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 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:52 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Whenever anyone has offended me, I try to raise my soul so high that the offense cannot reach it.” Rene Descartes


Anyone here ever tried that?

“We do not describe the world we see, we see the world we can describe.” Rene Descartes

Think about that. But don't strain your brain.

“Prefer knowledge to wealth, for the one is transitory, the other perpetual.” Socrates

Imagine him in Trumpworld!

"I think that humans always tend to talk about rubbish because they don't really want to talk about reality." John Lennon

Imagine him in Trumpworld!

“The worst evil of all is to leave the ranks of the living before one dies.” Seneca

Ouch!

“All knowledge degenerates into probability.” David Hume

He means on this side of the grave.
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 Dec 11, 2017 12:21 am

Leonardo da Vinci

Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.


And desire without study? Let's not leave that out.

The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.

And the philosopher?

Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.

In fact they're counting on it.

One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself.

Let's just say that for some this is endlessly problematic.

I have from an early age abjured the use of meat, and the time will come when men such as I will look upon the murder of animals as they now look upon the murder of men.

Nope, not yet.

Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first understood.

And yet so little is.
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 Dec 11, 2017 7:02 pm

Terry Pratchett

Listen, Peaches, trickery is what humans are all about, said the voice of Maurice. They're so keen on tricking one another all the time that they elect governments to do it for them.


True, but that's still not enough to explain Don Trump

The phrase 'Someone ought to do something' was not, by itself, a helpful one. People who used it never added the rider 'and that someone is me'.

So, has that someone ever been you?

It was quite impossible to describe.
Here is what it looked like.
It looked like a piano sounds shortly after being dropped down a well. It tasted yellow, and it felt Paisley. It smelled like the total eclipse of the moon.


Does that ring any bells?

Shadwell hated all southerners and, by inference, was standing at the North Pole.

On top of me.

The wages of sin is death but so is the salary of virtue, and at least the evil get to go home early on Fridays.

In other words, leaving God out of it.

Few religions are definite about the size of Heaven, but on the planet Earth the Book of Revelation (ch. XXI, v.16) gives it as a cube 12,000 furlongs on a side. This is somewhat less than 500,000,000,000,000,000,000 cubic feet. Even allowing that the Heavenly Host and other essential services take up at least two thirds of this space, this leaves about one million cubic feet of space for each human occupant- assuming that every creature that could be called ‘human’ is allowed in, and the human race eventually totals a thousand times the numbers of humans alive up until now. This is such a generous amount of space that it suggests that room has also been provided for some alien races or - a happy thought - that pets are allowed.

And the size of Hell?
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 Dec 11, 2017 9:48 pm

Nein

On the Internet nobody knows you’re a discourse.


On the other hand, on the internet everyone knows you're a troll.

Don’t worry: there’s plenty of Monday for everyone.

Not only that but seven days a week.

Signifiers. The real heroes.

Just not mine. And especially not yours.

If you need me, I’ll be examining my masculinity.

Lots of that going around, isn't there?

When your Twitter break ends, at least one thing is clear: it didn’t work.

Still, there's always the next one.

It’s starting to signify a lot like nothing.

Or, perhaps, a whole lot less of everything.
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 Dec 12, 2017 12:16 am

C.G. Jung

Nobody, as long as he moves among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.


And that's not the half of it for some. Not even close.

Midlife is the time to let go of an overdominant ego and to contemplate the deeper significance of human existence.

Yeah, I tried that. And look where I am now.

My whole being was seeking for something still unknown which might confer meaning upon the banality of life.

Yeah, I tried that. And look where I am now.

The true leader is always led.

Or dragged tooth and nail as the case may be..

The bigger the crowd, the more negligible the individual.

And that's just on this planet.

We are not what happened to us, we are what we wish to become.

Right, like the two have absolutely nothing in common.
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 Dec 12, 2017 6:20 pm

Joseph Heller

America is not going to be destroyed, he shouted passionately.
Never? prodded the old man softly. Well... Nately faltered.
The old man laughed indulgently, holding in check a deeper, more explosive delight. His goading remained gentle. Rome was destroyed, Greece was destroyed, Persia was destroyed, Spain was destroyed. All great countries are destroyed. Why not yours? How much longer do you really think your own country will last? Forever? Keep in mind that the earth itself is destined to be destroyed by the sun in twenty-five million years or so.
Nately squirmed uncomfortably. Well, forever is a long time, I guess.


