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 » Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:15 pm

so sad today

i could love you based solely on you ignoring me


Starting now.

masturbating and crying and eating

Let's imagine it.

being born is a lot of pressure

Not that you know it at the time.

can you feel my desperation through the internet

No, as a matter of fact, it seems...calculated.

can't tell if i'm losing it or i've lost it

If you find it let me know.

i was fine till you gave me hope

To some, this actually makes sense.
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 Oct 07, 2017 11:23 pm

Walter Kaufmann

Man’s world is manifold, and his attitudes are manifold. What is manifold is often frightening because it is not neat and simple. Men prefer to forget how many possibilities are open to them. They like to be told that there are two worlds and two ways. This is comforting because it is so tidy. Almost always one way turns out to be common and the other is celebrated as superior.


Ah, yet another rendition of "one of us".

One need not believe in Pallas Athena, the virgin goddess, to be overwhelmed by the Parthenon. Similarly, a man who rejects all dogmas, all theologies and all religious formulations of beliefs may still find Genesis the sublime book par excellence. Experiences and aspirations of which intimations may be found in Plato, Nietzsche, and Spinoza have found their most evocative expression in some sacred books. Since the Renaissance, Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Mozart, and a host of others have shown that this religious dimension can be experienced and communicated apart from any religious context. But that is no reason for closing my heart to Job's cry, or to Jeremiah's, or to the Second Isaiah. I do not read them as mere literature; rather, I read Sophocles and Shakespeare with all my being, too.

Ah, yet another rendition of, well, this.

Men love jargon. It is so palpable, tangible, visible, audible; it makes so obvious what one has learned; it satisfies the craving for results. It is impressive for the uninitiated. It makes one feel that one belongs. Jargon divides men into Us and Them….

Who does this remind you of?

To an even moderately sophisticated and well-read person it should come as no surprise that any religion at all has its hidden as well as its obvious beauties and is capable of profound and impressive interpretations. What is deeply objectionable about most of these interpretations is that they allow the believer to say Yes while evading any No.

Either that or one or another inquisition will put it on trial.

The Golden Rule is intolerable; if millions did to others whatever they wished others to do to them, few would be safe from molestation. The Golden Rule shows anything but moral genius, and the claim by which it is followed in the Sermon on the Mount -- 'this is the Law and the Prophets' -- makes little sense.

Let's file this one under, "okay, but what else is there?"

Rabbi Zusya said that on the Day of Judgment, God would ask him not why he had not been Moses, but why he had not been Zusya.

So, what will you say when He asks you? And imagine His reaction to 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 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:51 pm

Mary Roach

Gravitation is the lust of the cosmos.


Or for some [no doubt] the rape.

Upon the occasion of history's first manned flight - in the 1780's aboard the Montgolfier brothers' hot-air balloons - someone asked Franklin what use he saw in such frivolity. What use, he replied, is a newborn baby?

So, is that a good point?

Masters points out that the heterosexuals were at a disadvantage, as they do not benefit from what he called “gender empathy”. Doing unto your partner as you would do unto yourself only works well when you’re gay.

And that's only natural, right?

There wasn't an anhydrous lacrimal gland in the room...

Cute.

So animated are these freestanding hearts that surgeons have been known to drop them. “We wash them off and they do just fine,” replied New York heart transplant surgeon Mehmet Oz when I asked him about it. I imagined the heart slipping across the linoleum, the looks exchanged, the rush to retrieve it and clean it off, like a bratwurst that’s rolled off the plate in a restaurant kitchen.

Sounds counterintuitive though, doesn't it? Especially if it is actually true.

…he was doing a breath hydrogen test. If you know the amount of hydrogen someone is exhaling orally, it's a simple matter to extrapolate the amount they're exhaling rectally. This is because a fixed percentage of hydrogen produced in the colon is absorbed into the blood and, and when it reaches the lungs, exhaled. The breath hydrogen test has given flatus researchers a simple, consistent measure of gas production that does not require the subject to fart into a balloon.

