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 Jan 13, 2018 7:57 pm

Terry Pratchett

It is true that words have power, and one of the things they are able to do is get out of someone’s mouth before the speaker has the chance to stop them.


Don't you just hate that?

It looked like the sort of book described in library catalogues as 'slightly foxed', although it would be more honest to admit that it looked as though it had been badgered, wolved and possibly beared as well.

Expect a discount.

It is always useful to face an enemy who is prepared to die for his country, he read. This means that both you and he have exactly the same aim in mind.

And not just on the battlefield.

There are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.

Going postal we call it.

History isn't like that. History unravels gently, like an old sweater. It has been patched and darned many times, reknitted to suit different people, shoved in a box under the sink of censorship to be cut up for the dusters of propaganda, yet it always - eventually - manages to spring back into its old familar shape. History has a habit of changing the people who think they are changing it. History always has a few tricks up its frayed sleeve. It's been around a long time.

Imagine then the history of Trumpworld. And not just in the shitholes.

The world is a globe — the farther you sail, the closer to home you are.

Unless it dawns on you.
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 Jan 13, 2018 9:34 pm

so sad today

i miss people i never even liked in the first place


Nope, not yet.

there are two kinds of people in this world and they’re both wrong

Need I remind you: About what?

we only have one president in this country and it’s money

Remember when it was not that way? Me neither.

is being alive a meme?

Naturally.

annoyed that i had to be born and annoyed that i have to die

Of course she's just paraphrasing, among others, Woody Allen.

je suis a shithole

Perhaps, but she's not living in one.
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 Jan 14, 2018 12:26 am

Joseph Heller

You’ve got to have a God. Without God, you might turn to something really crazy, like witchcraft, or religion.


Or, sure, philosophy.

Like all the other officers at Group Headquarters except Major Danby, Colonel Cathcart was infused with the democratic spirit: he believed that all men were created equal, and he therefore spurned all men outside Group Headquarters with equal fervor.

As well he should.

Help him!
Help who?
Help the bombardier!
I’m a bombardier.
Help him, help him!
Help who?


On the other hand, are we obligated morally to help him?

You've got flies in your eyes. That's why you can't see them.

Still, better flies than bees. Or mosquitos.

And he knew something else as a social evolutionist that he might stress someday in his 'Every Change Is for the Worse' should he ever find time to write it: Gold knew that the most advanced and penultimate stage of a civilization was attained when chaos masqueraded as order, and he knew we were already there.

We're way past there of course. Here order masquerades as chaos. Only theirs and not ours.

It’s the moment in which Yossarian, who has been in thrall to Catch-22 throughout, finally breaks away. Yossarian has come to realise that Catch-22 does not actually exist, but because the powers that be claim it does, and the world believes it does, it nevertheless has potent effects. Indeed, because it does not exist, there is no way it can be repealed. But here, finally, he can become free.

Let's nail down how this works in Trumpworld.
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 Jan 14, 2018 7:49 pm

C.G. Jung

Whenever we give up, leave behind, and forget too much, there is always the danger that the things we have neglected will return with added force.


Among other things, count on it.

Life has always seemed to me like a plant that lives on its rhizome. Its true life is invisible, hidden in the rhizome. The part that appears above ground lasts only a single summer. Then it withers away—an ephemeral apparition. When we think of the unending growth and decay of life and civilizations, we cannot escape the impression of absolute nullity. Yet I have never lost a sense of something that lives and endures underneath the eternal flux. What we see is the blossom, which passes. The rhizome remains.

I know, let's call this the "soul".

Space flights are merely an escape, a fleeing away from oneself, because it is easier to go to Mars or to the moon than it is to penetrate one's own being.

A hell of a lot easier.

Every man carries within himself the eternal image of woman, not the image of this or that particular woman, but a definite feminine image. This image is fundamentally unconscious, a hereditary factor of primordial origin.

He wondered: Why doesn't it work that way for every woman?

I have treated many hundreds of patients. Among those in the second half of life - that is to say, over 35 - there has not been one whose problem in the last resort was not that of finding a religious outlook on life. It is safe to say that every one of them fell ill because he had lost that which the living religions of every age have given their followers, and none of them has really been healed who did not regain his religious outlook.