Indeed, and Don Trump makes it all the more imaginable.

Little by little, or maybe all at once, everything comes to mean its opposite; unreason argues itself into reason, and vice versa, and we cannot see the seams.

It's almost as though he's been here.

Clevinger was one of those people with lots of intelligence and no brains, and everyone knew it except those who soon found it out.

Or: Clevinger was one of those people with lots of brains and no intelligence, and everyone knew it except those who soon found it out.

A distant warm look entered Major Danby's eyes. It must be nice to live like a vegetable, he conceded wistfully.
It's lousy, answered Yossarian.
No, it must be very pleasant to be free from all this doubt and pressure, insisted Major Danby. I think I'd like to live like a vegetable and make no important decisions.
What kind of vegetable, Danby?
A cucumber or a carrot.
What kind of a cucumber? A good one or a bad one?
Oh, a good one, of course.
They'd cut you off in your prime and slice you up for a salad.
Major Danby's face fell. A poor one, then.
They'd let you rot and use you for fertilizer to help the good ones grow.
I guess I don't want to live like a vegetable, then, said Major Danby with a smile of sad resignation.


Works the same way with fruits.

Now, where were we? Read me back the last line.
‘Read me back the last line,’ read back the corporal who could take shorthand.


A smartass, right?

Well, maybe it's true,' Clevinger conceded unwillingly in a subdued tone. Maybe a long life does have to be filled with many unpleasant conditions if it's to seem long. But in that event, who wants one?
I do, Dunbar told him.
Why? Clevinger asked.
What else is there?


You tell 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 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:14 am

Allen Ginsberg

I don't think there is any truth. There are only points of view.


And, in particular, about this.

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of the night.

Now that's poetry.

Concentrate on what you want to say to yourself and your friends. Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness. You say what you want to say when you don't care who's listening.

Let's call this his hippie persona.

Our heads are round so thought can change direction.

Or go in circles.

I know too much and not enough.

About, for example, this and that.

I really believe, or want to believe, really I am nuts, otherwise I'll never be sane.

On the other hand, who wants to be 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 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:23 am

Elena Epaneshnik‏

Beauty will save the world. Beauty standards will ruin it.


Objectively as it were.

People incapable of insanity are the craziest.

I know that I am.

Narcissists in mirror are closer than they appear.

And they wouldn't have it any other way.

In the beginning there was chaos. And it's still here.

But that's the good news.

If my morning cup of coffee could talk it would have the voice of Alan Rickman quoting Oscar Wilde and William Shakespeare.

My advice: Don't hold your breath.

Bad lit: I need to be touched.
Good lit: I need to touch someone.
Kafka: I need to touch someone, but there's no one around.


And then they arrest him 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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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 13, 2017 6:36 pm

Sophie Kinsella

Sometimes you don't need a goal in life, you don't need to know the big picture. you just need to know what you're going to do next.


Yeah, sometimes.

Life would be a lot easier if conversations were rewindable and erasable, like videos. Or if you could instruct people to disregard what you just said, like in a courtroom.

Let's pray for it.

The trouble with giving yourself a pep talk is that deep down you know it's all bullshit.

Well, unless you fall for it.

My life has changed, and I'm changing with it.

In other words, the part that you still don't get.

We're playing Scrabble. It's a nightmare.
Scrabble? He sounds surprised. Scrabble's great.
Not when you're playing with a family of geniuses, it's not. They all put words like 'iridiums'. And I put 'pig'.


That's why God invented checkers.

A man will never love you or treat you as well as a store. If a man doesn’t fit, you can’t exchange him seven days later for a gorgeous cashmere sweater. And a store always smells good. A store can awaken a lust for things you never even knew you needed. And when your fingers first grasp those shiny, new bags…

And there are millions just like her.
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 Dec 14, 2017 12:40 am

Ali Smith

Books mean all possibilities. They mean moving out of yourself, losing yourself, dying of thirst and living to your full. They mean everything.


Still, why not set aside some time for actually living.

Happy is what you realize you are a fraction of a second before it's too late.

This sounds true but only when you finally figure out what it means.

