Tag Archive: philosophy



It is the insignificance of the human race that allows me to get out of bed in the morning.
Knowing that we’re only hurting ourselves somehow soothes that
frantic butterfly aneurysm
that sticks like shit to the walls and drips and collects in pools.

Brings a skip to my step to realise
Nothing really means anything
And that we’re just the setup of a racist joke
With no punch line.

Feels fine inside to know
no matter
how many books I read
I’m still just a waste product of time.

Line ‘em up boys,
I’ll watch them fall
one
by
one
and when it comes I’ll greet oblivion like an old friend.

It pleases me no end this knowledge that no matter what we do;
Declare war as an excuse to pillage, condone rape with silence,
or even condemnation towards victims,
Profit in cashmoney
from inflicting severed limbs and misery
on Islamic children,
Acting father knows best to those that won’t bend the knee
to the International Monetary Fund for a loan designed
to stripmine public assets for corporate interests
and leave people recycling their own feces

– we’re barely a blip on the radar of the cosmos.

It pleases me that all we seem to do is suck each other dry
And leave behind stumblebum husks of one another.

Doesn’t bother me in the slightest that each day is more empty
Than the one it proceeds.

The fact that the whole of human knowledge is the intellectual equivalent of a 2 dollar handjob down the greasy alley next to the library causes me to stifle a chuckle.

Fuck All Belief.
Just bed time stories we tell ourselves to give the illusion of autonomy.
Freedom is a myth
Invented in the 1950s by Levi jeans and constructed from the yolk of Jack Keuroac’s wet dreams.

The awareness that we belittle and degrade
50% of the entire population
For having tits and giving birth to
Every single soul on earth
To the point where we got them thinking they’re worth less
Than some prick with a penis
Is really an impressive feat of irony.

And when the surface water is so polluted from Hydraulic fracturing
That it burns your throat and makes children blind
And when the roving gangs of UKIP voters beat
The shit right out of you because of your country of origin
And when bigotry becomes national unity
And Well being is replaced with misery
And the source of your next meal is a mystery
Handed out from food banks built out of desperate necessity
And when the government sells out what few rights we have left
To a company that promises to make poverty profitable
And when it all becomes too much to take
And when we are left to drown
In our parents mistakes
And in the moments before we finally break

I’ll know deep in my heart
That being human is great.

I am interested in the phenomenon of ‘seeing’ because it
encapsulates the mystery of meaning. The moment of recognition
happens as if by magic; and yet, when we reflect on it, we see- its
very name tells us this-that it is impossible without prior
experience. What becomes puzzling then is the phenomenon
of insight, the creation (apparently) of new meaning. Here, we
forget that to recognize can mean to re-think, as in think through
differently. It need not always signify mere repetition of a former
cognition. We say in such cases not only that we recognize x (as Y),
but that we realize x is Y.

In fact, we almost never use the word ‘recognize’ -even in the
most straightforward cases of identification or recall – unless there
is some problem: we don’t see her face clearly, or she has changed,
or we met only briefly years ago. That is, ‘recognition’, even in
apparently straightforward cases, involves re-organization of
experience- an act of contextualization, a sensing of connexions
between aspects of immediate experience and other experiences.

Thus, the experiences of seeing how an assemblage of parts must
go together, recognizing an old friend in an unfamiliar setting, and
understanding a metaphor are species of the same phenomenon.
They all involve insight, understood as re-cognition; a gestalt shift.
And this is the original of meaning.

— Jan Zwicky, Wisdom & Metaphor

fung in the jung


So, true to my word, i took myself off to the library to make notes from Psychological Types for the next installment of my series on Jung’s models and theories. I’ve had a thing for mister Gustav since i first learned of his ideas of the collective unconcious and synchronicity when i was but a wild eyed highschool student and have the vague intention of owning and studying his complete works at some point. I have a few volumes but that fucker sure did write and think alot! I’m thinking also of writing a general outline of Psychological Types because I feel like there isn’t enough on jung online that draws directly from his work. There’s alot in that book that explores the idea of psychological types through different lenses and from different perspectives of philisophical history. What do you think?


Cuz the work don’t work!

Offices are optimized for interruptions and interruptions are the enemy of work, creativity, and productivity. That’s what Jason Fried, the co-founder of 37signals (makers of small business online collaboration tools), says. As a result, people who work in offices have to do their real work at home, during the nights and weekends.

With its constant commotion, unnecessary meetings, and infuriating wastes of time, the modern workplace makes us all work longer, less focused hours. Jason Fried explains how we can change all of this.