The secular rendition being an ideology of course.

I have always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way.

Imagine him now in Trumpworld.
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 Jan 15, 2018 12:38 am

Allen Ginsberg

Not even the human
imagination satisfies
the endless emptiness of the soul.


That's only natural. If that is only natural.

The universe is mad, slightly mad.

That's only natural. If that is only natural.

he threw up his hands
and wrote the Universe dont exist
and died to prove it


What to make of all this then?

The typewriter is holy the poem is holy the voice is holy the hearers are holy the ecstacy is holy!

Must be a poet thing.

Many seek and never see,
anyone can tell them why.
O they weep and O they cry
and never take until they try
unless they try it in their sleep
and never some until they die.
I ask many, they ask me.
This is a great mystery.


Not only that, but all the shit you've got to endure.

What came is gone forever every time

And, eventually, what's to come.
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 Jan 15, 2018 5:54 pm

Ali Smith

We do treat books surprisingly lightly in contemporary culture. We’d never expect to understand a piece of music on one listen, but we tend to believe we’ve read a book after reading it just once.


Or just skimming through the Cliffs Notes edition.

When you've nothing, at least you've all of it.

Perhaps, but why does that matter?

That's the thing about things. They fall apart, always have, always will, it's in their nature.

If only since the beginning of time.

Who's that?
(Silence.)
Who's there?
(Silence.)
God?
Not exactly.
Well, who?
Where do I start? I'm the butterfly antenna. I'm the chemicals that paint's made of. I'm the person dead at the water's edge. I'm the water. I'm the edge. I'm the skin cells. I'm the smell of disinfectant. I'm that thing they rub against your mouth to moisten it, can you feel it? I'm soft. I'm hard. I'm glass. I'm sand. I'm a yellow plastic bottle. I'm all the plastics in the seas and in the guts of all the fishes. I'm the fishes. I'm the seas. I'm molluscs in the seas. I'm the flattened-out old beer can. I'm the shopping trolley in the canal. I'm the note on the stave, the bird on the line. I'm the stave. I'm the line. I'm spiders. I'm seeds. I'm water. I'm heart. I'm the cotton of the sheet. I'm pollution. I'm a fall of horseshit on a country road a hundred years ago. I'm the fly . I haven't even started telling you what I am. I'm everything that makes everything. I'm everything that unmakes everything. I'm the voice that tells no story.


Truth be told, I'm not even half that.

He was the most beautiful boy I had ever seen in my life. But he really looked like a girl. She was the most beautiful boy I’d ever seen in my life.

And simply born than way.

Words words words. Words Words words. Words words Words.

Ain't it the truth?
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 Jan 15, 2018 7:47 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Do not wait to strike till the iron is hot; but make it hot by striking.” W.B. Yeats


Let's file this one [obviously] under, "for better or for worse".

“There is another world, but it is in this one.” W.B. Yeats

Figures, doesn't it?

“One is not rich by what one owns, but more by what one is able to do without with dignity.” Immanuel Kant

Now that's a tricky one.

“Give a man everything he wants and at that moment everything is not everything” Immanuel Kant

Has anyone here ever actually come close?

“There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.” Albert Camus

Let's try again to prove this.

“Few look for truth; many prowl about for a reputation of profundity by arrogantly challenging whichever arguments are the best.” Rene Descartes

He means me, doesn't he?
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 Jan 16, 2018 12:23 am

Stephen Greenblatt

The highest goal of human life is the enhancement of pleasure and the reduction of pain.


Though not necessarily in that order. And you know what that means.

I am committed by trade to urging people to attend carefully to the verbal surfaces of what they read. Much of the pleasure and interest of poetry depends on such attention.

Right, the "verbal surfaces".

What was ridiculous about Christianity, from the perspective of a cultivated pagan, was not only its language—the crude style of the Gospels’ Greek resting on the barbarous otherness of Hebrew and Aramaic—but also its exaltation of divine humiliation and pain conjoined with an arrogant triumphalism.

On the other hand, why even stop there?