I'm tired of the news. I'm tired of the way it makes things spectacular that aren't, and deals so simplistically with what's truly appalling. I'm tired of the vitriol. I'm tired of anger. I'm tired of the meanness. I'm tired of selfishness. I'm tired of how we're doing nothing to stop it. I'm tired of how we're encourageing it. I'm tired of the violence that's on it's way, that's coming, that hasn't happened yet. I'm tired of liars. I'm tired of sanctified liars. I'm tired of how those liars have let this happen. I'm tired of having to wonder whether they did it out of stupidity or did it on purpose. I'm tired of lying governments. I'm tired of people not caring whether they're being lied to anymore. I'm tired of being made to feel this fearful.

Let's file this one under, "who isn't?"
But don't forget to vote.


All across the country, people felt it was the wrong thing. All across the country, people felt it was the right thing. All across the country, people felt they'd really lost. All across the country, people felt they'd really won. All across the country, people felt they'd done the right thing and other people had done the wrong thing. All across the country, people looked up Google: what is EU? All across the country, people looked up Google: move to Scotland. All across the country, people looked up Google: Irish Passport Applications. All across the country, people called each other cunts. All across the country, people felt unsafe. All across the country, people were laughing their heads off. All across the country, people felt legitimised. All across the country, people felt bereaved and shocked. All across the country, people felt righteous. All across the country, people felt sick. All across the country, people felt history at their shoulder. All across the country, people felt history meant nothing. All across the country, people felt like they counted for nothing. All across the country, people had pinned their hopes on it. All across the country, people waved flags in the rain. All across the country, people drew swastika graffiti. All across the country, people threatened other people. All across the country, people told people to leave. All across the country, the media was insane. All across the country, politicians lied. All across the country, politicians fell apart. All across the country, politicians vanished...

Let's file this one under, "human all too human".

Art makes nothing happen in a way that makes something happen.

Though not necessarily in that order.

There are things that can't be said, because it's hard to have to know them.

One thing for sure: that never stops 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 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:43 pm

Maurice Blanchot

Writing is not destined to leave traces, but to erase, by traces, all traces, to disappear in the fragmentary space of writing more definitely than one disappears in the tomb.


Must be a post-structuralist thing.

One thing must be understood: I have said nothing extraordinary or even surprising. What is extraordinary begins at the moment I stop. But I am no longer able to speak of it.

Must be a post-structuralist thing.

They who were so important, who wanted to create the world, are dumbfounded; everything crumbles.

All around them for example.

Why are those who knew him, when they pass from the memory of a young man, sensitive and gay, to the work – novels and writings – surprised to pass into a nocturnal world, a world of cold torment, a world not without light but in which light blinds at the same time that it illuminates; gives hope, but makes hope the shadow of anguish and despair? Why is it that he who, in his work, passes from the objectivity of the narratives to the intimacy of the Diary, descends into a still darker night in which the cries of a lost man can be heard? Why does it seem that the closer one comes to his heart, the closer one comes to an unconsoled center from which a piercing flash sometimes bursts forth, an excess of pain, excess of joy?

My guess: the approaching abyss.

We can never put enough distance between ourselves and what we love. To think that God is, is still to think of him as present; this is a thought according to our measure, destined only to console us. It is much more fitting to think that God is not, just as we must love him purely enough that we could be indifferent to the fact that he should not be. It is for this reason that the atheist is closer to God than the believer.

Anyone here actually believe this?
Must be a post-structuralist thing.


Express only that which cannot be expressed. Leave it unexpressed.

Consider it not done.
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 Dec 14, 2017 8:57 pm

Jan Mieszkowski‏

Prognostications
November 2016: Trump can't possibly win
January 2017: Trump can't possibly last 10 months in office
November 2017: The world will end in a fiery inferno and the POTUS will still be tweeting


From Hell probably.

We will know the enemy from his
T hales: mythology
H egel: circular logic
E ngels: bourgeois charm

D eleuze: Freudianism
O ckham: abundant hypotheses
N ietzsche: slave morality
A dorno: nameplate
L acan: ego psychology
D escartes: certainty


Let's decide if this is clever.

Who are the enemy?
R ousseau: oligarchs
E ngels: utopians
P lato: sophists
U nger: empiricists
B akunin: theologians
L acan: lapsed Lacanians
I rigaray: positivists
C homsky: my critics
A dorno: Heideggerians
N ietzsche: priests
S chelling: dogmatists


Let's decide if this is even more clever.

Anaximander: Can
Seneca: it
Voltaire: possibly
Rousseau: get
Schopenhauer: any
Nietzsche: worse?
Camus: You ain’t seen nothing yet!


