Human = Story telling creature

For a few months I wonder around Bay Area philosophy meet-ups. And this is cool! People of all walks of life gather to discuss fundamental questions, teachings and books. No matter how rich they are in philosophical background (in the end we all are amateurs) every single meeting brings new unexpected turns in seemingly well thought of ideas. That was an introduction. Now the story from the last meet-up.

That was a group of atheists or positivists (I would say) and the topic was concerned with Charles Darwin’s ideas. I was just curious what else could be said after all these years in that respect. The coolest thing happened at the second part — during an informal conversation. Somehow we slipped to the evolution of humans and to the issue of “story telling.”

I started to recall whatever could be said about humans telling stories and realized that we can term history of humans as the history of story telling: from totally ritualized to ultimately free. And now the punch line: Initial ritualized narrative played crucial role in maintaining human society as human for it was a form of collective consciousness — the only consciousness possible in the very beginning. That is, liberation-individualization of story telling and story teller was, in fact, bringing up of individual consciousness.
Now, when this is said it seems obvious but when the idea hit my old brains it was hilarious… That happened a few hours ago and I got used to her already :(

Posted in Basic Ideas, Culture, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Conscience and Consciousness

Just a few thoughts on the topic. In consciousness I see myself from outside, so to speak, for I know that I am and I know, moreover, that I am in this world. That ability to see myself from outside is rooted in seeing myself by other people. I see you and, if we communicate, I realize that you see me. This is how I know that I am, generally speaking. But that requires of me to acknowledge you being a “right mirror.” That is, in order to become aware of my own existence I have to accept another human being and this pertains to conscience. And vice versa: To accept you I must know that I do exist. That is, consciousness and conscience presuppose one another… But that assumption brings in a question right away: How is “evil consciousness” possible then?

Posted in Basic Ideas, dialogue, Human psyche, Theory | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Uniqueness of Personality

The subject popped up in a conversation with friends recently. Something was said and I am fixing that.

No doubts, normally a mother considers her child a unique personality from the day one. Still, besides that consideration behaviour of a newborn is barely human at all. After a short wile it begins to display some human like features, so, obviously, humanity comes to a child through learning. We actually know that until it comes to our own children: they are special, of course. Having mentioned that “humanity through learning” we can ask again where from comes uniqueness?

There is no obvious answer. OK, Let us try to approach the subject from other direction. Let us ask how this adult person keeps her personality unique? Say, if someone inclined just to repeat everything said by others may we call this one a unique-in-herself personality?

Oh, we never asked how to judge, how to tell unique from common! Let us try that first. I believe a personality establishes her uniqueness every time doing something unique. Seems obvious. But when we do something unique do we use something unique? No matter how far we go along that chain we cannot be unique all the way. Normally, uniqueness ends up at the first step: I do something unique with commonly known tools; I tell something unique about commonly known subject, using common language, etc. I am unique because all I have learned to this moment from other people I process in some unique way. There is no such thing in the Universe as absolute uniqueness but only “old things” organized in “new form.” And that applies to personality: a unique personality does not just repeat after others but thinks that over and is able to develop what was learned. On the other hand, “what was learned” is essential here, for development of something that was not really learned is obvious nonsense.

Posted in Human psyche, The Book, Theory | Leave a comment

Culture vs. Copyright at Barnes & Noble!

It finally happened: Culture vs. Copyright made it to Barnes & Noble distribution network. 10 months of paperwork going back and forth! :)

Posted in News, The Book | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

A Work of Art = A New World: Chronotope

An excerpt from Culture vs. Copyright: “[E]very artwork creates a new layer of humanity consisting of a new world (less and more real than the physical one), a new author (capable of creating that world), and a new audience (capable of understanding, believing in, accepting, and enjoying all of the novelty) with all their new forms of behavior, thinking, and speaking.”

There were some theoretical advances happened in my old mind since that was written.