Something happened in the Renaissance, something that surged up against the constraints that centuries had constructed around curiosity, desire, individuality, sustained attention to the material world, the claims of the body.

And look at it all now. Among other things, we call it "late capitalism".

Acediosus, sometimes translated as “apathetic,” refers to an illness, specific to monastic communities, which had already been brilliantly diagnosed in the late fourth century by the Desert Father John Cassian. The monk in the grip of acedia would find it difficult or impossible to read. Looking away from his book, he might try to distract himself with gossip but would more likely glance in disgust at his surroundings and at his fellow monks. He would feel that things were better somewhere else, that he was wasting his life, that everything was stale and pointless, that he was suffocating.

Clearly there is a secular rendition too.

The weariest and most loathèd worldly life
That age, ache, penury, and imprisonment
Can lay on nature is a paradise
To what we fear of death.


Who cares what it means when you know it's 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 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 6:19 pm

Ben Goldacre

Most people know what constitutes a healthy diet already. If you want to make money out of it, you have to make a space for yourself in the market, and to do this, you must overcomplicate it, attach your own dubious stamp.


My guess: This works.

In medicine, brand identities are irrelevant, and there’s a factual, objective answer to whether one drug is the most likely to improve a patient’s pain, suffering and longevity. Marketing, therefore, one might argue, exists for no reason other than to pervert evidence-based decision-making in medicine.

My guess: This works.

My basic hypothesis is this: the people who run the media are humanities graduates with little understanding of science, who wear their ignorance as a badge of honour. Secretly, deep down, perhaps they resent the fact that they have denied themselves access to the most significant developments in the history of Western thought from the past two hundred years; but there is an attack implicit in all media coverage of science: in their choice of stories, and the way they cover them, the media create a parody of science. On this template, science is portrayed as groundless, incomprehensible, didactic truth statements from scientists, who themselves are socially powerful, arbitrary, unelected authority figures. They are detached from reality; they do work that is either wacky or dangerous, but either way, everything in science is tenuous, contradictory, probably going to change soon and, most ridiculously, ‘hard to understand’. Having created this parody, the commentariat then attack it, as if they were genuinely critiquing what science is all about. Science stories generally fall into one of three categories: the wacky stories, the ‘breakthrough’ stories, and the ‘scare’ stories. Each undermines and distorts science in its own idiosyncratic way.

And that's before [way before] we get to the part played by the media industrial complex in sustaining crony capitalism.

Problems in medicine do not mean that homeopathic sugar pills work; just because there are problems with aircraft design, that doesn't mean that magic carpets really fly.

Maybe, but millions of dollars are being made.

Some have estimated that the pharmaceutical industry overall spends about twice as much on marketing and promotion as it does on research and development.

I suspect it is even worse for, say, the car insurance industry. Flo and all the rest of them bombard us daily.

Today, scientists and doctors find themselves outnumbered and outgunned by vast armies of individuals who feel entitled to pass judgment on matters of evidence—an admirable aspiration—without troubling themselves to obtain a basic understanding of the issues.

Let's file this one under, "show me the money!"
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 Jan 16, 2018 8:53 pm

Nein

Worry, if you must, about the future. But you can take comfort in knowing there’s less of it every day.


For better or worse, that is one way to look at it.

It’s not the size of the button, they say. It’s the length of the half-life.

After, for example, it's pushed.

Cogito ergo, like, really sum.

Does this clear it up for you?

My God: dead.
My destruction: mutually assured.
My notifications: turned off.


Mine were never turned on.

Your tired. Your poor. Your huddled masses.
Our shithole president.


Clearly, one man's opinion. However correct it obviously is.

Yes, we’ll explain, then Oprah became president. And Trump started a book club.

Let's decide which one is least possible.
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 Jan 17, 2018 12:13 am

D.H. Lawrence

Life and love are life and love, a bunch of violets is a bunch of violets, and to drag in the idea of a point is to ruin everything. Live and let live, love and let love, flower and fade, and follow the natural curve, which flows on, pointless.


On the other hand, what's the point of this?

This is the very worst wickedness, that we refuse to acknowledge the passionate evil that is in us.

If it is even evil at all.