Be sure to click the link for some embeded video action that I can’t embed here cuz wordpress.com don’t roll like that.

Why you can’t work at work – Boing Boing.


From a follow up post to the one I just blogged:

The arts are so important to our psyches. They should not be discounted as being unimportant to being human. That is why I am insistent that creating a life style in the post-peak oil era that preserves artistic impulses is an essential element. What good is it to preserve human societies that cannot devote some time to reveling in artistic production? It is painful to read the news stories about schools that are cutting the humanities in these tough budget times. Instead they think it is essential to force everyone to become mathematicians, scientists, and engineers. So we’ll go that route and make humanity miserable. That is far from wise.

I have developed this conviction. Wisdom isn’t just great logic and knowledge in the ordinary, and very common, sense. It includes the emotions. We have to, first and foremost, love. And love starts with appreciation of beauty in all its forms. I love understanding how the world works. But I also love Brandi’s songs and Tiité’s pieces (thank you Tiité). I love Queen and Wagner. I love Michael Angelo. I love Shakespeare. I will fight to preserve what can be saved. I will fight to assure the place of humanities in our humanity.

Question Everything: More on Aesthetics and Humanity.


A quite long reflection on the worthy aspects of humanity.  My rough analysis after quickly scanning the post? Transcendental Creativity that transmits the Ineffable.

We need to find ways to preserve the best of Homo sapiens while building on this history of creativity and feelings. We cannot give up on what we have gained in the realm of appreciation even if our materialistic culture crumbles beneath our feet. The University of Noesis must continue to have core of creativity as its soul. Yes, future humans will need to attend to the practical aspects of life. But not without an appreciation for the aesthetics of living. In the end this is what makes us human.

I have a belief. I believe that musicians often tap into something very primordial in our psyches. Long time readers know that I have a fondness for the music of Queen because their lyrics and music speak to something I feel deeply. Silly, probably. Nevertheless, it affects me. Brandi’s song — Dreams — is beautiful beyond words (melody and lyrics). It reminds me, no, it makes me feel, the worthiness of the fact that I have dreams. I haven’t given up on humanity even if I seem to have written off the current species. The future is what we dream. We must fight to preserve our genus and our dreams. This is what I think it means to be human.

Question Everything: What Should We Fight to Save?.

joke stolen from Making Light


Ahhhh! that first espresso of the day goes down so smooth, so quick.

Too fucking quick. I need another.

Just scoped this joke over at making light. I have a vague recollection of Godel from reading ‘Godel, Escher & Bach: the eternal golden braid‘ as a 14 year old (if you get into the copy over at scribd, why not buy it from your local amazon? Support your translocal wordsmiths!), and Chomsky is fairly well known to me. Heisenberg, i now realise after the coffee has had time to kick in, is Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle heisenberg… Stupid brain….

Mike Ford’s bar joke:

Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel, and Noam Chomsky walk into a bar. Heisenberg says, “It’s very odd and improbable that we three are in this bar together. It suggests to me that we’re in a joke, but I can’t be certain.”Gödel says, “Well, if we were outside the joke we would know, but since we’re inside it, there’s no way we can make that determination.”

And Chomsky says, “Of course this is a joke, but you’re telling it wrong!”

More Espresso…. Must have…. More Espresso….


For a change clicking the images takes you someplace interesting.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Photobucket

Masculine Domination


Pierre Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination is the English translation of La Domination Masculine (1998), which was developed from an article of the same name published in 1990 in Actes de la Recherché en Sciences Sociales. It articulates Bourdieu’s theories of gender construction and his analysis of the pervasive and insidious power of masculine domination, which is, in “the way it is imposed and suffered . . . the prime example of this paradoxical submission” through which “the most intolerable conditions of existence can so often be perceived as acceptable and even natural” (1). This domination is effected, subtly, through a form of what Bourdieu calls “symbolic violence, a gentle violence, imperceptible and invisible even to its victims, exerted for the most part through the purely symbolic channels of communication and cognition (more precisely, misrecognition), recognition, or even feeling” (1-2). Despite Bourdieu’s reference to “gentle violence,” symbolic violence is the most powerful weapon in masculine domination’s arsenal, since, despite its virtual invisibility, it creates the conditions of possibility for other, more immediate and explicit forms of violence, whether economic or physical.

I would argue that symbolic violence is a key tool of oppression and control beyond any gender or race.