Among other things, I didn't know that.
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 Oct 08, 2017 11:36 pm

Jeanette Winterson

I was in danger of drowning, and nobody lost at sea worries about whether the spar they cling to is made of elm or oak.


Or not as worried as they might be about sharks.

There is still a popular fantasy, long since disproved by both psychoanalysis and science, and never believed by any poet or mystic, that it is possible to have a thought without a feeling. It isn't. When we are objective we are subjective too. When we are neutral we are involved. When we say ‘I think’ we don't leave our emotions outside the door. To tell someone not to be emotional is to tell them to be dead.

Let's just say that distinctions can be made.

I have written about love obsessively, forensically, and I know/knew it as the highest value. I loved God of course, in the early days, and God loved me. That was something. And I loved animals and nature. And poetry. People were the problem. How do you love another person? How do you trust another person to love you?

And then the part where they start to hate you instead.

It takes much longer to leave the psychic place than the physical place.

A hell of a lot longer. Well, not counting those times it's the other way around.

It seems obvious, doesn't it, that someone who is ignored and overlooked will expand to the point where they have to be noticed, even if the noticing is fear and disgust.

Or a fusillade of bullets.

I am not a fan of supermarkets and I hate shopping there, even for things I can't get elsewhere, like cat food and bin bags. A big part of my dislike of them is the loss of vivid life. The dull apathy of existence now isn't just boring jobs and boring TV; it is the loss of vivid life on the streets; the gossip, the encounters, the heaving messy noise that made room for everyone, money or not.

So, how vivid is life 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 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:57 pm

Ernest Hemingway

I hope I am not for the killing, Anselmo was thinking. I think that after the war there will have to be some great penance done for the killing. If we no longer have religion after the war then I think there must be some form of civic penance organized that all may be cleansed from the killing or else we will never have a true and human basis for living. The killing is necessary, I know, but still the doing of it is very bad for a man and I think that, after all this is over and we have won the war, there must be a penance of some kind for the cleansing of us all.


Nope, nothing like that yet.

Life is a dunghill, and I'm the cock that gets to crow on it.

Yes, another rendition of the best of all possible worlds.

What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too.

Nothing meaning something if you're reading this. But nothing not meaning something eventually. Though only of course if that is actually true.

You have never heard me talk much. But an intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend his time with fools.

So, what's your excuse?

The one who is doing his work and getting satisfaction from it is not the one the poverty is hard on.

Anyone like that here?

You may not believe this. No one believes this, but it is true.

What you might ask.
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 Oct 09, 2017 10:03 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Life is a sum of all your choices". Albert Camus


On the other hand, what else could it be? But point taken.

“A man devoid of hope and conscious of being so has ceased to belong to the future.” Albert Camus

In other words, no shit.

“All is mystery; but he is a slave who will not struggle to penetrate the dark veil.” Benjamin Disraeli

Maybe, but the mystery remains all the same.

“Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no fool.” Isaac Newton

Nature is. Period.

“The reason most people fail instead of succeed is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.” Napoleon Bonaparte

I know that I did. Lots of times. And, among other things, it explains everything.

“The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell.” Confucius

Though every once in a while they are one and the same.
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 Oct 09, 2017 11:29 pm

Philip Larkin

Time is the echo of an axe
Within a wood.


Reverberating from the cradle all the way to the grave.

...men whose first coronary is coming like Christmas; who drift, loaded helplessly with commitments and obligations and necessary observances, into the darkening avenues of age and incapacity, deserted by everything that once made life sweet.

Any one here [like me] smack dab in the middle of it?

It will be worth it, if in the end I manage
To blank out whatever it is that is doing the damage.

Then there will be nothing I know.
My mind will fold into itself, like fields, like snow.


As you might well imagine, I'm working on it.

I think that at the bottom of all art lies the impulse to preserve.

In other words, while you still can.

The mower stalled, twice; kneeling, I found
A hedgehog jammed up against the blades,
Killed. It had been in the long grass.

