a thread for mundane ironists

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 14, 2017 6:23 pm

Michael Lewis

After the markets closed Vinny would get into his Cadillac and drive out to his big house in Long Island. Now there is the guy called Vladimir who gets into his jet and flies to his estate in Aspen for the weekend. I used to worry a little about Vinny. Now I worry a lot about Vladimir.


Those poor souls.

There is nothing more satisfying to me, he said, than to create a complete self-contained world when a computer is controlling it.

Or [here] a self-contained world of words.

In something like an instant the man had changed his life. He reinvented his relationship to the world around him in a way that is considered normal only in California.

He means southern California [and San Francisco] of course.

It was striking how little control we had of events, particularly in view of how assiduously we cultivated the appearance of being in charge by smoking big cigars and saying fuck all the time.

But only all the way to the grave.

Russians had a reputation for being the best programmers on Wall Street, and Serge thought he knew why: They had been forced to learn to program computers without the luxury of endless computer time. Many years later, when he had plenty of computer time, Serge still wrote out new programs on paper before typing them into the machine. In Russia, time on the computer was measured in minutes, he said. When you write a program, you are given a tiny time slot to make it work.

And look where they are now. Well, with a little help from Trumpworld.

A baseball team, of all things, was at the center of a story about the possibilities—and the limits—of reason in human affairs. Baseball—of all things—was an example of how an unscientific culture responds, or fails to respond, to the scientific method. As I say, I fell in love with a story. The story is about professional baseball and the people who play it. At its center is a man whose life was turned upside down by professional baseball, and who, miraculously, found a way.

Next up, the science of philosophy.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 14, 2017 11:19 pm

Neil Gaiman

Sometimes we can choose the paths we follow. Sometimes our choices are made for us. And sometimes we have no choice at all.


More often than not though it's a hopelessly entangled agglomeration of them all.

That which is dreamed can never be lost, can never be undreamed.

Let's file this one under, "for all that's worth".

I like the stars. It's the illusion of permanence, I think. I mean, they're always flaring up and caving in and going out. But from here, I can pretend...I can pretend that things last. I can pretend that lives last longer than moments. Gods come, and gods go. Mortals flicker and flash and fade. Worlds don't last; and stars and galaxies are transient, fleeting things that twinkle like fireflies and vanish into cold and dust. But I can pretend...

I challenge you to wax more philosophically than this.

Even nothing cannot last forever.

On the other hand for all of eternity seems long enough.

There's never been a true war that wasn't fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.

Not counting the part where it's all about the Benjamins.

I know that David Tennant's Hamlet isn't till July. And lots of people are going to be doing Dr Who in Hamlet jokes, so this is just me getting it out of the way early, to avoid the rush...

"To be, or not to be, that is the question. Weeelll....More of A question really. Not THE question. Because, well, I mean, there are billions and billions of questions out there, and well, when I say billions, I mean, when you add in the answers, not just the questions, weeelll, you're looking at numbers that are positively astronomical and... for that matter the other question is what you lot are doing on this planet in the first place, and er, did anyone try just pushing this little red button?”


Bravo!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 15, 2017 5:20 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

I made up my mind that nothing, nothing was going to stop me. Not even me.


Let's just say that, for some, this is easier said than done.

"I love you" also means I love you more than anyone loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that no one loves you, or has loved you, or will love you, and also, I love you in a way that I love no one else, and never have loved anyone else, and never will love anyone else.

Not unlike "I hate you".

Dogs are wonderful, and in many ways unique. But they are remarkably unremarkable in their intellectual and experiential capacities. Pigs are every bit as intelligent and feeling, by any sensible definition of the words. They can't hop into the back of a Volvo, but they can fetch, run and play, be mischievous, and reciprocate affection. So why don't they get to curl up by the fire? Why can't they at least be spared being tossed on the fire?

So, Jonathan, how many pigs curl up by the fire with you?

But when, at the end of my sophomore year, I became a philosophy major and started doing my first seriously pretentious thinking, I became a vegetarian again. The kind of willful forgetting that I was sure meat eating required felt too paradoxical to the intellectual life I was trying to shape. I thought life could, should, and must conform to the mold of reason. You can imagine how annoying this made me.