If a woman hasn't got a tiny streak of harlot in her, she's a dry stick as a rule.

So, by all means, bring it out in her.

What the eye doesn't see and the mind doesn't know, doesn't exist.

Unless of course that's not actually true.

Sleep is still most perfect, in spite of hygienists, when it is shared with a beloved. The warmth, the security and peace of soul, the utter comfort from the touch of the other, knits the sleep, so that it takes the body and soul completely in its healing.

Maybe in la la land he thought.

When I hear modern people complain of being lonely then I know what has happened. They have lost the cosmos.

I've never been lonely he mused so fuck the cosmos.
At least until death do they part.
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 Jan 17, 2018 6:22 pm

Paul Valéry

Anxious to know, yet only too happy to ignore, we seek in what is, a remedy for what is not; and in what is not a relief from what is. Now the real, now illusion is our refuge; and the soul has finally no other resource but the truth, which is her weapon -- and falsehood, which is her armor.


Let's just say that the truth is in there somewhere.

At the end of the mind, the body. But at the end of the body, the mind.

Right, like it could possibly be any other way.

But hope is only man's mistrust of the clear foresight of his mind.

We can only hope that this is not true.

Degas is one of the very few painters who have given the floor its true importance.

The floor? Literally?

Taste is made of a thousand distastes.

And tell me that's not rooted in dasein?

This, dear Phaedrus, is the most important point: no geometry without the word. Without it, figures are accidents, and neither make manifest nor serve the power of the mind.

And now of course we have our words.
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 Jan 17, 2018 8:20 pm

God

I cannot understate how small Donald Trump’s penis is.


Next up: Stormy confirms it.

Retweet this so that others can see the full breadth of its pointlessness.

Me, I posted it here.

Fuck these fucking motherfuckers so fucking much.

Five will get you ten it's Trumpworld. God being a liberal and all.

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards impeachment.

No doubt about it: Heaven is a blue state.

I will never be verified because I have never been verified.

Rather enigmatic to say the least.

Would it help if I existed? Because I'm willing to do that if it would help.

Rather enigmatic to say the least.
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 Jan 18, 2018 12:19 am

Naomi Alderman

We’re only pretending everything is normal because we don’t know what else to do.


How's that working for you?

The thing about the Lexington International Bank ladder was that it was very long, and climbing it was very exhausting, and so Andrew Brown didn't have a lot of time to think about whether he really wanted to get to the top of it—and besides, since so many other people were climbing too, the view from the top must be worth it.

So he kept going. He worked hard. He put his heart and mind and soul into it. There was an opening for a position half a rung higher than he already was. With a promotion, he might get two hours a week of a secretary's time. He'd go to more important meetings, with more senior people, and have the opportunity to impress them, and if he did he might be promoted again and then... well, of course eventually he'd be running the whole office. It's important to have a dream: otherwise you might notice where you really are.


How's that working for you?

It follows that there are two ways for the nature and use of human power to change. One is that an order might issue from the palace, a command unto the people saying “It is thus.” But the other, the more certain, the more inevitable, is that those thousand points of light should each send a new message. When the people change, the palace cannot hold.

Anyway, don't forget to vote.

The world is the way it is now because of five thousand years of ingrained structures of power based on darker times when things were much more violent...But we don't have to act that way now. We can think and imagine ourselves differently once we understand what we've based our ideas on.

Cue the fucking idealists. One or another cure being worse than one or another disease.

It’s enough for her to know, sitting in there in the dark, that if she really wanted to she could get out. The knowledge is as good as freedom.

Next think you know they're dumping her in a hospice.

Just like a man, she says. Does not know how to be silent, thinks we always want to hear what he has to say, always talking talking talking, interrupting his betters.

Just like a woman in other words. Only more of them.
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 Jan 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Mary Roach

Sudden loud noise triggers a cluster of split-second protective reflexes known as the startle pattern. You blink to protect your eyes, while your upper body swivels toward the sound to assess the threat. The arms bend and retract to the chest, the shoulders hunch, and the knees bend, all of which combine to make you a smaller, less noticeable target. Snapping the limbs in tight to the torso may also serve to protect your vital innards. You are your own human shield. Siddle says hunching may have evolved to protect the neck: a holdover from caveman days. A big cat stalking prey will jump the last twenty feet and come down on the back and shoulders and bite through the neck.


