Jesus Loves Statistics

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In Weaver’s theory of communication, one part only receives source noise. The message is changed into a signal by the transmitter and the receiver is an inverse transmitter, changing the transmitted signal back into a message. Noise plays the role of good and evil, increasing uncertainty, but if uncertainty is increased, then information is increased. Weaver says, however, “Uncertainty which arises by virtue of freedom of choice on the part of the sender is desirable uncertainty. Uncertainty which arises because of errors or because of the influence of noise, is undesirable uncertainty… Language must be designed (or developed) with a view to the totality of things that man may wish to say; but not being able to accomplish everything….it too should deal with its task statistically.”

Jesus understood this statistical strategy. Preston Harold tells us…

As Jesus describes the way He deals with the task of “telling us all things,” the term, “statistically,” comes to mind – that is, He scatters His words widely, knowing that some will fall on “stony soil,” but that some will fall on “good soil,” will take root and grow in the minds of men. This statistical dealing with words, which He also involves with the working of the “kingdom of God,” as well as His involving communication with a certain redundancy which man now knows to be necessary and to be involved with entropy, and His saying that the “kingdom of God” and its working grows into a “tree so large” that its reach is lost to physical measurement, that it harbors or involves the “bits” of sound that birds, poetically, represent, indicates that Jesus was indeed referring to the working of the second law of thermodynamics in His descriptions of the realm or reign of God.

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Ah, back to the second law of thermodynamics. Entropy strikes again! The end of the universe – heat death – meaninglessness. Is there any way forward? What say you, Mr. Harold?

As far as the universe is concerned, there is desirable uncertainty in the postulations of scientists as to when its “heat-death” will occur. For twentieth-century man the hour appears comfortably distant, so distant the matter can be of no concern only to one who so loves life that the idea is dismaying. Nevertheless, he must face it, for the physicists tell him it appears quite certain that energy is constantly transferred from the available to the unavailable state, and transfer in the opposite direction never occurs in nature. This brings cosmology into the discussion and returns this study to the point in question – Jesus’ answer as to the real nature of entropic working and its meaning in universal terms.

The “real nature of entropic working?” Could there be some sort of “out” to this unassailable concept of the inevitable, ultimate outworking of entropy? We’ll see what The Shining Stranger has to say about this beginning in our next post. Until then, peace.

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Jesus Loves Redundancy

To understand how and why Jesus counted on redundancy to communicate his message, we will let Warren Weaver speak technically;

“The ratio of the actual to the maximum entropy is called the relative entropy of the source. If the relative entropy of a certain source is, say, .8, this roughly means that this source is, in its choice of symbols to form a new message, about 80 percent as free as it could possibly be with these same symbols. One minus the relative entropy is called the redundancy. This is the fraction of the structure of the message which is determined not by the free choice of the sender, but rather by the accepted statistical rules governing the use of the symbols in question….the redundancy of English is just about 50 percent, so that about half the letters or words we choose in writing or speaking are under our free choice, and about half are really controlled by the statistical structure of language….it is interesting to note that a language must have at least 50 percent of real freedom (or relative entropy) in the choice of letters if one is to be able to construct satisfactory crossword puzzles.”

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Is it not surprising that the Word incarnate would understand the free, statistical, and redundant aspects of language? Preston Harold exposits…

Cross(+)word? Did Jesus leave cross-word messages, wherein a key word or words serve to work both ways just as a letter or letters work both ways in a crossword puzzle? In giving His Law of Communication, Jesus indicated that 50 percent redundancy is ideal:

…let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay…

The second “yea” and the second “nay” give to the whole statement a 50 percent redundancy – as though to point out that in verbal expression, speaking in the ordinary sense of the word, too little redundancy is apt to render the meaning obscure, but too much redundancy is apt to give over the meaning to senselessness….Weaver says, “There is more ‘information’ if you select freely out of a set of fifty standard messages that if you select freely our of a set of twenty-five.” If the prophecies in Scriptures regarding the Christ are viewed as the number of “standard messages” from which Jesus could freely select, then the quantity in this one source provided the greatest opportunity for Him to state and show His truth through the use of them.

