Howard Bloom's God Problem Pluses and Minuses

A different version of this review is posted as a customer review at Amazon


I have completed this book on my Kindle. 
As I read it I thought that this book 
would have a conclusion 
that would knock my socks off. 
Unfortunately the conclusions of The God Problem 
are revealed initially 
and then repeated throughout a highly repetitive text. 
I was encouraged as I inspected 
the little line at the bottom of my Kindle. 
Since I saw I was only approaching the halfway mark, 
I figured there would be a big finale. 
A truly new cosmology. 
Maybe a philosophy. 
A pattern language beyond Christopher Alexander. Something.  
Yesterday I breached that 50 percent mark 
and found that the text ended almost exactly there. 
The rest was footnotes! 
What some reviews described as a loooong book 
was in fact a not-so-long and less-than-satisfying 
effort to arrive at something genuinely new. 
What in fact the book appears to be 
is a mega TIME-style account 
of what science and math biggies have thought forever, 
with a cluster of suppositions 
that are indeed provocative but which beg, 
and I mean beg, 
for more salient presentations than are offered here. 
This quasi-TIME like text is 
blended with an autobiographical apologia of sorts 
which demonstrates the probable truth 
that lies behind the text. 
Here is an author who has thought 
much the same thing forever 
and had a life of massive intellectual stimulation 
by indulging his passion to somehow imbibe 
the cogitations and theories of anyone 
who was anyone all the way up to Stephen Wolfram. 
Sadly, he leaves out the most illustrative modern thinker
whose wisdom would have stood him in good stead. 
That would be Charles Sanders Peirce, 
the greatest thinker America has produced. 
No problem. 
Yale scholar Harold Bloom also manages to ignore Peirce. 
If one wanted to read material that 
does amount to the basis for a new zeitgeist, 
Peirce would be the one to read. 
I should add that I find Howard Bloom 
both personable and engaging. 
I heard of The God Problem on 
a quite remarkable CSPAN program which hooked me 
as Howard Bloom has evidently himself 
been hooked many times. 
I think that the issues Howard Bloom deals with 
are as much philosophical 
as scientific or cosmological. 
The advantage of philosophy is 
that on rare occasions it can influence 
how we think 
and on a very few occasions 
it can have an influence 
Harold Bloom flags as history-making. 
I sense this is the effect Howard Bloom 
would like to  have. 
I would advise him to take his 
cluster of suppositions 
and craft them into a philosophy text, 
minus footnotes. 
My own effort to do this 
I call Triadic Philosophy and 
while it may not move mountains 
it does manage to say things 
that are new and provocative in 100 crisp aphorisms, 
the device Nietzsche used to good advantage.

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The One and The Many and Heteronomy

The one and the many has to do 
with patterns common to all. 
Heteronomy implies a something beyond one 
that has influence or control. 
The concern of the one and the many is with patterns 
related to how the cosmos or universe works. 
The first is broader and more supposition than the second. 
One could infer influences on an artist 
but it would be more of a guess to say 
that one is essentially creative 
because the universe is made up of nano elements 
that possess freedom. 
Or that we are as we are because A = B  
or does not. 
Or because entropy is real or not.  

The artist is never entirely autonomous 
because there are always 
known and unknown patterns 
that might well be universal 
as well as particular influences. 

We are never entirely autonomous 
or individual 

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Consciousness Can Be Measured

The Slow as Molasses Press