Review of Pierre Bourdieu’s Masculine Domination

thanks Merryn


Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Books! Like a feverdream; nebulous, ethereal. Soaked in sweat and bittersweet regret. Why can’t i just go straight from thinking about reading them to holding them in my hands? Why must I wait?

From Dangerous Minds:

A Situationist critique of our current Internet culture, The Reality Overload suggests that we are imagination-impoverished, lost in the endless distraction and meaninglessness of electronic media. That critique has been made before, but linking it to the degradation of the material world is a stroke of genius. What we think, of course, creates the reality we live in. And we tend to think we’re going to get on Facebook after we’re done watching CSI.

Recently I was reading about the Inklings, the discussion group that spawned C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien, who would gather in a pub and create fantasy worlds out of the air. Is there any room for this kind of sustained imagination in our world? Hell, even kids these days are playing World of Warcraft instead of Dungeons and Dragons, let alone coming up with their own fantasy worlds. A tailspin of mental stultification… when you have all the information and entertainment you could ever need, the parts of the brain needed for creating those things out of nothing tend to atrophy. Diminishing returns…

An excellent book that makes a much-needed connection. Imagine a world in which we “green” the realm of meaning and fantasy in addition to just the material world!

From the jacket copy:

What underlies the many problems of the modern world—from accelerating rates of extinction and desertification to the increased alienation of the individual—is a reality overload, an increasingly invasive mechanization and homogenization of modern life that glorifies consumption and conformity. This overload has been created from the constant force-feeding of too much information, a phenomenon that dispossesses us of our deepest connections to time, our physical world, and each other.

Annie Le Brun explains that the degradation of the environment mirrors the devastation going on in our minds revealing a link between genetically modified foods and the transformation and decay of our language and communication. There is a direct relationship between the rupture of the great biological balances that govern the planet and the equally devastating rupture in our imaginal realm. The imaginal realm is the home of our dreams and the perceptions that feed our thoughts, individuality, and creativity. Without its influence we are forced to live a drab, alienated lifestyle based on consumption alone. If, as Shakespeare claims, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on,” this theft of our imagination by the reality overload threatens the very foundations of our existence.

After a little digging I managed to find an excerpt:

CHAPTER 23

Concrete Dematerialization

The worldwide success of Disneyland shows that this takeover by force is well on the way to succeeding. For it is not only our personal relationship to time and space being manipulated here. It is our age-old power to deny either one in the name of the marvelous that finds itself literally petrified. Reducing the world of fairy tales to the most banal three-dimensional reality is a tragedy comparable to the devastation of the huge forests. For this reason, it is not enough to bemoan this paving over of the marvelous without taking stock of the consequences. If the world’s oxygen supply is dependent upon the size of its forests, and if the devastation of the mental forest is equivalent to the devastation of the actual forests, what dream will still give us sustenance when we find ourselves invited to witness their systematic destruction?
All the more so when we can reckon less and less with historical monuments, while the addition of elements possessing only a vague relationship to the whole eventually destroys the sensorial whole they continue to form, even in a ruined state. This is the point when concrete dematerialization, paradoxically reiterated with the construction of these hybrids, rises up as a bulwark against the imagination.
In fact, by being neither false nor authentic, these revised and corrected historic monuments are given complete license to impose themselves by the substitutive mass of what they are not, until they totally obstruct the imaginary perspective. All the more so because, lacking reference to any tangible event, their solid presence rarely fails to provoke a new kind of bewilderment. A bewilderment that is inevitably reminiscent of what is engendered by the “nonplaces” of excessive modernism: airports, parking lots, commercial complexes, and the like, although it is from their reality overload, empty of any meaning exceeding their casual roles, that these constructions draw their power to confound. For here we have monuments whose characteristic is to deny the implicit reference of every spatial construction to the human body, long “conceived as a portion of space with its frontiers, vital centers, defenses and weaknesses, strong points, and defects.”1 Here we have monuments only reflecting a single functionality, by definition concealing the physical and psychic integrity of their users. Despite appearances, the same is true for so-called historic monuments where, one substitution upon another, the temporal dimension as a concretion of individual and collective life is conjured away, and where the concrete dematerialization of what had created profound meaning ends up producing places reduced to the status of empty décors.

