but the mind is also like a large hadron collider, confirming
theory by examining its scattered and far-flung empirical
manifestations. When the mind is functioning as it should,
it follows a similar hunt-and-find procedure as employed
at CERN, formulating theory from certain givens and searching
for its disparate products in the external, material world
to test its validity.
To take only
one example from a preoccupation of my own—the nature
and consequences of Leftist ideology—the givens
I begin with are the works of Rousseau, Marx, Engels,
Lukács, Gramsci, and Marcuse, all seemingly unified
in a general way—in scientific terms, they are “symmetrical.”
The theory (or “equation”) I assemble entails
the factual unrealizability of such utopian constructions
except as symmetrical phantoms and as reified parodies
of their original intention. The experimental process
involves a practical examination of their social, political,
and economic structures as they collide with reality.
A thorough analysis of these somatic idealisms as they
emerge from the primary texts and fragment into (p)articles
of evidence in sociopolitical space may validate my initial
hypothesis. The theory may be correct. The “Higgs”
exists, in this case, as a force-bearing and enigmatic
neural particle operating in the depths of the human mind
and giving mass or weight to a possible and indeed plausible
truth: Leftism as a program for life is unworkable and
naturally presume that the cerebral LHC is working properly
and that it is able to detect the real-world detritus
that confirms what in this instance we may call the “Devil’s
Particle,” extrapolating from Paul Kengor’s
The Devil and Karl Marx. Kengor followed the
same modus operandi, studying the disjected litter of
a broken symmetry. Of course, the species of Higgs I’m
describing here is a multifactorial particle, a mental
boson that cannot be seen or grasped but gives substance
to social, political, and economic phenomena in the world
we create around us, both the good and the bad. It can
be investigated by distinguishing the branching rules
governing its couplings with real-world phenomena.
As it should
go without saying, I am only proposing a model of deductive/inductive
thinking—sequent logic and retrolinear congruence—as
it pertains to all fields, subjects, and intellectual
endeavors. It’s an obvious metaphor of how the mind
functions when it doesn’t “quench”—a
term used at CERN when the apparatus erratically shuts
down. As Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote in his Biographia
Literaria, “No metaphor runs on all four legs.”
Clearly, neither does this one.
But my fascination
with the Higgs in its diverse applications remains intact.
The miracle of an infinitesimal scalar generating a world
of macro vectorials is surely something to celebrate.
I regard the Higgs as a friend, my boson buddy, as we
should all. It allows one to play with the concept, to
indulge in fanciful speculations, to have what I think
of as “explanatory fun.” More seriously, it
is also a benefactor, for without the interactions of
the Higgs I wouldn’t be here to fly this squib and
you wouldn’t be here to shoot it down. It enables
us to pursue the ideas, preoccupations, fetishes, commitments,
and projects that give our lives meaning and purpose.
It takes precedence. A spin 0 particle has conferred nonzero
presence upon us. Will wonders never cease! It puts things
So we must
be grateful, in the words of Murray Gell-Mann from The
Quark and the Jaguar, for “the mechanism that
breaks the symmetry of the zero-mass approximation and
is responsible for the various different non-zero particle
masses in the standard model.” It is the initial
condition that allows for the expansion of our lives.
The Higgs deserves our attention and respect.