civilization predating what has been considered as the oldest by more than twice its age. The Indo-Europeans just happened to live in a natural Bread basket and probably invented the agriculture that made the other later .civilizations possible. The Hittites had a god prior to Uranus in their pantheon called Ahlalu which was forgotten by the time of the Greeks. The Hittites took Mesopotamia and Egypt at certain points in history. And that the other key group also nomadic was the Semites that lived between Egypt and Mesopotamia and who are considered based on analysis of Ugritic literature to have had an original monotheism, which later came to dominate our thinking destroying the old polytheisms.

So the Western worldview which we call Judao-Christian is really a meta-worldview made up of four cultural components. Two based on sedentary Civilizations crystalized around rivers, i.e. Mesopotamia and Egypt. But there are two nomadic groups that are important, one with the uniqueness of having Being in its language, and the other that has the uniqueness of original monotheism. We completely lost access to the Mesopotamian and Egyptian portions of our tradition, but then regained them through the rosetta stone on the one hand and through clay tablets and vocabularies that linked Sumerian with other languages that were preserved on those tablets. So now we are in a much better position to see the contributions of Egypt and Sumeria to our tradition than any time before for the last several millennia. We should call our tradition Indo/Suero/Semitic/Egyptian. All this is very strange and shows the contingency of our worldview which is both very ancient and full of anomalies that became norms through successive accidents and improbabilities in that very long history.

To me the most amazing thing was when I realized that the differences between kinds of Being rediscovered in modern Continental Philosophy were there in the Vedic times as the differences between the Gods and thus between the Castes in the social structure. This idea that the Kinds of Being discovered by Continental Philosophy were really very ancient in our tradition and conserved within it despite our propensity toward rampant and powerfully transformative emergence was to me astounding, and when I realized that I wrote the book The Fragmentation of Being and the Path Beyond the Void in which I perform what I all OntoMythology, i.e. reading myths through the lens of Ontology, i.e. the meta-levels of Being. This method allows us to discover how myths convey the conservative structure of the world view that lies beneath the many deep emergent transformations that break up our heritage into given, fact, theory, paradigm, episteme, ontos, existence, and absoute changes within our history. Here we are considering mind blowing facts. But these facts, even knowing them at all are dependent on the theories, paradigms, ontos, existence and absolutes that go though periodic total revision to produce eras within our tradition. When we have a paradigm or episteme or ontos change it changes what facts are significant, the affordances offered to us in the moment, it rewrites history, it gives a new mythos, and it opens up new possibilities for the future that might be realized. G.H. Mead first describes the emergent event in his Philosophy of the Present because he took as his life’s work reconciling evolution with relativity. In the process the discontinuous changes in the tradition came to the fore as the central phenomena in our tradition. But this emergent change randomly yet persistently, especially in technology, is based on deeper persistent structures that are called the Meta-levels of Being that were really discovered by Bertrand Russell and posited in Principia Mathematica as the solution to most paradoxes. Being is of course the most paradoxical of all concepts because it is the highest in the Western worldview being both less than empty because it is worse than meaningless because it is the origin of illusions and delusions, and also too full in the sense that it means something different to everyone. Thus when we apply the only solution to extreme paradox (higher logical type theory, see Copi for a good explanation of it) and the extreme paradox of Being that is an anomaly existing only in the Indo-European tradition, together then we get a static structure that underlies all emergence. That static structure both creates nihilism as the background on which emergence is seen, but the structure of the emergent events themselves. And so this feature of our worldview strikes me as extremely improbable, based on a series of blackswan events in our history that made it so we have at the same time radical change and amazing stability to world structures based on logical structures that constrain paradox and contradiction.

To me it is truly amazing that we can live within our worldview and not understand it, even though the ancients left us clues as to its structure and how to cope with living in such a worldview of nihilistic extremes. The fact that we have to deal with continual discontinuous cultural and social events as well as technological change, but at the same time subconsciously maintain the structure that causes this to happen though the preservation of the structures that produce nihilism in our tradition is amazing. We are obsessed with false mysteries like that dramatized by Dan Brown, but do not even recognize an even deeper mystery that involves everything we do together in our daily lives that was understood by the ancients who inhabited this worldview but is no longer understood by us. Thus we are traveling blindly within our own worldview rather than being illuminated by it because we illuminate it ourselves with our comprehension of it. In effect underlying all the amazing fact is something even more amazing that allows us to appreciate amazing facts, which is the structure of our worldview that produces emergence out of nihilism and that preserves the structure of the worldview in spite of continuall radical transformations that make up the contingencies of our history, and threaten everything we know and want to hang on to at every moment of our lives. We are oriented toward the amazing, as philosophers say that philosophy comes out of wonder. But the most wondrous thing is the mechanism within our worldview that produces wonder itself. Other peoples throughout human history were not as driven as we are by wonderment. And we have wonderment because we inadvertently produce it through the structure of our worldview. We produce rampant nihilism as a background so we can recognize Emergence when it happens. Our propensity toward wonderment is part of our necessity of being on the look out for the arising of emergent events out of the nihilistic background. And what we recognize in the end is that Emergence and Nihilism are themselves nihilistic opposites so nihilism as has been said by Nietzsche and Heidegger is essential to our understanding of our worldview, and also according to Heidegger essential to our understanding of the essence of technology which is nothing technological but is in fact nihilism. This link between technological progress, especially in warfare, and the dualism between emergence and nihilism at the heart of the worldview is also quite amazing because it permeates our entire culture without our recognizing it.

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Posted May 18, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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