The history of philosophy, right?

Top Reasons To Become A Philosopher
1) The tranquility of wisdom and understanding
2) The joy that comes from making the world a better place
3) The boundless opportunities for self-delusion


Me? 3 by a mile.

A good teacher is quick to
a) sacrifice the lesson for the truth
b) sacrifice the truth for the lesson
c) avoid giving anything that could truly be called a lesson


Not counting c let's pin this down.
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 Dec 15, 2017 12:54 am

Leonard Susskind

There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable -- unobservable in principle -- it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality -- it's just a figment of our imaginations.


In other words, way, way, way out on the limb.

There is so much to groak; So little to groak from.

Hmm...
"P. W. Joyce defined the word as 'to look on silently—like a dog—at people while they are eating, hoping to be asked to eat a bit.'”


Dick Feynman was a genius of visualization: he made a mental picture of anything he was working on. While others were writing blackboard-filling formulas to express the laws of elementary particles, he would just draw a picture and figure out the answer.

How about that, Mr. Abstractionist?

We often say that the earth is a sphere, but to be precise, the term sphere refers only to the surface. The correct mathematical term for the solid earth is a ball.

Noted.

I would guess that there are limits to what we can understand. But old people always think there are limits to what we can understand. It's the young people who push past those limits.

Maybe, but then they bump into someone like me.

...the three-dimensional world of ordinary experience—the universe filled with galaxies, stars, planets, houses, boulders, and people—is a hologram, an image of reality coded on a distant two-dimensional surface. This new law of physics, known as the Holographic Principle, asserts that everything inside a region of space can be described by bits of information restricted to the boundary.

Now all we need is the explanation for why that is important to know.
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 Dec 15, 2017 8:16 pm

Jonathan Nolan

Not too many professions out there that value forgetfulness. Prostitution, maybe. Politics, of course.


At least until we reelect you.

Everybody else needs mirrors to remind themselves who they are. You’re no different.

I know what you're thinking: do I?

Every man is a mob, a chain gang of idiots. The only way out of this mess, of course, is to take steps to ensure that you control the idiots that you become. To take your chain gang, hand in hand, and lead them. The best way to do this is with a list.

So, Kids, how do you control your own gang of idiots?.

For a few moments, the secrets of the universe are opened to us. Life is a cheap parlor trick. That's the miserable truth.

He means this: "A practiced skill with very limited purpose or functionality. Used primarily to impress people, but usually only once."

We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars; now, we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.

If not the quicksand.

If time and fear aren’t enough to dissuade people from their revenge, then there’s always authority, softly shaking its head and saying, 'We understand, but you’re the better man for letting it go. For rising above it. For not sinking to their level. And besides,' says authority, 'if you try anything stupid, we’ll lock you up in a little room'.

That'll do it. You know, for most of 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 Dec 15, 2017 9:31 pm

God

Why do bad things happen to good people? To even out the good things that happen to bad people.


Celestial logic.

I’m a bad idea.

Now He tells us.

At this point it would be harder to name news events that aren't signs of the apocalypse.

So, is that good to know?

If you’re starting to lose faith in all human institutions, what the hell took you so long?

Hmm, not good coming from Him, is it?

Christianity is one massive, 2,000-year-old rape cover-up.

And He would know, right?

In honor of the wave of deregulation sweeping America, I hereby renounce the Ten Commandments. Go nuts, everyone!

Like any number of us already haven't.
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 Dec 16, 2017 12:14 am

Ben Goldacre

You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into.


He means people like me, right?

You are a placebo responder. Your body plays tricks on your mind. You cannot be trusted.

That might even include all of us.

These corporations run our culture, and they riddle it with bullshit.

Them and their cronies in Washington.

I spend a lot of time talking to people who disagree with me --- I would go so far as to say that it's my favourite leisure activity.

Me too. You know, while waiting for godot.

And if, by the end of this book, you reckon you might still disagree with me, then I offer you this: you'll still be wrong, but you'll be wrong with a lot more panache and flair than you could possibly manage right now.

May I be so bold as to suggest the same of me? Here for example.

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Not true at all, right, Mr. Objectivist?
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 Dec 16, 2017 7:37 pm

D.H. Lawrence

We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.


No, as a matter of fact, we don't.

I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Another reminder: https://youtu.be/0fYfBZSnG1Y

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.