I had seen it before, and even fed it, once.
Now I had mauled its unobtrusive world
Unmendably. Burial was no help:

Next morning I got up and it did not.
The first day after a death, the new absence
Is always the same; we should be careful

Of each other, we should be kind
While there is still time.


The sentimental fool syndrome.

What do they think has happened, the old fools,
To make them like this? Do they somehow suppose
It's more grown-up when your mouth hangs open and drools,
And you keep on pissing yourself, and can't remember
Who called this morning? Or that, if they only chose,
They could alter things back to when they danced all night,
Or went to their wedding, or sloped arms some September?
Or do they fancy there's really been no change,
And they've always behaved as if they were crippled or tight,
Or sat through days of thin continuous dreaming
Watching the light move? If they don't (and they can't), it's strange;
Why aren't they screaming?


On the other hand, wouldn't screaming be just as useless?
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 Oct 10, 2017 6:22 pm

Neil Gaiman

I was a normal child. Which is to say, I was selfish and I was not entirely convinced of the existence of things that were not me, and I was certain, rock-solid, unshakeably certain, that I was the most important thing in creation. There was nothing that was more important to me than I was.


Nothing cultural [or historical] about that, is there?

Let's start a new tomorrow, today.

Let's file this one under, "I'll let you be in mine if you'll let me be in yours".

Now you people have names. That's because you don't know who you are. We know who we are, so we don't need names.

Here it's the equivalent of defining things.
Sort of.


Tell him that we fucking reprogrammed reality. Tell him that language is a virus and that religion is an operating system and that prayers are just so much fucking spam.

Right, like telling him is all it takes.

Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spent my entire days sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. 'The devil made me do it.' I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives.

And, if they are nasty, brutish and short, it's their own damn fault.

He was no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring because yesterday has brought it.

Think about it: Would that really work though?
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 Oct 10, 2017 9:58 pm

Existential Comics

Philosophers are just a bunch of wisdom nerds who never outgrew the childish phase of trying to comprehend the world we are thrust into.


I know what you're thinking: What if that is really true?
Or, instead, am I the only one?


The first step towards accomplishing anything difficult is always the hardest: actually trying to accomplish it.

Either that or [the easiest] just insisting that you already have.

Ever wonder why there is something rather than nothing? It's because God is an asshole.

Sure, that is one possible explanation.

A history of Metaphysics, everything is:
500 BC: Water
200: One
1700: God
1900: Matter
2017: Maybe it's all, like, just a simulation dude…


Water?!

Rule # 34: If it exists there is porn in it.

Or, for some, there certainly ought to be.

There isn't a single self proclaimed "nihilist" in history who has actually behaved as though they believed in nihilism in fact.

Let's discuss how that should be.
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 Oct 10, 2017 11:28 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

Only a few months into our marriage, we started marking off areas in the apartment as "Nothing Places," in which one could be assured of complete privacy, we agreed that we never would look at the marked-off zones, that they would be nonexistent territories in the apartment in which one could temporarily cease to exist, the first was in the bedroom, by the foot of the bed, we marked it off with red tape on the carpet, and it was just large enough to stand in, it was a good place to disappear, we knew it was there but we never looked at it, it worked so well that we decided to create a Nothing Place in the living room, it seemed necessary, because there are times when one needs to disappear while in the living room, and sometimes one simply wants to disappear, we made this zone slightly larger so that one of us could lie down in it, it was a rule that you never would look at that rectangle of space, it didn't exist, and when you were in it, neither did you, for a while that was enough, but only for a while.


That's what we need here. A "Nothing Place" for the Kids.

What about guns with sensors in the handles that could detect if you were angry, and if you were, they wouldn't fire, even if you were a police officer?
What about skyscrapers made with moving parts, so they could rearrange themselves when they had to, and even open holes in their middles for planes to fly through?


On the other hand, what about reality?

Don't you find that strange? I can't believe I never found it strange before. It's like your name, how you don't notice it for so long, but when you finally do, you can't help but say it over and over, and wonder why you never thought it was strange that you should have that name, and that everyone has been calling you that name for you whole life.

Clearly, some things are as strange as you need them to be. And other things aren't.