Cue Satyr?

Death. It doesn’t have to be boring.

Hell, it can be downright terrifying.

Téléclitoridienne means simply “female of the distant clitoris,” but it had a lovely, aristocratic ring to it—calling to mind a career woman in heels and sweater set, cabling reports from her home in Biarritz. At the very least, it had a nicer ring to it than “frigid.”

We need more words like that, don't we?

...there are naturally large individual differences in the chemical makeup of people’s saliva.

I never doubted it.

And finally, my gratitude to UM 006, H, Mr. Blank, Ben, the big guy in the sweatpants, and the owners of the forty heads. You are dead, but you’re not forgotten.

Among other things, no one will ever say that about me.

Lacking any scientific means of pinning down the soul, the first anatomists settled on generative primacy. What shows up first in the embryo must be most important and therefore most likely to hold the soul. The trouble with this particular avenue of learning, known as ensoulment, was that early first trimester human embryos were difficult to come by. Classical scholars of ensoulment, Aristotle among them, attempted to get around the problem by examining the larger, more easily obtained poultry embryo. To quote Vivian Nutton, author of The Anatomy of the Soul in Early Renaissance Medicine and the Human Embryo, analogies drawn from the inspection of hen's eggs foundered on the subject that man was not a chicken.

So, do chickens have souls?
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 Jan 18, 2018 9:21 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

Enlightenment: Fact over fiction
Modernism: The facts are the fictions
Postmodernism: There are no facts; there are no fictions
Post-Postmodernism: It's a fact that your fictions aren't marketable


You knew that money would get in there somewhere.

To truly love wisdom you must
Kant: set it free
Hegel: set it free and watch it come back
Nietzsche: set it free, watch it come back, and kill it


And that's before eternal recurrence.

Monday mornings I wake up, get a cup of coffee, and reflect on
Schelling: the infinite pain of thought
Kierkegaard: the haunting creep of unbounded anxiety
Kristeva: the abject horror of knowing I'm still alive
Žižek: how best to boost my sales on Amazon


Obviously: Kristeva.
If only now and then.


Judge a person by Voltaire: the questions they ask
Nietzsche: the questions they pretend not to answer
Heidegger: the strength of their conviction that a question asked is a question answered


Now all we need is an actual question.

Philosophy teaches you all the shortcuts, if by shortcuts you mean abyssal tumbles into aporetic voids.

Clearly, that's what I'm here for.

Ontology: It is what it is
Epistemology: I know what I know
History: We know what it was
Politics: Whatever!


Then cue the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
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 Jan 19, 2018 12:07 am

Jordan B. Peterson

You're going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don't do. You don't get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you're going to take. That's it.


On the other hand, money talks. That's always true.

The purpose of life is finding the largest burden that you can bear and bearing it.

If, for example, you're a fool.

Of course, my socialist colleagues and I weren’t out to hurt anyone – quite the reverse. We were out to improve things – but we were going to start with other people.

Just as they aim to start with you.

Don’t use language instrumentally.

On the other hande, try not to use language instrumentally.

There's a class of things to be afraid of: it's "those things that you should be afraid of". Those are the things that go bump in the night, right? You're always exposed to them when you go to horror movies, especially if they're not the gore type of horror movie. They're always hinting at something that's going on outside of your perceptual sphere, and they frighten you because you don't know what's out there. For that the Blair Witch Project was a really good example, because nothing ever happens in that movie but it's frightenting and not gory. It plays on the fact tht you do have a category of Those Things Of Which You Should Be Afraid. So it's a category, frightening things.

And we all know the one on top. Though it's hardly ever the same thing.

The things that pose the greatest threats to your survival are the most real things.

And we all know the one on top. Though it's hardly ever the same thing.
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 Jan 19, 2018 8:18 pm

Robert M. Sapolsky

Genes are rarely about inevitability, especially when it comes to humans, the brain, or behavior. They're about vulnerability, propensities, tendencies.


Imagine then what that makes memes.