Jesus would “feely choose,” pick and choose the scriptures he best thought fit his mission. Without free choice there is no redundancy and vice versa.

Until next time, peace.

The Tower of Babel and the Mystery of Language: Part III

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Back on the topic of language and communication in the Tower of Babel legend, Preston Harold takes us on an evolutionary journey:

The Babel legend deals also with another aspect of man and the development of consciousness – it indicates the nature of the change evolutionary processes effected as man moved from his preceding state to Homo sapiens generation, and it points to the way he must evolve to meet his future. The Genesis legend says that man must…create words. But the legend also indicates that communication was established in the beginning, and in the dramas of Eden and Noah’s ark there is a broader sense of communication than follows thereafter:

In the days when the whole earth had one language and one vocabulary, there was a migration from the east… 

These words suggest an absolute means of communication, one that was effortless insofar as conscious striving was concerned. Only telepathy or clairvoyance correspond to this. The Babel legend deals with Homo sapiens’ infant being, reflected today in the infant being of any man.

If the Noah legend tells of the birthing process of the human being, what comes next as a person matures is the development of communication and interaction. This is the part of human development which the Babel story conveys to us.

Mothers and their newborns have a means of communication in which words aren’t needed; intuition, gut feelings, premonitions, not to mention the obvious cries for food! Although this non-language based form of interaction is appropriate for a time, it is ultimately wanting for the requirements of humankind:

Unrestricted as telepathy appears to be, it is insufficient to meet man’s need to pass along to the next generation what he gains in knowledge and realizes to be truth. Only language, words, can meet this need. The demand to understand words and to communicate his understanding in words is put upon the child as he passes from infancy to childhood – above all, he must identify himself as a man. A transition must take place within him. The Babel legend would say that some inward power speaks, and the one word it could say that would confound the babble of the childish ego-group and start it along the path of conscious striving the one word that would make all men strangers even to themselves, is “I” – the seed of Enos, mortal, flowering in the articulated vocable, the word, its capacity, content, and meaning is unknown.

So what about this moment that confounds us, the moment when we realize that we are an “I” and not a “we?” Dr. Franz Winkler says:

“In his second or third year, every sane child undergoes an inner experience of utmost significance, an experience which radically changes his mental life. From that moment on he ceases to refer to himself in the third person and conceives of “I.” Some endowed with an unusual memory will recall this event later and will consequently not easily be swayed by philosophers and psychologists who deny the reality of selfhood.”

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Harold begins to wrap things up for us:

The concept offered here is that when something within man and beyond his consciousness sounded through him, destroying his pre-Homo sapiens means of communication, the forces of extrasensory perception began to be dispersed, as were the tower’s builders, and this drama is repeated in the life of the child today… The Babel Tower legend suggests…that man moved away from his old means of communication, that he is still on the move, his development not to be arrested by any social structure he contrives.

But wait, is this all? Is there no room for any development of the mind in the area of communication with one another? Harold will end his wrap up by looking ahead:

But it must be pointed out that mental and spiritual powers rise in a spiral – ESP appears now to be Imagereturning in a form refined, for at the height of modern man’s intellectual powers he is apt to experience intuitive prompting, a sort of inward clairvoyance, that vastly enhances his mental reach. Jesus, himself, personifies the return of the power as empathy grows and intellect comes full flower.

And as a matter of fact, as we will explore later in this blog, for Preston Harold this mind power is essential if we are to understand Jesus’ miracles and resurrection.

Oh, and before we go, one last lesson from our story…

The Babel legend expresses a noble intellectual ideal – the fallacy is that not even Nimrod is named responsible, for it begins, “They said,” so that responsibility does not come to rest anywhere, or upon anyone engaged in the gigantic group effort. The legend says that something in man prohibits the completion of any irresponsible effort to solve any problem or reach any goal. In Eden, in the beginning, man is human and is given dominion over all other life because he was made to be responsible for self and acts. Trying to know by eating any fruit represents a thoughtless, mechanistic effort to achieve life’s goal automatically and irresponsibly. The Eden legend says such effort will fail – and the Babel legend confirms the dictum.

Until next time, peace…