Should it be so astonishing, then, that the emergence of the discourse on the famous “places of memory” that allegedly speak “to our contemporaries about who they are by showing them who they are no longer,” as Pierre Nora put it, has coincided with the multiplication of these “nonplaces” with historical pretensions, which, by manhandling the awareness of times past as well as that of current events, deceives us as much about who we no longer are as about who we are not yet? Every individual’s sensorial landscape is struck by this kind of degradation, which is equivalent to the destruction afflicting our forests, rivers, and shores.
But what else could we expect of a time whose aesthetic plan is commingled with a pleonasm doomed to reproduce itself until it no longer resembles itself ? This is especially true when the resulting proliferation of hybrids illustrates the sole mode of representation of a time that, incapable of rejecting it, is condemned to an infinite “restoration-reproduction- recreation” of its bodies and ideas.

CHAPTER
24

The virtual or Duplicated world

Of course, when confronted with such a grim picture, many will raise the objection of the virtual, its “virtues” and its “vertigoes.” Its proponents will also not neglect to remind us that the word derives from the Latin virtus, meaning strength, energy, even the vital impulse, but also that “the virtus acts fundamentally. It is simultaneously the initial cause by virtue of which the effect exists and the reason why the cause remains virtually present in the effect. Thus the virtual is neither unreal nor potential. The virtual is within the order of reality.”1
Absolutely, no question, certainly, and without a doubt. For this reason it is high time we realized that there is nothing separating the reality overload from the virtual, as we might think. Novalis can help us here with his observation: “One usually understands the artistic better than the natural. There is more spirit in the simple than in the complicated, but less talent.”2 This statement may well be of a nature to explain the stupefying facility with which, in hardly ten years, the virtual has gradually taken the place of the imaginary. Or at least how, in such a short while, we have been convinced that the modernity of the former can advantageously replace an imagination grown obsolete. To wit, that the virtual is not at all the negation of reality as everything prompts us to believe, but corresponds rather to the victory of the reality overload, one that endlessly overflows the real to achieve victory by objectifying the space of what does not exist on a daily basis.
In other words, parallel to the current promotion of a culture that is leading to the liquidation of culture, the emergence of the virtual is slowly but surely leading us to the liquidation of the imaginary.

A strange kind of violence has been set to work to reach this point. Comparable in its results to the brutality employed, one substitution after another, by concrete dematerialization, which is affecting all appearances today, the characteristic feature of this violence is to never show itself in broad daylight. It achieves its goals in the depths of our sensibility, taking over the obscure theater where, just a short time past, perception and representation confronted each other….

Dangerous Minds | Annie Le Brun: The Reality Overload.

extract found here

Philosophy versus Politics


More philisophical musings over at Only a Game:

6a00d83452030269e20120a88d1b81970b-.jpg picture by eitherorbored
Hannah Arendt (pictured) blamed Plato for setting politics and philosophy in opposition. For although Plato advocated a “Philosopher King”, this meant solely that the person in charge would have sufficient respect for philosophy to ensure that the philosophers could be left undisturbed in their deliberations. Plato did not, Arendt claims, envision philosophy as an active force in the common world of people and it was her belief that this was a deadly “blow dealt by philosophy to politics, the conviction that political activity is a necessary evil…”

She was troubled by the “inherent degradation” of the political realm, but even more so by “the radical separation” of the political realm, where people live and act together, from the concerns of people living in “singularity and solitude”. This probably played into her decision to reject the title of philosopher for herself (despite it now being de rigeur to call her a philosopher), on the grounds that philosophy was concerned with “man in the singular”.

Continued after the click.

Only a Game: Philosophy versus Politics.


The blog, Only a Game, is one of great depth and intrigue. I’ve posted stuff from there before and now I bring you something from over there that shall not be for the lightheaded or faint of heart, something to sink ones teeth into, something of philisophical import. An introduction Kant’s conception of aesthetics.

*snip*

When we have an aesthetic response to, say, a work of art, is that experience wholly subjective, or can there be an objective element in aesthetics? This question is the focus of the first part of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Judgement, first published in 1790, in which he explores the aesthetical judgement in terms of his labyrinthine system of transcendental idealism.

Dealing with Kant’s approach to any given topic requires either that one learns his near-incomprehensible framework of terms, or that one translates those terms into more readily understandable language. Since my goal here is to elucidate Kant’s meaning, I have chosen the latter approach – in the full knowledge that by moving away from Kantian terminology I open myself up to radical disputes about my conclusions. Nonetheless, since my hope is to present Kant’s ideas for an audience who are not necessarily philosophers, the only viable choice is a simplification of Kant’s system.