You know, if that's actually an option.

It's no good trying to get rid of your own aloneness. You've got to stick to it all your life. Only at times, at times, the gap will be filled in. At times! But you have to wait for the times. Accept your own aloneness and stick to it, all your life. And then accept the times when the gap is filled in, when they come. But they've got to come. You can't force them.

Me, I have always been my own best friend. And, clearly, for better and for worse.

A woman unsatisfied must have luxuries. But a woman who loves a man would sleep on a board.

Next up: the unsatisfied man.

But better die than live mechanically a life that is a repetition of repetitions.

He means like mine. And, sure, I'm working on 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 » Sat Dec 16, 2017 9:48 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.” Confucius


Come on, we all know it is almost always the other way around.

“When we are tired, we are attacked by ideas we conquered long ago.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Heads they win, tails we lose.

“It is hard enough to remember my opinions, without also remembering my reasons for them!” Friedrich Nietzsche

Here of course that hardly ever matters.
Though, sure, not just here.


“No instinct tells him what he has to do, and no tradition tells him what he ought to do; sometimes he does not even know what he wishes to do.” Viktor Frankl

But not you, right?

“The more I have, the more I see, and the more experience I get, the more confused I become as to who I am, and what the hell life is all about.” John Lennon

Though not any more of course.

“We think in generalities, but we live in details.” Alfred North Whitehead

Among other things: Uh-oh.
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 Dec 17, 2017 12:25 am

Paul Valéry

To enter into your own mind you need to be armed to the teeth.


Okay, got that? Now imagine entering mine.

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.

Indeed, and imagine what it used to be for them.

A man who is of 'sound mind' is one who keeps his inner madman under lock and key.

Here, of course, the obvious exceptions.

...to live means to lack something at every moment...

Some more -- much, much, much, much, much more -- than others.

Latent in every man is a venom of amazing bitterness, a black resentment; something that curses and loathes life, a feeling of being trapped, of having trusted and been fooled, of being helpless prey to impotent rage, blind surrender, the victim of a savage, ruthless power that gives and takes away, enlists a man, drops him, promises and betrays, and--crowning injury--inflicts on him the humiliation of feeling sorry for himself.

Or, sure, not so latent.

The history of thought may be summed up in these words: it is absurd by what it seeks and great by what it finds.

I dare you to pin this down.
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 Dec 17, 2017 8:03 pm

Celeste Ng

She understands. There is nowhere to go but on.


Unless of course she pulls the plug.

One had followed the rules, and one had not. But the problem with rules... was that they implied a right way and a wrong way to do things. When, in fact, most of the time they were simply ways, none of them quite wrong or quite right, and nothing to tell you for sure what side of the line you stood on.

On the other hand [here] you either are or are not banned.

Lydia, five years old, standing on tiptoe to watch vinegar and baking soda foam in the sink. Lydia tugging a heavy book from the shelf, saying, "Show me again, show me another." Lydia, touching the stethoscope, ever so gently, to her mother’s heart. Tears blur Marilyn’s sight. It had not been science that Lydia had loved.

Lydia learns a lesson about the limitations of love.

It came, over and over, down to this: What made someone a mother? Was it biology alone, or was it love?

On the other hand, where does one stop and the other begin. In other words, not unlike most things.

Sometimes you almost forgot: that you didn't look like everyone else. In homeroom or at the drugstore or at the supermarket, you listened to morning announcements or dropped off a roll of film or picked up a carton of eggs and felt like just another someone in the crowd. Sometimes you didn't think about it at all. And then sometimes you noticed the girl across the aisle watching, the pharmacist watching, the checkout boy watching, and you saw yourself reflected in their stares: incongruous. Catching the eye like a hook. Every time you saw yourself from the outside, the way other people saw you, you remembered all over again.

Remember what? Well, that is different for all of us.

He can guess, but he won't ever know, not really. What it was like, what she was thinking, everything she'd never told him.

No getting around this, is there?
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 Dec 17, 2017 9:29 pm

Existential Comics

Sometimes I get the impression that my cats are not familiar with the teachings of the ancient masters of stoic philosophy.


Any particular reason why they would be?

A lot of people say philosophy is useless, and they'll give various reasons, but it's really just because they think they already have it all solved. They don't.

On the other hand, neither do philosophers.