Thinking would keep me alive. But now I am alive and thinking is killing me.

It'll do that sometimes.

One can build a perfect home, but not live in it.

Or submit the perfect post. And not believe in it.

I can't even say 'hair pie,' I told him, unless I'm talking about an actual pie made out of rabbits....

I'm not thinking of that myself.
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 Oct 11, 2017 6:44 pm

Terry Pratchett

Grinning like a necrophiliac in a morgue.


He thought: Let's not go there.

Them as can do has to do for them as can't. And someone has to speak up for them as has no voices.

You know, in theory.

I'm not the world's greatest expert, but I would have thought that the wizards, witches, trolls, unicorns, broomsticks and spells would have given her a clue when J.K. Rowling insisted she wasn't writing fantasy.

Not unlike, for example, Game Of Thrones. I still don't get the appeal. Unless you're a kid.

Open your eyes and then open your eyes again.

Okay, then what?

Most witches don’t believe in gods. They know that the gods exist, of course. They even deal with them occasionally. But they don’t believe in them. They know them too well. It would be like believing in the postman.

I think I get it.

What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge of a major branch of government? Apart from, say, the average voter.

He means the average American voter. Or, sure, maybe not.
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 Oct 11, 2017 7:22 pm

Elena Epaneshnik‏

If you believe that people change, ask your doctor why you're not one of them.


Oh, she's one of them alright.

You can only feel truly divine when you know that you're someone's personal demon.

Come on, be honest: Am I yours?

I could have happened to you. But you got lucky.

Or [of course]: You could have happened to me. But I got lucky.

Russian Literature:
1. Everything is very bad.
2. Only 800 pages to find out why.
3. Only 600 more pages to find out why it will be worse.


How much worse?
1] Trump
2] Putin
3] All the rest of them


I'm an open book book, you can ask me anything.
Can I read the title?
No.


Let alone understand it.

Bad writers are the ones with the most sublime literary taste since they hardly ever read the bullshit they've written.

Bad philosophers too. You know, if only that were true. Here, for example.
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 Oct 11, 2017 11:34 pm

Peter Matthiessen

Zen has been called the "religion before religion," which is to say that anyone can practice, including those committed to another faith. And that phrase evokes that natural religion of our early childhood, when heaven and a splendorous earth were one. But soon the child's clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions, preconceptions and abstractions. Not until years later does an instinct come that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn. The sun glints through the pines, and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain, like a memory of paradise. After that day, at the bottom of each breath, there is a hollow place filled with longing. We become seekers without knowing that we seek, and at first, we long for something "greater" than ourselves, something apart and far away. It is not a return to childhood, for childhood is not a truly enlightened state. Yet to seek one's own true nature is "a way to lead you to your long lost home." To practice Zen means to realize one's existence moment after moment, rather than letting life unravel in regret of the past and daydreaming of the future. To "rest in the present" is a state of magical simplicity...out of the emptiness can come a true insight into our natural harmony all creation. To travel this path, one need not be a 'Zen Buddhist', which is only another idea to be discarded like 'enlightenment,' and like 'the Buddha' and like 'God'.


Sure, maybe. But it still comes down to this:

1] how ought "I" to live on this side of the grave?
2] what is to become of "I" on other side of it?

And, here, their guess is just as good as ours.


There's an elegiac quality in watching American wilderness go, because it's our own myth, the American frontier, that's deteriorating before our eyes. I feel a deep sorrow that my kids will never get to see what I've seen, and their kids will see nothing; there's a deep sadness whenever I look at nature now.

Not counting Yellowstone of course. Unless it does.

Today most scientists would agree with the ancient Hindus that nothing exists or is destroyed, things merely change shape or form…the cosmic radiation that is thought to come from the explosion of creation strikes the earth with equal intensity from all directions, which suggests either that the earth is at the center of the universe, as in our innocence we once supposed, or that the known universe has no center.

This [of course] will always only be is as deep as you need it to be. If you need it to be at all.

And as the wary dogs skirt past, we nod, grimace, and resume our paths to separate destinies and graves.