Oh, I think we get the gist of it.

The factory farm has succeeded by divorcing people from their food, eliminating farmers, and ruling agriculture by corporate fiat.

In other words, what some folks call progress. And other folks don't.

You're incredibly beautiful, I told her, because she was fat, so I thought it would be an especially nice compliment, and also make her like me again, even though I was sexist.

Ah, the games we play.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:24 pm

Haruki Murakami

Is action merely the incidental product of thought, or is thought the consequential product of action?


In other words, where does one stop and the other begin? For example, if we actually do have free will.

A giant octopus living way down deep at the bottom of the ocean. It has this tremendously powerful life force, a bunch of long, undulating legs, and it's heading somewhere, moving through the darkness of the ocean… It takes on all kinds of different shapes—sometimes it's 'the nation,' and sometimes it's 'the law,' and sometimes it takes on shapes that are more difficult and dangerous than that. You can try cutting off its legs, but they just keep growing back. Nobody can kill it. It's too strong, and it lives too far down in the ocean. Nobody knows where its heart is. What I felt then was a deep terror. And a kind of hopelessness, a feeling that I could never run away from this thing, no matter how far I went. And this creature, this thing doesn't give a damn that I'm me or you're you. In its presence, all human beings lose their names and their faces. We all turn into signs, into numbers.

Either that or a giant squid.

I'm an average person. It's just that I like reading.

Let's decide if this explains a lot or very little.

It is cognition that is the fantasy.... Everything I tell you now is mere words. Arrange them and rearrange them as I might, I will never be able to explain to you the form of Will... My explanation would only show the correlation between myself and that Will by means of a correlation on the verbal level. The negation of cognition thus correlates to the negation of language. For when those two pillars of Western humanism, individual cognition and evolutionary continuity, lose their meaning, language loses meaning. Existence ceases for the individuum as we know it, and all becomes chaos. You cease to be a unique entity unto yourself, but exist simply as chaos. And not just the chaos that is you; your chaos is also my chaos. To wit, existence is communication, and communication, existence.

Let's decide if this explains a lot or very little.

I'm the scratchy stuff on the side of the matchbox. But that's fine with me. I don't mind at all. Better to be a first-class matchbox than a second-class match.

Oh shit, he thought, which one am I?

We never choose anything at all. Things happen. Or not.

And look where that's got us.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:10 pm

Sophocles

We long to have again the vanished past, in spite of all its pain.


Clearly: with lots and lots and lots of exceptions.

What do I care for life when you are dead?

Like that makes all our obligations go away.

Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse.

Like, for example, becoming president of the United States.

Sentry: King, may I speak?
Creon: Your very voice distresses me.
Sentry: Are you sure that it is my voice, and not your conscience?
Creon: By God, he wants to analyze me now!
Sentry: It is not what I say, but what has been done, that hurts you.
Creon: You talk too much.


Hell, this could be a transcript from the Oval Office.

And if my present actions strike you as foolish, let's just say I've been accused of folly by a fool.

Gee, maybe it works like that here too.

You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused! Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Blind in the darkness---blind!

That and [for some] deaf and dumb.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:14 pm

George Bernard Shaw

He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.


Maybe even the president of the United States.

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.

Of course we know where that leads. Well, when that's where it does lead.

The play was a great success, but the audience was a dismal failure.

I'll bet we can find a way to make that applicable here too.

After all, the wrong road always leads somewhere.

And then as often as not [for some of us] it's around and around in circles.

Hatred is the coward's revenge for being intimidated.

Not that it doesn't actually work sometimes.

I’m an atheist and I thank God for it.

But only the right God of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:28 pm

Gloria Steinem

I wonder: If you think of someone you love, do you become a little more like them?


Or, instead, do they become a little more like you?

It’s said that the biggest determinant of our lives is whether we see the world as welcoming or hostile. Each becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Sounds more like psycho-babble to me. But point taken.