We live well enough to have the luxury to get ourselves sick from purely social, psychological stress.

On the other hand, sick is sick.

The brain is heavily influenced by genes. But from birth through young adulthood, the part of the human brain that most defines us (frontal cortex) is less a product of the genes with which you started life than of what life has thrown at you. Because it is the least constrained by genes and most sculpted by experience. This must be so, to be the supremely complex social species that we are. Ironically, it seems that the genetic program of human brain development has evolved to, as much as possible, free the frontal cortext from genes.

Note to Satyr: Uh-oh.

In other words, the default state is to trust, and what the amygdala does is learn vigilance and distrust.

ASAP as it were.

Testosterone makes people cocky, egocentric, and narcissistic.

Men in particular.

if you’re stressed like a normal mammal in an acute physical crisis, the stress response is lifesaving. But if instead you chronically activate the stress response for reasons of psychological stress, your health suffers.

Cue the postmodern world.
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 Jan 20, 2018 12:32 am

Anatole France

Within every one of us there lives both a Don Quixote and a Sancho Panza to whom we hearken by turns; and though Sancho most persuades us, it is Don Quixote that we find ourselves obliged to admire...


Either him or [for some] Hannibal Lector.

I never go into the country for a change of air and a holiday. I always go instead into the eighteenth century.

Either that or [for some] the age of the dinosaurs.

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after your own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.

In other words, if they let you.

As to the kind of truth one finds in books, it is a truth that enables us sometimes to discern what things are not, without ever enabling us to discover what they are.

Cue the serious philosophers. Though not just here.

Nature teaches us to devour each other and gives us the example of all the crimes and all the vices which the social state corrects or conceals. We should love virtue; but it is well to know that this is simply and solely a convenient expedient invented by men in order to live comfortably together. What we call morality is merely a desperate enterprise, a forlorn hope, on the part of our fellow creatures to reverse the order of the universe, which is strife and murder, the blind interplay of hostile forces. She destroys herself, and the more I think of things, the more convinced I am that the universe is mad. Theologians and philosophers, who make God the author of Nature and the architect of the universe, show Him to us as illogical and ill-conditioned. They declare Him benevolent, because they are afraid of Him, but they are forced to admit that His acts are atrocious. They attribute a malignity to him seldom to be found even in mankind. And that is how they get human beings to adore Him. For our miserable race would never lavish worship on just and benevolent deities from which they would have nothing to fear; they would feel only a barren gratitude for their benefits. Without purgatory and hell, your good God would be a mighty poor creature.

You either start here or you don't. But who with any intelligence at all doesn't finally end up here.

All writers of confessions from Augustine on down, have always remained a little in love with their sins.

And then there are those who would rather revel in them.
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 Jan 20, 2018 8:20 pm

Neil Gaiman

The wise man knows when to keep silent. Only the fool tells all he knows.


More to the point, only the fool thinks he knows it all to tell.

One thing I've learned: you can know anything, it's all there, you just have to find it.

Anyone here actually believe that?

They might be dirty, and cheap, and their food might taste like shit, but at least they didn’t speak in clichés.

Or groots.

The moment that you feel, just possibly, you are walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind, and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself...That is the moment, you might be starting to get it right.

Then you only need the balls to act on it.

I believe that while all human life is sacred there’s nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system.

So, do they live or die?

The men in the room suddenly realized that they didn’t want to know her better. She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful: something to be admired from a distance, not up close.

So don't forget your binoculars.
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 Jan 21, 2018 12:18 am

Leonardo da Vinci

Why does the eye see more clearly when asleep than the imagination when awake?


In other words, if yours does.

He who wishes to be rich within a day, will be hanged within a year.

New thread: How might that still be applicable today?

Marriage is like putting your hand into a bag of snakes in the hope of pulling out an eel.

Point taken. Well, once I figure out what it is.

The acquisition of knowledge is always of use to the intellect, because it may thus drive out useless things and retain the good. For nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.

Even though [as we all know] lots of things are.

Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.

Try to imagine the world without dissimulation!
And not just [here and now] in the United States Senate.


Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory.