So, how deep do you need this to be?

You mean, Billy exclaimed at last, you mean...his voice rose high and clear...you mean – and he jumped to his feet, and standing there under the giant trees, pointed at himself, a small outraged boy named William Martin Quarrier, aged eight: You mean I just came crashing down into Ma’s under-pants?

My advice: Just say "yes" and hope for the best.

In the book of Job, the Lord demands, Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the eart

I was there! Surely that is the answer to God’s question. For no matter how the universe came into being, most of the atoms in these fleeting assemblies that we think of as our bodies have been in existence since the beginning. Each breath we take contains hundreds of thousands of the inert, pervasive argon atoms that were actually breathed in his lifetime by the Buddha, and indeed contain parts of all the ‘snorts, sighs, bellows, shrieks' of all creatures that ever existed or will exist. These atoms flow backward and forward in such useful but artificial constructs as time and space, in the same universal rhythms, universal breath as the tides and stars, joining both the living and the dead in that energy which animates the universe.


Clearly, one explanation for where religion ends and science begins. And, given miracles, it might even be true.
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 Oct 12, 2017 4:11 pm

Joseph Heller

They’re not going to send a crazy man out to be killed, are they?
Who else will go?


Right, like they actually had a choice. If you know what I mean.

The night was filled with horrors, and he thought he knew how Christ must have felt as he walked through the world, like a psychiatrist through a ward full of nuts, like a victim through a prison full of thieves. What a welcome sight a leper must have been!

In other words, there's not much you can't put in perspective.

Under Colonel Korn's rule, the only people permitted to ask questions were those who never did.

Let's call them, say, the masses.

Why don't you use some sense and try to be more like me? You might live to be a hundred and seven, too.
Because it’s better to die on one’s feet than live on one’s knees, Nately retorted with triumphant and lofty conviction. I guess you’ve heard that saying before.
Yes, I certainly have, mused the treacherous old man, smiling again. But I’m afraid you have it backward. It is better to live on one’s feet than die on one’s knees. That is the way the saying goes.
Are you sure? Nately asked with sober confusion. It seems to make more sense my way.
No, it makes more sense my way. Ask your friends.


Well, if I actually had any friends, sure, I'd ask them.

Her own body was such a familiar and unremarkable thing to her that she was puzzled by the convulsive ecstasy men could take from it, by the intense and amusing need they had merely to touch it, to reach out urgently and press it, squeeze it, pinch it, rub it. She did not understand Yossarian's lust; but she was willing to take his word for it.

Much like Harvey Weinstein's lust today no doubt.

Success and failure are both difficult to endure. Along with success come drugs, divorce, fornication, bullying, travel, meditation, medication, depression, neurosis and suicide. With failure comes failure.

Unless of course you succeed in failing. You know, if that's what you set out to do.
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 Oct 12, 2017 6:24 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance.” Confucius


Or, sure, you can claim to be ignorant of nothing. Right, Mr. Objectivist?

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Henri Bergson

Now that does sound familar.

“Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.” David Hume

Objectively perhaps.

“It is clear that the individual who persecutes a man, his brother, because he is not of the same opinion, is a monster.” Voltaire

Not only that but they are everywhere. And, believe it or not, not just here. Or there.
[you know where]


“I am my world.” Ludwig Wittgenstein

Though, for some, so are all the rest of us.

“You only know me as you see me, not as I actually am” Immanuel Kant

Categorically and imperatively as it were.
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 Oct 12, 2017 11:20 pm

Steven D. Levitt

If it takes a lot of courage to admit you don’t know all the answers, just imagine how hard it is to admit you don’t even know the right question.


Actually, there are two:
1] ought one to live?
2] and, if yes, how ought one to live?


Are people innately altruistic? is the wrong kind of question to ask. People are people, and they respond to incentives. They can nearly always be manipulated--for good or ill--if only you find the right levers.

You know, like dogs.

Just as a warm and moist environment is conducive to the spread of deadly bacteria, the worlds of politics and business especially—with their long time frames, complex outcomes, and murky cause and effect—are conducive to the spread of half-cocked guesses posing as fact.