Even the dictionary defines adventurer as “a person who has, enjoys, or seeks adventures,” but adventuress is “a woman who uses unscrupulous means in order to gain wealth or social position.”

Of course that might be the difference between denotation and connotation. But, sure, maybe not.

On the road, I learned that the media are not reality; reality is reality.

Also in the Oval Office.

Anybody who is experiencing something is more expert in it than the experts.

Of course we'll need to know what that something is.

In retrospect, perhaps the biggest reason my mother was cared for but not helped for twenty years was the simplest: Her functioning was not that necessary to the world.

That'll do it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby d63 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:49 pm

Always glad to see you still doing it, Ambig.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:06 pm

Jean Baudrillard

Our sentimentality toward animals is a sure sign of the disdain in which we hold them. Sentimentality is nothing but the infinitely degraded form of bestiality, the racist commiseration.


Or, sure, maybe not.

Even the Middle Ages, which condemned and punished animals in due form, was in this way much closer to them than we are. They held them to be guilty: which was a way of honoring them. We take them for nothing, and it is on this basis that we are "human" with them.

Or, sure, maybe not.

Something escapes us, and we are escaping from ourselves, or losing ourselves, as part of an irreversible process; we have now passed some point of no return, the point where the contradictoriness of things ended, and we find ourselves, still alive, in a universe of non-contradiction, of enthusiasm, of ecstasy - of stupor in the face of a process which, for all its irreversibility, is bereft of meaning.

Let's decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. After we all agree on what it means.

Driving is a spectacular form of amnesia. Everything is to be discovered, everything to be obliterated.

And not just on the golf course, he quipped.

The transition from signs that dissimulate something to signs that dissimulate that there is nothing marks a decisive turning point.

Actually, I'm not at all sure about dasein here.

Imagine the amazing good fortune of the generation that gets to see the end of the world. This is as marvelous as being there at the beginning. How could one not wish for that with all one’s heart? How could one not lend one’s feeble resources to bringing it about?

Hell, he thought, all it would take is "the big one" to come hurtling down from the heavens.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 17, 2017 11:14 pm

d63 wrote:Always glad to see you still doing it, Ambig.



And right back at you regarding your own quality contributions here.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 18, 2017 6:52 pm

Will Rogers

Never miss a good chance to shut up.


He means you, Kids.
Or I certainly do.
:wink:

Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people that they don't like.

Not to worry, it's perfectly normal.

Common sense ain't common.

And, believe it or not, not even here.

Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects.

Not counting those who are ignorant on all of them.
Or so it seems, right?


Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.

Or, for that matter, tomorrow.

When you find yourself in a hole, quit digging.

Unless of course you can make it all the way to China.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:54 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Blessed are the forgetful, for they get the better even of their blunders.” Friedrich Nietzsche


On the other hand, we'll never forget yours.

"God created sex. Priests created marriage.” Voltaire

And we know for sure that preists exist.

"Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood.” Friedrich Nietzsche

I know what you're thinking: not including me.
Or maybe not of course.


“I am too much of a skeptic to deny the possibility of anything.” Thomas Henry Huxley

Not counting everything else though.

“In order to seek truth, it is necessary once in the course of our life to doubt, as far as possible, of all things.” René Descartes

Let's figure out where that leaves us.

"A wise man, therefore, proportions his belief to the evidence.” David Hume

Not counting God, obviously.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:15 pm

Mitchell Heisman

There is a very popular opinion that choosing life is inherently superior to choosing death. This belief that life is inherently preferable to death is one of the most widespread superstitions. This bias constitutes one of the most obstinate mythologies of the human species.


Let's just say that he walked the talk.

What does despair mean to someone who interprets that emotion as a chemical reaction in the brain?

So, is that a good point?

Uncertain of uncertainty, skeptical of skepticism, it seems that the most important question is whether there is an important question.

In, among other things, an absurd and meaningless world.