One concerns with the chronotope. I learned (and am coming to understand that in full) from my teacher, Vladimir Bibler that poetry and philosophy, each in her own way, deal with the moment and the eternity. But I never understood where the time comes from. That was taught by Michail Bachtin in respect to novels. Nowadays, I realize that time is presented in any work of art, including poetry, as much as it delivers a “story.” Well, the moment that was said it became obvious, and I want to explore a bit that evident phenomenon. What is so obvious here? It is the story, evidently, to be going in time, event by event, little or big happenings following one another. It is time! So what?

Two things. The First: How we get that time? The Second: What happens as a result?

The First. A work of art involves us in its world but not entirely. We can get out. Actually, spacewise we are out anyway. That is, being actually distanced from the story we witness, we perceive it from outside from one “end to another” in time. That is, the story time is viewed in its entirety even though that time can amount to ages. We observe those ages in a very short period of our “own” physical time. But there is an issue with the latter there: we cannot observe it for we are “inside!” From this follows:

The Second. The only physical time that can be real for human consciousness is that one a human being is exposed to in a work of art. The most expressive in this respect must be a narrative of literature, either fiction or . . . fiction. Real reality behind a story has nothing to do with that and plays no role in that.

In short: Arts (fiction in the first place) and only arts teach us the sense of time.

Posted in Basic Ideas, The Book, Theory | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

On different cases of copyright “infrigement”

Recently I was asked by my friend Gil Yhuda how my anti-copyright stance works in different “infrigement” cases. Thus far I never bothered to look into those details.

Here they are along with my take:

1. Reproduction ‒ “substantial and material” copying. This “right” restricts free (read ‒ normal) dissemination of a creative work.

2. Distribution ‒ sale, rental, lease, or lending. The “right” is limited by the “first sale doctrine.” But, regardless, it restricts free (read ‒ normal) dissemination of a creative work.

3. Creation of derivatives ‒ translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted, such as the transformation of a novel into a motion picture, a second version of a software program is generally considered a derivative work based upon the earlier version. The “right” restricts free (read normal) cultural development upon a creative work.

4. Performance ‒ meaning public performance, which is limited to the: literary works, musical works, dramatic works, choreographic works, pantomimes, motion pictures, and audio visual works. This “right” restricts both free (read ‒ normal) dissemination of and cultural development upon a creative work.

5. Display ‒ which is similar to performance, and controls the public “display” of the following types of works: literary works; musical works; dramatic works; choreographic works; pantomimes; pictorial works; graphical works; sculptural works; and stills (individual images) from motion pictures and other audio visual works. The “right” restricts free (read ‒ normal) dissemination of a creative work, mostly.


I cannot present here my entire argument. It is done in the book, Culture vs. Copyright. Shortly:

1. Preliminary general argument would be: cultural phenomena (that is, any creative work) by very nature is free. Free as in “Freedom,” in full meaning of the word. Two major aspects of this freedom are: freedom to access a work and freedom to build upon a work. These freedoms are natural, thus, neither restriction to them can supposedly be useful for any reason.

2. Main specific argument is: unrestricted but attributed usage of a creative work contributes in its author’s name. It brings him exposure, fame . . . if the work is brilliant enough. And the name is that magic tool which, consequentially, turns the work in money. Restrictions, in this regard, do nothing.

Posted in Basic Ideas, On licencing, Theory | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Should We Obey The Laws of Nature?

The ancient Romans said, “Natura parendo vincitur,” that is, roughly, “One that is obeying nature, wins.” In other words, we get the best fruits of Mother Nature if we obey her laws. And nothing but harm comes from trying to impose our wishes on Nature, act against her laws. Sounds reasonable, does it not?

What about culture? Should we try to obey culture’s intrinsic laws? That is to say, should we follow the nature of culture while attempting to govern it? Or we can just take laws derived from other areas (real estate, for example) and apply them to culture? Witnessing what is going on around Intellectual Property, a plain sane person would probably say “Let’s follow the nature of culture and see how it works.” Or wouldn’t one?

This is the place where the whole trouble resides. Virtually nobody is asking what is the nature of culture. It is termed IP and governed as real estate. That means, virtually nobody thinks that nature of culture matters.


What would you say if I asked whether it is normal to use a microscope as a hammer?