Philosophers you shouldn't bring up on a first date:
1. Nietzsche
2. Marx
3. Malebranche


Malebranche? You tell me: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/malebranche-ideas/

I was reading Augustine's Confessions the other day when I came to a profound realization: I'm probably the only person to ever read it primarily to try to figure out why it's funny.

A little help here: How funny is it?

If your problem would go away if you just stopped thinking it was a problem, you don't have a problem.

Does this really work? Or just not for me.

A good book is one you can't put down. A great book is one you have to put down after each chapter. But a true masterpiece is one you can't even bring yourself to pick up to begin with.

No, really, I don't get 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 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 12:08 am

Mary Roach

Sex is one of those rare topics wherein the desire for others to keep the nitty-gritty of their experiences private is stronger even than the wish to keep mum on one’s own nitty-gritty.


With obvious exceptions of course.

It takes a certain kind of mind to interpret smidgens of fecal matter found in underwear as an ectoplasmic calling card rather than an ordinary by-product of a minor lapse in hygiene. It takes, I would think, a mildly psychotic kind of mind.

Any kind of minds like that here?

Your genes want you to get pregnant, and hormones are their magic wand.

Thank god for memes, right?

Riddle traveled a lot in his twenties and recalls being hit by a realization. So much of people’s lives—their opportunities, their health and longevity—comes down to where they were born. “It’s so random,” he says.

Either that or God's will.

Here is the secret to surviving one of these crashes: Be male. In a 1970 Civil Aeromedical Institute study of three crashes involving emergency evacuations, the most prominent factor influencing survival was gender...Adult males were by far the most likely to get out alive. Why? Presumably because they pushed everyone else out of the way.

Not counting the Titanic of course. Well, by and large.

There is a passage in the Buddhist Sutra on Mindfulness called the Nine Cemetery Contemplations. Apprentice monks are instructed to meditate on a series of decomposing bodies in the charnel ground, starting with a body “swollen and blue and festering,” progressing to one “being eaten by…different kinds of worms,” and moving on to a skeleton, “without flesh and blood, held together by the tendons.” The monks were told to keep meditating until they were calm and a smile appeared on their faces.

I actually believe 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 » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:58 pm

John Cage

Whereas what we need is to fumble around in the darkness, because that's where our lives (not necessarily all of the time, but at least some of the time, and particularly when life gets problematical for us) takes place.


Not to worry. I fumble about there enough for both of us.

An error is simply a failure to adjust immediately from a preconception to an actuality.

Let's just say that's one way to put it.

I discovered that those who seldom dwell on their emotions know better than anyone else just what an emotion is.

You know, whatever that means. But point taken.

While he rested, she asked, What's the difference between natives and outsiders? Natives, he replied, eat indoors and shit outdoors, outsiders eat outdoors and shit indoors.

That's why God invented civilization.

I needed another basis for musical structure. This I found in sound's duration parameter, sound's only parameter which is present even when no sound is intended.

On the other hand, doesn't that sound ghastly?

If my work is accepted, I must move on to the point where it is not.

For some here that comes naturally.
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 Dec 19, 2017 12:22 am

Kip S. Thorne

Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.


What, that hasn't changed?

An explosion in space makes no sound, as there is no air to transmit the sound waves.

So, you'll have to bring your own.

Everything likes to live where it will age the most slowly, and gravity pulls it there.

Autonomically as it were.

At our meeting, I suggested to Steven and Lynda two guidelines for the science of Interstellar: 1. Nothing in the film will violate firmly established laws of physics, or our firmly established knowledge of the universe. 2. Speculations (often wild) about ill-understood physical laws and the universe will spring from real science, from ideas that at least some “respectable” scientists regard as possible.

So, how close did they come?

Yes, that’s what I meant to say. If this seems a bit circular to you, well, it is, but it has deep meaning.

Go ahead, use this yourself, Mr. Objectivist.

Everything is drawn inexorably toward the future.

Among other things, why?
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 Dec 19, 2017 4:06 am

so sad today

fake news: it's going to be okay


Ever notice how fake news almost nearly rhymes with Fox news.

welcome to anxiety, sponsored by depression

Indeed, imagine one without the other.

a thing i am good at is having no impulse control

Aren't we all?

can you fill the existential hole with dick? a memoir

Let's review it.

oh look it's existential terror

Incidentally as it were.

remember when i thought I knew you but I didn't know you at all

Of course that didn't stop her.
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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