Or counting his money.
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 Jan 21, 2018 8:11 pm

Terry Pratchett

The trouble with thinking was that, once you started, you went on doing it.


Into the wee hours of the morning for example.

...no one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away...

Unless perhaps dead is dead.

One day I'll work out what it is you are saying, my lad, and then you'll be in trouble.

Of course that could take years.

We were supposed to be cruel, cunning, heartless and terrible. But this much I can tell you, we never burned and tortured and ripped one another apart and called it morality.

In the name of, for example, national security.

The place where the story happened was a world on the back of four elephants perched on the shell of a giant turtle. That's the advantage of space. It's big enough to hold practically anything, and so, eventually, it does.

People think that it is strange to have a turtle ten thousand miles long and an elephant more than two thousand miles tall, which just shows that the human brain is ill-adapted for thinking and was probably originally designed for cooling the blood. It believes mere size is amazing.

There's nothing amazing about size. Turtles are amazing, and elephants are quite astonishing. But the fact that there's a big turtle is far less amazing than the fact that there is a turtle anywhere.


And [so far] going all the way back to nothing at all. If you believe that story.

Multiple exclamation marks, he went on, shaking his head, are a sure sign of a diseased mind.

Not counting the times you will never have enough of them.
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 Jan 21, 2018 10:39 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“One should always aim at being interesting, rather than exact.” Voltaire


Let's at least agree that one can take this too far.

“The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.” Voltaire

No, not just the objectivists.

"Anyone who has to call himself a genius...isn’t." Stephen King

Who else: Don Trump.

“All the darkness in the world can't put out the light of one candle.” Confucius

Let's file this one under, "it's so deep it's meaningless".

“Few people at the beginning of the nineteenth century needed an adman to tell them what they wanted.” John Kenneth Galbraith

Let alone what they needed.

“Enjoy life. This is not a dress rehearsal.” Friedrich Nietzsche

Let's pray that it 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 Jan 22, 2018 12:21 am

Joseph Heller

He began to wonder with genuine concern just what sort of shithead the Pentagon had foisted on him.


Cue Colonel Haydon and the silver star.

Clevinger really thought he was right, but Yossarian had proof, because strangers he didn't know shot at him with cannons every time he flew up into the air to drop bombs on them, and it wasn't funny at all

Just following orders as it were.

Appleby was as good at shooting crap as he was at playing Ping-Pong, and he was as good at playing Ping-Pong as he was at everything else. Everything Appleby did, he did well. Appleby was a fair-haired boy from Iowa who believed in God, Motherhood, and the American Way of Life, without ever thinking about any of them, and everybody who knew him liked him.

I hate that son of a bitch, Yossarian growled.


This either resonates or it doesn't.

Death was irreversible, he suspected, and he began to think he was going to lose.

Next up: taxes.

He wondered often how he would ever recognize the first chill, flush, twinge, ache, belch, sneeze, stain, lethargy, vocal slip, loss of balance or lapse of memory that would signal the inevitable beginning of the inevitable end.

THE end one suspects.

He mashed hundreds of cakes of GI soap into the sweet potatoes just to show that people have the taste of Philistines and don’t know the difference between good and bad.

He thought: That explains a lot.
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 Jan 22, 2018 6:04 pm

C.G. Jung

For two personalities to meet is like mixing two chemical substances: if there is any combination at all, both are transformed.


When, instead, neither are.

Every individual needs revolution, inner division, overthrow of the existing order, and renewal, but not by forcing them upon his neighbors under the hypocritical cloak of Christian love or the sense of social responsibility or any of the other beautiful euphemisms for unconscious urges to personal power.

How then?

But what will he do when he sees only too clearly why his patient is ill; when he sees that it arises from his having no love, but only sexuality; no faith, because he is afraid to grope in the dark; no hope, because he is disillusioned by the world and by life; and no understanding, because he has failed to read the meaning of his own existence?

Among others, he means me. And [occasionally] I agree.

Neurosis is the suffering of a soul which has not discovered its meaning.

Not counting the neurotic who don't have one.

...the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being.

In the face of, among other things, mere not being.

What we do not make conscious emerges later as fate.

Some examples please.
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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