Why do we “feel” that there is not any necessity to take the nature of culture in consideration?


Posted in Basic Ideas, The Book | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

On Dialogue in Pedagogy

One out of a few indirect messages in Culture vs. Copyright is about a school for the near future (which, of course, could very well be a school of the present but, alas, has not been implemented as of yet). Here is an excerpt from the Preface:

Version II, Somewhat Fictitious

It all started accidentally. I was talking to colleagues and happened to mention an educational experiment I had participated in, in the past. It was related to the School of The Dialogue of Cultures (SDC). The theory of SDC has been developed cooperatively among philosophers, scientists, and educators in the Ukraine and Russia. The foundation of that School’s educational process is dialogue and is comprised of at least two elements. First, a subject is presented to the students not as the firm and absolute truth but as a source of questions. Second, teaching is not done in the traditional manner but organized through dialogue and exploration. These ideas may sound pretty casual to the modern ear, but when specifics were considered the theory and practice of SDC appeared rather unique, effective, and appealing to my colleagues. They were intrigued by experiments I described. For instance, I told a story of first graders enthusiastically debating the human soul with Plato and Aristotle . . .

That was, evidently, direct reference to a possible new school. Indirect one is embodied in a large part of the book composed as dialogues among first graders. These dialogues show how is teaching supposed to be conducted. If you happen to read the book pay close attention to what the Teacher does there. It is not totally fictional!

Posted in dialogue, education, School, The Book, The School of The Dialogue of Cultures | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Logic of Freedom & Logic of Catastrophe

What is Freedom for Humans?

Usually we perceive freedom in the outside context. Say, freedom to act at will. Freedom means no restrictions for my action. For example, specific freedoms, civil liberties pertain to our outer actions. And all these freedoms, in general and in particular somehow represent human nature. We need freedom. We want freedom. We love freedom. We value freedom. Some of us are even ready to fight for freedom. Some are ready to die for freedom…

But I dare to say that any freedom to act, so valuable to us, is not the top presentation of human freedom. Any of them is less than one freedom on inside: freedom from myself. Can I be free to think? Not just to repeat after someone or myself, but think? That is, can I be so free to overcome my own prejudices and stereotypes on my own? Not under pressure of circumstances; not by teaching of a wise teacher; not even being asked by someone else, but on my own? That is, can I be so free that to question unquestionable?..

This is what real art does. Real art questions unquestionable. But not just art does that. Culture does it. That ability can serve as one of general definitions of culture. Because of this ability we “came out of caves” or “got down from trees,” whichever picture you like more.

Besides general definition, underlying all of human life during the history, culture becomes the specific definition of human being nowadays. As a late Russian philosopher Vladimir Bibler put it: Culture moves into the epicenter of being. And if we agree that culture is about questioning of unquestionable which is to cause development of humanity then culture is synonymous to creativity. That is, nowadays creativity becomes main definition of being human in all dimensions, up to the everyday life.

What is Intellectual Property?

Intellectual Property is:

• Restriction of creativity

• Restriction of communication of creative works

• Restriction of communication with creative works…

Conclusion: Intellectual Property restricts to be specifically human nowadays.

Like you the conclusion or not it is a simple syllogism. You may question premises. I do not. That means for me the syllogism describes reality as is. And if so, the next conclusion is inevitable: Intellectual Property will cause a catastrophe, sooner or later. Can or cannot we imagine what form it will take but there is no doubts in scale: that will be real and that will be real catastrophe.

Posted in Basic Ideas, Theory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Presentation at Canada College Philosophy Club

College of San Mateo Cañada College & Skyline College
Mr. Anatoly Volynets, Co-founder
Total Knowledge (California) & NGO Dialogue of Cultures XXI (Ukraine)
to speak on
“Culture vs. Copyright: Logic of freedom and logic of catastrophe”
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014 at 4:00pm
Cañada College campus, Bldg. 3-142 (Main Theatre Building)
Light refreshments & coffee will be served
Open to the public. Bring a friend

Posted in Events, News | Tagged | Leave a comment