My idea of substitution

Canaletto, Capriccio of the Rialto Bridge with the Lagoon Beyond

The general

By the same means you lose a thing you also gain its opposite, in religion, art, philosophy and science.[1]

The particulars

Science: By the same means you no longer know the Unknown you also know the Known.

By the same test you discover what is false you also discover the truth, in natural sciences.[2]

A small essay on a big theme

By the same means and their multiplication you gain a thing today (think of pleasure or wealth) you will lose it tomorrow and also gain its opposite (if we consider the previous examples, pain or poverty). That is wisdom and George Soros sees it; thus, his philosophy becomes relevant here.

Human behavior explains the multiplicative effect in both financial markets and outside them, as I learned from George Soros.

For George Soros, many doctrines of life are confirmed first and then falsified by the same decisions and their multiplication; your situation, if you practiced those doctrines often, has changed.[3]

That is the multiplicative effect.

Let us consider an example: Hedonism.

For hedonists, to seek pleasure is the purpose of life.[4] But those who end up falsifying hedonism are the hedonists themselves: They find first what they seek (pleasure) and then the opposite (pain) by doing often the same things.[5] [6] [7]

So, to name hedonism as it is, let us name it “pain by pleasure.”

And I saw a film about it when I was a student. In Stephen Jeffreys’ The Libertine, John Wilmot discovers, from pleasure to pleasure, pain.

To finish it: To discover the truth about hedonism, consider the multiplicative effect; without it, things do not go in the opposite direction.[8]

(Politics and aggregate hedonism: For George Soros, a hedonist society such as the USA is not difficult to manipulate by its political rulers, but easy.[9])

Another example: Financial markets. By the same means and their multiplication, people get rich today and lose it all tomorrow, as George Soros said.[10] [11]

As philosophers have shown, sometimes, by the same means you know what does not work you also know what works: trial and error.

As I interpret Immanuel Kant’s What is Enlightenment?, by the same means you lose your mind’s tutor you also begin to use it yourself.

By the same means you lose stupidity you also gain wisdom: To use the words of Jesus, the son of Sirach, “much experience.”

Ethics: By the same means you lose a vice you also gain a virtue; the virtue and the vice are, as we all know, a pair of opposites.

One of the most important things that I learned from experience is that by the same means you lose fear you also gain courage.[12]

A childhood memory: To overcome the fear of swinging, I jump in the water and reach the surface immediately and start to move my hands and legs as swimmers do –in that moment, I lost a fear and gained the opposite courage…

To overcome the fear of darkness, stay in the dark until you will realize that it will not hurt you –in that moment, you will lose your fear and gain courage…[13]

By knowing that you can do to your enemy as he wants to do to him, you lose your fear of your enemy and gain the courage to face him.

By the same means you lose the fear of death you also gain the courage to face it: Know, as Jesus, the son of Sirach, did, that, like all, you too are born and will die.

To overcome boredom, take a long walk in the company of a woman.[14]

By the same means you lose your loneliness you also join an entourage: making friends.

Art: By correcting a mistake in the work you make, you may make it lose ugliness and gain beauty.

Art: By replacing a piece with another in the work you make, you may make it lose ugliness and gain beauty.

By the same means you lose your weakness you also gain your strength.[15]

Post Scriptum Poem

You enjoy knowing the Known,

discovering the truth,

knowing what works,

using your mind yourself,

wisdom,

courage,

and all the other virtues,

the company of a woman,

making friends,

beauty,

and your strength.

[1] My idea of substitution, which is born from experience, is independent of any domain. Another thing here: It is the unity in diversity that I want you to see.

[2] Think of Sir Karl Popper, George Soros and Nassim Taleb.

[3] The age of fallibility.

[4] Epicurus.

[5] The most foolish hedonists do not give up on hedonism not even when it hurts.

[6] That is the multiplicative effect at the small scale.

[7] Psychologically, people hate pain more than they love pleasure. (Behavioral psychology)

[8] That is George Soros’ criterion of truth in social sciences.

[9] The age of fallibility.

[10] The New Paradigm for Financial Markets.

[11] That is the multiplicative effect at the big scale.

[12] Swimming.

Fighting.

Staying in the dark.

Dying.

[13] In other words: By the same means you lose fear you also gain courage.

Likewise: By the same means you do no evil you also do good –the fear of the Lord. (Jesus, the son of Sirach)

And: By the same means you lose pride –and you may have it, even if it is not for you, as Jesus, the son of Sirach, said –, you also gain meekness.

[14] By the same means you lose boredom you also gain its opposite.

[15] Rephrasing it: Strength begins with weakening the weaknesses; all strengths, all weaknesses.

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Truths and Practical Truths

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Tudor Călin Rațiu

Tudor Călin Rațiu

Truths and Practical Truths

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