Fake facts in particular.

The takeaway here is simple but powerful: just because you’re great at something doesn’t mean you’re good at everything. Unfortunately, this fact is routinely ignored by those who engage in—take a deep breath—ultracrepidarianism, or “the habit of giving opinions and advice on matters outside of one’s knowledge or competence".

No, really, Mr. Objectivist: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultracrepidarianism

Goalkeepers jump left 57 percent of the time and right 41 percent—which means they stay in the center only 2 times out of 100. A leaping keeper may of course still stop a ball aimed at the center, but how often can that happen? If only you could see the data on all penalty kicks taken toward the center of the goal! Okay, we just happen to have that: a kick toward the center, as risky as it may appear, is seven percentage points more likely to succeed than a kick to the corner. Are you willing to take the chance?

Any goalkeepers here? Let us know what happens.

The more social science we learn, the more we realize that people, while treasuring their independence, are in fact drawn to herd behavior in almost every aspect of daily life.

In other words, Know Thyself.

Experts depend on the fact that you don’t have the information they do. Or that you are so befuddled by the complexity of their operation that you wouldn’t know what to do with the information if you had it. Or that you are so in awe of their expertise that you wouldn’t dare challenge them.

Yeah, that's still around.
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 Oct 13, 2017 7:22 pm

Stephanie Danler

There’s no word for it in English. Like tristesse, flâneur, or la douleur exquise, words full of gray. The French do ambiguity so much better than Americans. Our language relies on fixedness because that’s what the market demands. A commodity must always be identifiable.


Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ethics_of_Ambiguity
Then reconfigure this philosophy into a particular world: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Blood_of_Others


You will see it coming. Not you actually because you don’t see for yourself yet, everyone is busy seeing for you, days filled with unsolicited advice you don’t take and trite warnings you can’t hear and the whitewashing of all your excitement. Yes, they definitely saw it coming, exactly the way it came. When you’re older you will know that at some unconscious level not only did you see it coming, but you created it, in your own blind, stumbling way. You will console yourself with the fact that it wouldn’t have mattered, seeing it or not seeing it. You were a sponge for incident. Maybe everyone is when they’re young. They don’t remember, nobody remembers what it feels like to be so recklessly absorbent. When you can’t see in front of you life is nothing but surprises. Looking back, there were truly so few of them.

I never saw it coming, that's for sure. But [from what I can tell] most of you still don't.

You are hoping to master the experience. The pain is what we know. It’s our barometer of reality. We never trust pleasure.

Let's try to pin down why.

So—some tomatoes tasted like water, and some tasted like summer lightning.

Not counting the ones in the supermarket that taste like soggy cardboard.

I didn't know what a date was and I wasn’t an anomaly. Most of the girls I knew didn’t get asked out on dates. People got together through alcohol and a process of elimination.

After all, we are civilized now.

You know, you the worst kind, you want to marry the artist and live like squalor, but you wait, in five years you be like, Baby Jake why we eat ramen noodles every night?

Let's ponder how Baby Jake might explain 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 iambiguous » Fri Oct 13, 2017 11:16 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favor to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.


Okay, okay, we won't go there.

Criticism is a privilege that you earn — it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction.

What crap, right, Mr. Objectivist?

People are ruined by challenged economic lives. But they are ruined by wealth as well because they lose their ambition and they lose their pride and they lose their sense of self-worth.

Perhaps, but I'm sure the wealthy will take their chances.

We have trouble estimating dramatic, exponential change. We cannot conceive that a piece of paper folded over 50 times could reach the sun. There are abrupt limits to the number of cognitive categories we can make and the number of people we can truly love and the number of acquaintances we can truly know. We throw up our hands at a problem phrased in an abstract way, but have no difficulty at all solving the same problem rephrased as a social dilemma. All of these things are expressions of the peculiarities of the human mind and heart, a refutation of the notion that the way we function and communicate and process information is straightforward and transparent. It is not. It is messy and opaque.

Or something like that.