If there is no extant God and no extant gods, no good and no evil, no right and no wrong, no meaning and no purpose: if there are no values that are inherently valuable; no justice that is ultimately justifiable; no reasoning that is fundamentally rational, then there is no sane way to choose between science, religion, racism, philosophy, nationalism, art, conservatism, nihilism, liberalism, surrealism, fascism, asceticism, egalitarianism, subjectivism, elitism, ismism. If reason is incapable of deducing ultimate, non-arbitrary human ends, and nothing can be judged as ultimately more important than anything else, then freedom is equal to slavery; cruelty is equal to kindness; love is equal to hate; war is equal to peace; dignity is equal to contempt; destruction is equal to creation; life is equal to death and death is equal to life. Nihilism represents the ultimate logical conclusion of our great values and ideals--because we must experience nihilism before we can find out what value these "values" really had.

I can live with that. He couldn't.

I might be a nihilist except that I don’t believe in anything.

Cue [among others] Wittgenstein.

What really happens in the Western countries that adopt feminism and individualism is not the complete end of the human race, but rather, the relative demographic decline of the native populations of liberal democracies. The individual irrationality of the self-sacrificial parent to child relationship helps produce genetically suicidal birthrates.

So he killed himself.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 19, 2017 6:19 pm

John Searle

With Derrida, you can hardly misread him, because he’s so obscure. Every time you say, "He says so and so," he always says, "You misunderstood me." But if you try to figure out the correct interpretation, then that’s not so easy. I once said this to Michel Foucault, who was more hostile to Derrida even than I am, and Foucault said that Derrida practiced the method of obscurantisme terroriste (terrorism of obscurantism). We were speaking French. And I said, "What the hell do you mean by that?" And he said, "He writes so obscurely you can’t tell what he’s saying, that’s the obscurantism part, and then when you criticize him, he can always say, 'You didn’t understand me; you’re an idiot.' That’s the terrorism part." And I like that. So I wrote an article about Derrida. I asked Michel if it was OK if I quoted that passage, and he said yes.


This speaks volumes, doesn't it?

In general, I feel if you can't say it clearly you don't understand it yourself.

With the possible exception of everyone here.

Nowadays nobody bothers, and it is considered in slightly bad taste to even raise the question of God's existence. Matters of religion are like matters of sexual preference: they are not discussed in public, and even the abstract questions are discussed only by bores.

Or objectivists.

Moods are not to be confused with emotions. Moods will dispose you to having an emotion. Certain moods you're more likely to get angry than others, as we all know, but emotion is not the same as mood. Emotions, I think, always have to do with agitated forms of desire. Whenever you're in an emotional state, you have some sort of agitated desire. So, emotions are fairly special -- I am not always in some sort of emotional state or other, but I think I am always in some mood or other.

Yeah, sure, maybe.

It seemed to a number of philosophers of language, myself included, that we should attempt to achieve a unification of Chomsky's syntax, with the results of the researches that were going on in semantics and pragmatics. I believe that this effort has proven to be a failure. Though Chomsky did indeed revolutionize the subject of linguistics, it is not at all clear, at the end the century, what the solid results of this revolution are. As far as I can tell there is not a single rule of syntax that all, or even most, competent linguists are prepared to agree is a rule.

Let's decide if this is important.

Prediction and explanation are exactly symmetrical. Explanations are, in effect, predictions about what has happened; predictions are explanations about what's going to happen.

Let's decide if this is important.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:20 pm

Roland Barthes

I am interested in language because it wounds or seduces me.


Also, because it wounds or seduces others.

Each of us has his own rhythm of suffering.

Either when enduring or inflicting it.

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.

He wondered if [when] his own language ever would.

As a jealous man, I suffer four times over: because I am jealous, because I blame myself for being so, because I fear that my jealousy will wound the other, because I allow myself to be subject to a banality: I suffer from being excluded, from being aggressive, from being crazy, and from being common.

Me too no doubt if I ever thought about it.

I encounter millions of bodies in my life; of these millions, I may desire some hundreds; but of these hundreds, I love only one.

Or none as the case may be.

To whom could I put this question (with any hope of an answer)? Does being able to live without someone you loved mean you loved her less than you thought...?