Vital to Kant’s intellectual project in his critiques is the concept of synthetic a priori judgements, a phrase that enjoys the usual impenetrability associated with Kant’s work as a philosopher. The thrust of his ideas in this regard are easier to understand than the phrase itself is to explicate: how can we know anything? David Hume, in his classic 1739 polemic A Treatise of Human Nature, had delivered a scathing blow to various assumptions that had previously gone unchallenged, claiming that even basic principles such as causality were suspect and could not be derived from sense experience alone – that we experience one event regularly following another does not actually allow us to conclude that the earlier event caused the later event. Consider that on most TV channels we witness advertisements proceeding the programme we are about to watch – but we would be gravely in error to assume that advertisements caused TV programs. Confluence need not imply causality.

If you have the urge to digest the whole thing go, read! It comes in three parts and the third one isn’t writ yet. As soon as it is up, or as soon as I notice that it’s up, I’ll link it. Unfortunately, I do not have time to read it as I must hurry verily to my novel-in-progress and take a bite out of it. I shall read it later though.

Of course, some of you will need no introduction to Kant, such well read and studious creatures that you are. I am enviable of your position!

Only a Game: Kant on Aesthetics 1: Introduction.
Kant on asethetics part 2: The Beautiful


“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”

You really gotta read the whole article. Could this be anymore cyberpunk? It’s all over people, it’s all over.

Audiences experience ‘Avatar’ blues – CNN.com.


NIETZSCHE’S
ANGEL FOOD CAKE.

BY REBECCA COFFEY

– – – –

1. Allow the angel to reach room temperature. Then kill it.

2. Kill God. Set Him aside.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

4. Ecstatically whip, as if possessed by a storm-wind of freedom, 1-1/2 cups of excellent egg whites with 1/4 tsp. salt and 1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar. Continue until peaks are as if raised to their own heights and given wings in a fine air, a robust air.

5. Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, about 3 tbsp. at a time.

6. You are brilliant.

7. Now, add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/4 tsp. almond extract, and then sift together 1-1/4 cups flour and 3/4 cup sugar.

8. Blend in God and the angel. Emboldened, add the egg mixture.

9. Gaze into the überbatter. The überbatter will gaze into you.

10. While prancing about in a frenzy of self-satisfaction and anticipation, use a rubber scraper to push the überbatter into an ungreased 10″ tube pan, for it is destined to be there.

11. Bake on a lower rack until done, usually 35-40 minutes, while reciting to the upper rack a long, convoluted anecdote about your childhood.

12. Invert the tube pan over a bottle for a few hours. Then impetuously rap the pan. Shout, “Aha!” and slide a knife along the pan’s insides.

13. Call what tumbles out a cake if you dare. Call it miraculous even.

14. Eat it. It is delicate, morbid, loveable, and you will die depressed, delirious, and overweight.

Nietzsche’s Angel Food Cake By Rebecca Coffey
Great Moments in Sports, Which, Had They Involved Me, Would Not Have Been Such Great Moments By Frank Ferri
A Few Words Regarding My Recent Appearances on Maury By Jesse Adelman
The Gospel According to His Good Friend Dennis By Rich Cohen
Mom Takes Children’s Songs Literally By Sarah Schmelling
– – – –

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Nietzsche’s Angel Food Cake..


Over at the Only a Game blog the philisophical conundrum of what denotes the real, the virtual and the fictional is placed under the microscope.  Note the intersections between the three and where and how the imagination comes into play.

*snip*

Real denotes what corresponds to the imminent world of existence (the imminent frame, in Charles Taylor’s memorable term). Thus only what can be measured and tested qualifies as real in the terms of this system. Gold is a real commodity, gravity is a real phenomenon, Chris Bateman is a real person.

Virtual denotes that which has the influence of real entities while lacking the usual status in the imminent frame. Thus anything which is as influential as the real but which is not part of the imminent frame as it is usually conceived qualifies as virtual. Money is a virtual commodity, inflation is a virtual phenomenon, a videogame avatar is a virtual person.

Fictional denotes that which resembles the imminent world of existence to some degree, yet is known to be imaginary. Following Kendall Walton, I shall say that anything which serves to prescribe imaginings is fictional – a film, a book, a play, a song, a painting are all props used in a game of make-believe, and the imaginings that occur in such a game are fictional. (A detailed account of Walton’s system follows later this year). Mithril is a fictional commodity, warp speed is a fictional phenomenon, Hamlet is a fictional person.

Follow the link down the rabbit hole and give your reality tunnel and synapses a good vireal workout!

Only a Game: Virtual, Fictional and Real.

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