Imagine that you are a doctor and you suddenly learn that you’ll see twenty patients on a Friday afternoon instead of twenty-five, while getting paid the same. Would you respond by spending more time with each patient? Or would you simply leave at six-thirty instead of seven-thirty and have dinner with your kids?

So, is this a "dumb question" or not?

...the futility of something is not always (in love and in politics) a sufficient argument against it.

Let's consider some actual examples.
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 Oct 14, 2017 7:08 pm

André Gide

The novelist does not long to see the lion eat grass. He realizes that one and the same God created the wolf and the lamb, then smiled, "seeing that his work was good".


Well, He is mysterious, right?

They establish distinctions and reserves which I cannot apply to myself, for I exist only as a whole; my only claim is to be natural, and the pleasure I feel in an action, I take as a sign that I ought to do it.

And fuck you if you don't like it.
Where applicable of course.


Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does, the better.

You know, if you believe in that sort of thing.

The very things that separated me and distinguished me from other people were what mattered; the very things no one else would or could say, these were the things I had to say.

The perfect "general description" as it were.

The reasons that drive me to write are many and the most important are the most secret, I think. Perhaps most of all this: to put something out of death's reach.

Sure, this works for some.

I prefer granting with a good grace what I know I shan't be able to prevent.

Just don't let them know that.
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 Oct 14, 2017 10:14 pm

so sad today

people just want you to be ok so you will shut the fuck up


I know that I do.

i'm an organ donor and it might be time

Go for it.

university of insomnia

Full scholarship.

my daily affirmations:
1. uh oh
2. oh shit
3. oh fuck
4. hell no


Or, on some days:
1. uh oh!!
2. oh shit!!
3. oh fuck!!
4. hell no!!


by happy i mean moderately depressed

Doesn't everyone?

breaking news: no one really knows why we exist

Let alone why we ought to.
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 Oct 14, 2017 11:20 pm

Roland Barthes

I have a disease; I see language.


If only all the way to the grave. Unless, of course, there's more.

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.

And then the part [here] where words become swords.

The Eiffel Tower is not a usual spectacle; to enter the Tower, to scale it, to run around its courses, is, in a manner both more elementary and more profound, to accede to a view and to explore the interior of an object (though an openwork one), to transform the touristic rite into and adventure of sight and of the intelligence.

Or just take a selfie in front of it.

It exists only for me. For you, it would be nothing but an indifferent picture.

Recognizing of course that it works much the same the other way around.

The author enters into his own death, writing begins.

Unless perhaps you are doing it wrong.

My claim is to live to the full contradiction of my time.

Right, like that actually matters to anyone.
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 Oct 15, 2017 7:26 pm

Charles Seife

Zero is powerful because it is infinity's twin. They are equal and opposite, yin and
yang. They are equally paradoxical and troubling. The biggest questions in science
and religion are about nothingness and eternity, the void and the infinite, zero and
infinity. The clashes over zero were the battles that shook the foundations of philosophy,
of science, of mathematics, and of religion. Underneath every revolution lay a
zero – and an infinity.


There is zero chance that anyone really understands this more than everyone else.

If you want to get people to believe something really, really stupid, just stick a number on it.

For example, this thread has 267,751 views. And, over at KT, the Chimp Talk thread has 23,884 views.

We tend to shy away from data that challenges our assumptions, that erodes our preconceptions. Getting rid of our wrong ideas is a painful and difficult process, yet it's that very process that makes data truly useful. A fact becomes information when it challenges our assumptions. These challenges are the raw material that forces our ideas to evolve, our tastes to change, our minds to grow.

Not their data though.

There are many ways to generate numerical falsehoods from data, many ways to create proofiness from even valid meaurements. Causuistry distorts the relationships between two sets of numbers. Randumbness creates patterns where none are to be found. Regression to the moon disguises nonsense in mathematical-looking lines or equations or formulae, making even the silliest ideas seem respectable. Such as the one described by this formula: Callipygianness=(S+C)x(B+F)/T-V)
Where S is shape, C is circularity, B is bounciness, F ir firmness, T is texture, and V is waist-to-hip ratio. This formula was devised by a team of academic psychologists after many hours of serious research into the female derriere. Yes, indeed. This is supposed to be the formula for the perfect butt.