Pick one:
Yes.
No.
Maybe.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:11 pm

Philippa Gregory

Wealth means nothing at all if you do not know, to the last penny, what your fortune is. You might as well be poor if you do not know what you have.


Said Don Trump to Vladimir Putin. Or, yeah, the other way around.

The sons of York will destroy each other, one brother destroying another, uncles devouring nephews, fathers beheading sons. They are a house which has to have blood, and they will shed their own if they have no other enemy.

Unless, like us, they become...civilized.

En Ma Fin Est Ma Commencement - In my end is my beginning.

For some, like clockwork.

Because all books are forbidden when a country turns to terror. The scaffolds on the corners, the list of things you may not read. These things always go together.

Here of course you only get banned. Or, there, sent to the dungeon.

Your trouble, William, is that you have no ambition. You don't see that there is in life only ever one goal.
And what is that?
More, George said simply. Just more of anything. More of everything.


And, if need be, take it from others. That's still the same.

The law is what powerful men say it shall be.

So, do you think that might still be true today?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:26 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

French drama: We are so witty!
English drama: We are so refined!
German drama: We are so cynical!
American drama: Yeah, it's theatre. So?


Off with his head!

Mondays are
Hegel: bleakly cunning
Schopenhauer: cunningly bleak
Nietzsche: meaningfully painful
Beckett: painfully short on meaning


Iambiguous: the same as all the rest of them.

French novel: you hope it'll never end
British novel: you're not sure it can end
Russian novel: the end is great, but you never get there


Not counting translations of course.

A philosopher's greatest humiliation is to be a slave to
Hume: reason
Kant: passion
Hegel: mastery
Nietzsche: slavery
Camus: nicotine


Which one is it really though?

Kantian Trump: I am a categorical imperative
Hegelian Trump: I negate bigly, I sublate hugely
Sartrean Trump: You're scared of freedom? Sad.


In other words, three Trumps too many. Or four if you count Don.

Epistemology: I know what it is.
Ontology: I know what is is.
Ethics: I know what is should be.
Aesthetics: I know what it should be.


Nihilism: I know what it will end up being.
And not just nothing at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:09 pm

Aeschylus

In war, truth is the first casualty.


Not unlike in peace.

Bastions of wealth
are no deference for the man
who treads the grand altar of Justice
down and out of sight.


Right, like deference has a part to play.
Well, okay, maybe back then it actually did.


But the lust for power never dies- men cannot have enough.
No one will lift a hand to send it from his door, to give it warning, 'Power, never come again!


Of course nowadays we've civilized it.

Alas, poor men, their destiny. When all goes well a shadow will overthrow it. If it be unkind one stroke of a wet sponge wipes all the picture out; and that is far the most unhappy thing of all.

Alas, poor women too.

Neither the life of anarchy nor the life enslaved by tyrants, no, worship neither. Strike the balance all in all and god will give you power.

On the other hand, we don't hear that much these days.

Horror gives place to wonder at your true account;
The rest outstrips our comprehension; we give up.


Let's file this one under, "it's about fucking time".
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 21, 2017 5:12 pm

Jean-François Lyotard

Simplifying to the extreme, I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives.


This: "the state of being unwilling or unable to believe something". And what's simpler than a deefinition?

…is postmodernity the pastime of an old man who scrounges in the garbage-heap of finality looking for leftovers, who brandishes unconsciousnesses, lapses, limits, confines, goulags, parataxes, non-senses, or paradoxes, and who turns this into the glory of his novelty, into his promise of change?

Well, it certainly can be.

Saddam Hussein is a product of Western Departments of State and big companies, just as Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco were born of the 'peace' imposed on their countries by the victors of the Great War. Saddam is such a product in an even more flagrant and cynical way. Because the Iraqi dictatorship proceeds, as do the others, from the transfer of aporias in the capitalist system to vanquished, less developed, or simply less resistant countries.

Gee, not even Rachel Maddow will go this far.

I shall call modern that art which presents the fact that the unpresentable exists. To make visible that there is something which can be conceived and which can neither be seen nor made visible.

Or something like that.

