Zero parallax, learning to understand

using limits to work towards infinity

Zeroparallax in a nutshell means understanding.

It means understanding how things relate and how both we and others relate to different things so that we can account for those differences in relationship.

While most of the things that I write about and create and sell are based on my own experiences, at the heart of them all is the idea of understanding. What I'm trying to create and sell is understanding and the ability to acquire it for yourselves.

Why work at acquiring understanding?

Why work to acquire understanding? It means you aren't dependent on others. It also means you can use your understanding for deeper or better experiences. These in turn can be used to build your understanding so that further experiences are deepened further.

So what is parallax?

What is parallax?

Parallax is viewing error. Or it's a difference in what is perceived based on differences in viewing angle.

One person looks at a clock, the old fashioned kind with a two or three arms that move relative to a fixed back plate, and sees that it's three o'clock. Another person looks at the same clock but from the side and sees that it's two minutes past three.

It's not so much that one is correct. (This actually depends on whether the clock is correct or not. If that's the case then if one person is viewing the clock from head on, then he or she is "correct"). What's more important is that the views match, but failing that, understanding how viewing angle affects what is perceived.

If each is aware of how the other relates to what is being viewed, viewing angle can be corrected for.

Of course there are dangers here, what if both people correct for each other? Or what if neither person corrects?

And so it's important that there be a reference, something that both can refer to so that they know whether or not to correct for error.

Right marker!

In the army, marching in neat rows and columns, the person at the right front was called the right marker. Unless told otherwise, he/she was the one that we adjusted our position to and maintained our position relative to so that we kept our nice neat rows and columns.

Zeroparallax is about understanding relationships and having clear references!!!

So zeroparallax is in part based on understanding how we relate. But it's also about having clear references.

How to measure consistantly (and avoid measurement error)

I first learned about parallax in chemistry class. Our teacher was Ms Klobature. She taught us that when measuring liquids using a beaker (or whatever the specific apparatus that was used for measuring was called) we had to view the measurements with the vessel level but with our eyes level with the surface of the liquid. This was the reference position that made all of our measurements consistent because they were made using a fixed reference point. Note, she could have defined it as 89 degrees above the horizontal. The point was if we knew it, and could find it, we could use it, consistently.

A relationship needs something to relate

So, zeroparallax is about understanding. And at the surface level you could say it's about understanding how we relate, and about relationships in general. An important idea here is that a relationship needs a minimum of two things in order to exist. Looking at a clock, the relationship includes ourselves and the clock.

Part of what makes understanding easier is having a general language for describing relationships and as well the things that they relate.

Ideas are the basic building blocks of relationships

This bears further explanation but the term I use to refer to the things that a relationship connects is "idea." A relationship connects or relates ideas.

And yes, we tend to think of ideas as imaginary. Or in some cases as viruses. And both can be true. Note that another term that I've come across recently and that can be used in a similiar way is holon. a holon is something that is whole in and of itself but at the same time part of something bigger. A holon can be a system which is part of a bigger system. It can be a component part which is part of a system.

Why ideas can be better than holons

I like the term idea a bit better because it includes thing that we can imagine as well as things that are real. And so it can be used to describe something as it is taken from the imagination and made real. And it can also be used to describe the reverse process where something real is made imaginary, such as when we learn to understand something.

Something else about ideas, and this is no less true for holons, is that they are infinite, unlimited. And that's an important part of understanding also, the idea of infinity.

Just because something is infinite doesn't mean that it is big

Mathmaticians and physicists tend to think of infinity as something really big.

I'd say that they are barking up the wrong tree.

If you have a glass of water, that water is bound by gravity and the shape of the glass itself. And while the individual molecules of that volume of water have freedom to move relative to each other within the bounds of the glass, they are limited by the glass.

Upturn the glass and the water falls due to gravity. Now it is no longer limited by the shape of the glass. It is unlimited in infinite in shape. If it lands on the floor it becomes bound in some ways, the surface of the floor limits or constriants it, but there are no limitations to how it spreads out, it is infinite.

Looking at triangles, they are traditionally defined as having angles whose sum equals 180 degrees. Tan is the ratio of the opposite angle over the adjacent angle. If the angle of the opposite angle approaches 90 degrees, this means the triangle is getting close to having more than 180 degrees. Tan is infinite for opposite angles of 90 degrees because there are no triangles with that possibility.

Another way to put it is that the relationship, that of a triangle, no longer holds true and as a result the ratio is no longer constrained by the relationship. Hence the tangent for that angle is any number possible.

Yet another example that inspired me to think more about what infinity means comes from rich dad's robert kiyosaki. He'd often use examples where he'd use other peoples money to make money. He'd then say he had an infinite rate of return, implying that the rate of return was very big. What made more sense to me was that he used one of an infinite number of ways of making money from money using other peoples money. if you define rate of return as the rate of return using your own money then using someone elses money you are no longer getting a rate of return. The relationship and terminology no longer applies. Hence it is unbound or infinite.

How infinity relates to understanding

So how does this apply to zero parallax or more importantly understanding?

Well, the process of understanding generally involves using limits. You use limits to cut a complex system into bits so that you can ingest those bits and build a model of that system within yourself. This is generally called learning. The more you learn, the better you understand. The interesting thing is, as you learn something, you no longer need the limits you used to learn it.

The more we understand, the more free, the more unlimited, the more infinite we become. In real terms the more freedom we have to express ourselves using what we understand.

The trick is in using limits to gain understanding. And so another way to look at becoming more free is learning to use limits, or learning to choose the limits that we use to learn something. That can include learning our body, our mind, even ourselves. The better we understand ourselves, the more freedom we have to express ourselves, becoming more infinite in the process.

For more on learning to understand, check out simplify chaos blog.

Why is the blog called "simplify chaos"?

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges with learnign to understand is dealing effectively with complex or chaotic systems. These are systems which are hard to take in at a glance, and so we have to break them down to understand them bit by bit.

Read more about all that at Simplify Chaos.

One of the more complicated systems that we can all learn to deal with is our body. For a taste of how you can do this check out the sensational yoga poses website. Sensational in this case refers to the idea of "sensing". With yoga poses the thing that we can sense is our body. And more than just a vague "feel your body", this is actually very specific.

Here the focus is on noticing sensations generated by muscles both in themselves and the tension that results in connective tissue as a result of both muscle tissue activation and working against the weight of the body. Additionaly clearly defined sensations you can learn to feel occur where your body contacts anythign external to it. This means the earth but also anything else that you are touching, holding, standing on etc.

Read more about that at Sensational yoga poses.

Note that a lot of my understanding of complex systems has come from learning to read and write Chinese characters and at the same time from developing indexing systems to make looking up Chinese characters easier.

For products related to Chinese character lookup as well as workshop style video courses to help you better learn your body through muscle control (which, as mentioned actually involves feeling as well as controlling) check out the learn 2 understand site here:

Learn 2 understand.

(You can also reach that side directly here: Learn to understand)