It fact, it's merely a formula for a perfect ass.


Anyone know the formula for the perfect penis?

See appendix A for a proof that Winston Churchill was a carrot.

Nope, didn't feel it was necessary.

The Mayan system made more sense than the Western system does. Since the Western calendar was created at a time when there was no zero, we never see a day zero, or a year zero. This apparently insignificant omission caused a great deal of trouble; it kindled the controversy over the start of the millenium. The Mayans would never have argued about whether 2000 or 2001 was the first year in the twenty-first century. But it was not the Mayans who formed our calendar; it was the Egyptians and, later, the Romans. For this reason, we are stuck with a troublesome, zero-free calendar.

Wow, it's a miracle we're still around 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 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:27 pm

Mary Roach

Gravity is why there are suns and planets in the first place. It is practically God.


Not that it explains much.

Please beware, came his reply, There are a lot of people who believe that just because we don't have an explanation for something, it's quantum mechanics.

And that's practically God.

I will tell you sincerely and without exaggeration that the best part of lunch today at the NASA Ames cafeteria is the urine. It is clear and sweet, though not in the way mountain streams are said to be clear and sweet. More in the way of Karo syrup. The urine has been desalinated by osmotic pressure. Basically it swapped molecules with a concentrated sugar solution. Urine is a salty substance, and if you were to drink it in an effort to rehydrate yourself, it would have the opposite effect. But once the salt is taken care of and the distasteful organic molecules have been trapped in an activated charcoal filter, urine is a restorative and surprisingly drinkable lunchtime beverage. I was about to use the word unobjectionable, but that's not accurate. People object. They object a lot.

So, is there a rendition of this for shit?

I like the term "decedent." It's as though the man weren't dead, but merely involved in some sort of protracted legal dispute.

With the Devil maybe.

For evident reasons, mortuary science is awash with euphemisms. "Don't say stiff, corpse, cadaver," scolds The Principles and Practice of Embalming. "Say decedent, remains or Mr. Blank. Don't say 'keep.' Say 'maintain preservation.'…"Wrinkles are "acquired facial markings." Decomposed brain that filters down through a damaged skull and bubbles out the nose is "frothy purge.”

Frothy purge? They can't do better than that?

Cheese crumbs spread in front of a copulating pair of rats may distract the female, but not the male.

Sounds like something Satyr might make use of.
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 Oct 16, 2017 3:51 am

God

I'm God, I know all your thoughts and prayers, and pretty much none of them are with Somalia.


Go ahead, Google it.

I’ve run out of special places in hell.

Does Satan know that?

This is all really happening, by the way.

With or without Him no doubt.

You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, and here we are.

Amen?

Just because a lot of people on the other side are total assholes doesn’t mean a lot of people on your side aren’t also total assholes.

That settles it then.

Most terrorists are white. Me, for example.

If only back in His fire and brimstone days.
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 Oct 16, 2017 7:29 pm

Jeanette Winterson

The woman tried to teach Winnet her language, and Winnet learned the words but not the language.


We know what that means.

Love, they say, enslaves and passion is a demon and many have been lost for love. I know this is true, but I know too that without love we grope in the tunnels of our lives and never see the sun.

So they keep telling me.

I was in those days all about the 'fuck you'. Fuck you for not recognising how great I am.

So, how great were you?

Every second the Universe divides into possibilities and most of those possibilities never happen. It is not a uni-verse — there is more than one reading. The story won’t stop, can’t stop, it goes on telling itself, waiting for an intervention that changes what will happen next.
Love is an intervention.


Autonomically as it were.

In the modern world there was so much safety that safety had become the chief source of danger.

We'll need a few examples of course.

Book collecting is an obsession, a disease, an addiction, a fascination, an absurdity, a fate. It is not a hobby. Those who do it must do it.

In other words, there's gene for 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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