Why political intellectuals, do you incline towards the proletariat? In commiseration for what? I realize that a proletarian would hate you, you have no hatred because you are bourgeois, privileged, smooth-skinned types, but also because you dare not say that the only important thing there is to say, that one can enjoy swallowing the shit of capital, its materials, its metal bars, its polystyrene, its books, its sausage pâtés, swallowing tonnes of it till you burst – and because instead of saying this, which is also what happens in the desires of those who work with their hands, arses and heads, ah, you become a leader of men, what a leader of pimps, you lean forward and divulge: ah, but that’s alienation, it isn’t pretty, hang on, we’ll save you from it, we will work to liberate you from this wicked affection for servitude, we will give you dignity. And in this way you situate yourselves on the most despicable side, the moralistic side where you desire that our capitalized’s desire be totally ignored, brought to a standstill, you are like priests with sinners, our servile intensities frighten you, you have to tell yourselves: how they must suffer to endure that! And of course we suffer, we the capitalized, but this does not mean that we do not enjoy, nor that what you think you can offer us as a remedy – for what? – does not disgust us, even more. We abhor therapeutics and its vaseline, we prefer to burst under the quantitative excesses that you judge the most stupid. And don’t wait for our spontaneity to rise up in revolt either.

Let's make this relevant to the special election in Georgia.

Are we, intellectual sirs, not actively or passively 'producing' more and more words, more books, more articles, ceaselessly refilling the pot-boiler of speech, gorging ourselves on it rather, seizing books and 'experiences', to metamorphose them as quickly as possible into other words...

Guess where I come down on this? Though not objectively of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 21, 2017 7:52 pm

Existential Comics

An economist is someone who, when asked if the slaves should be freed, tells you whether freeing them will cause the GDP to go up or down.


He means wage slaves of course.

What is philosophy?
You know when you're at the bar, and someone asks something you can't​ answer, so everyone argues all night?
Not that.


Remember when that was actually true?

Notable demons in intellectual​ history:
1. Descartes's demon.
2. Maxwell's demon.
3. Laplace's demon.
4. Nietzsche's relationship to women.


Well, he didn't call them Ubermen for nothing.

If you hate the new Twitter design, remember: Parmenides teaches us that all changes is illusory.

Is it okay if you didn't even notice?

People like to point out our cosmic insignificance, but it's important to remember that pretty much no one on Earth cares about you either.

But that's a given.

Why do we need philosophy?
Uh...to answer questions like this?


You know, if there are answers to questions like this.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:15 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination.


Don't count on this though.

Creativity is on the side of health - it isn't the thing that drives us mad; it is the capacity in us that tries to save us from madness.

Don't count on this though.

It is just as likely that as I invent what I want to say, you will invent what you want to hear.

Now this you can count on. And then some.

You can’t be another person’s honesty, child, but you can be your own.

For better or for worse as it were.

It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language.

She means if they even exist at all. Or, rather, she ought to mean that.

Nothing can be forgotten. Nothing can be lost. The universe itself is one vast memory system. Look back and you will find the beginnings of the world.

I tried this but it didn't work.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 22, 2017 5:57 pm

Ernest Hemingway

Home is where the heart is, home is where the fart is.
Come let us fart in the home.
There is no art in a fart.
Still a fart may not be artless.
Let us fart and artless fart in the home.


Yeah, he was a poet too.

Today is only one day in all the days that will ever be.

And then all the days that will never be. For you anyway.

You ought to be ironical the minute you get out of bed. You ought to wake up with your mouth full of pity.

Or ought not to be. After all, who is to really say?

The clouds were building up now for the trade wind and he looked ahead and saw a flight of wild ducks etching themselves against the sky over the water, then blurring, then etching again and he knew no man was ever alone on the sea.

Not counting all the fish he didn't catch.

Now Catherine would die. That was what you did. You died. You did not know what it was about. You never had time to learn. They threw you in and told you the rules and the first time they caught you off base they killed you. Or they killed you gratuitously like Aymo. Or gave you the syphilis like Rinaldi. But they killed you in the end. You could count on that. Stay around and they would kill you.

And they're not the only ones.

Never mistake motion for action.

Also, never mistake words for writing.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:21 pm

Michael Lewis

To Redelmeier the very idea that there was a great deal of uncertainty in medicine went largely unacknowledged by its authorities. There was a reason for this: To acknowledge uncertainty was to admit the possibility of error. The entire profession had arranged itself as if to confirm the wisdom of its decisions.


Works that way for philosophers too. You know the ones.

The way the creative process works is that you first say something, and later, sometimes years later, you understand what you said.

Or, sure, sometimes you go to the grave not understanding it.

The deep problem with the system was a kind of moral inertia. So long as it served the narrow self-interests of everyone inside it, no one on the inside would ever seek to change it, no matter how corrupt or sinister it became—though even to use words like “corrupt” and “sinister” made serious people uncomfortable, and so Brad avoided them.

And that goes double [at least] for Don.

What happened was that everyone in Ireland had the idea that somewhere in Ireland there was a little wise old man who was in charge of the money, and this was the first time they’d ever seen this little man, says McCarthy. And then they saw him and said, Who the fuck was that??? Is that the fucking guy who is in charge of the money??? That’s when everyone panicked.

Human nature as it were.

Before I went to college the military had this “we do more before 9am than most people do all day” and I used to think and I do more than the military. As you know there are some select people that just find a drive in certain activities that supersedes everything else.

And not just the assholes anymore.

Confirmation bias, he’d heard this called. The human mind was just bad at seeing things it did not expect to see, and a bit too eager to see what it expected to see. Confirmation bias is the most insidious because you don’t even realize it is happening, he said.

He means you, Mr. Objectivist. Or, worst case scenario, me.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:51 pm

Neil Gaiman

Most people don't realize how important librarians are. I ran across a book recently which suggested that the peace and prosperity of a culture was solely related to how many librarians it contained. Possibly a slight overstatement. But a culture that doesn't value its librarians doesn't value ideas and without ideas, well, where are we?


He wondered: Are libraries still around?

You have to believe. Otherwise, it will never happen.

Not counting those who believe that believing is enough.

I mean, maybe I am crazy. I mean, maybe. But if this is all there is, then I don't want to be sane.

I'll tell you what this says about me if you'll tell me what it says about you.

A philosopher once asked, "Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at them because we are human?" Pointless, really..."Do the stars gaze back?" Now, that's a question.

Well, if you count dumb ones.

You get ideas from daydreaming. You get ideas from being bored. You get ideas all the time. The only difference between writers and other people is we notice when we're doing it.

Well, if you count dumb ones.

When writing a novel, that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: 'House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day'.

Like you [no doubt] I never even came close.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Jun 24, 2017 12:13 am

Jonathan Safran Foer

...he was leaving me. I wondered if I should stop him. If I should wrestle him to the ground and force him to love me. I wanted to hold his shoulders down and shout into his face.


Let's file this one under "the very embodiment of insanity".

There’s a Hasidic proverb: ‘While we pursue happiness, we flee from contentment.’

Actually, that's never been a problem for me.

If God exists, he is not to be believed in.

Their God in other words.

It might sound naive to suggest that whether you order a chicken patty or a veggie burger is a profoundly important decision. Then again, it certainly would have sounded fantastic if in the 1950's you were told that where you sat in a restaurant or on a bus could begin to uproot racism.

Let's decide if the two are equivalent.

You will remember when a bird crashed through the window and fell to the floor. You will remember, those of you who were there, how it jerked its wings before dying, and left a spot of blood on the floor after it was removed. But who among you was first to notice the negative bird it left in the window? Who first saw the shadow that the bird left behind, the shadow that drew blood from any finger that dared to trace it, the shadow that was better proof of the bird's existence than the bird ever was?

So, does this make more or less sense to you than it does to me?

Thanksgiving is the holiday that encompasses all others. All of them, from Martin Luther King Day to Arbor Day to Christmas to Valentine's Day, are in one way or another about being thankful.

He thought: Bah! Humbug!
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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