a thread for mundane ironists

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:07 pm

D.H. Lawrence

They lived freely among the students, they argued with the men over philosophical, sociological and artistic matters, they were just as good as the men themselves: only better, since they were women.


They would be, wouldn't they?

The human being is a most curious creature. He thinks he has got one soul, and he has got dozens.

Some go to Heaven, some go to Hell.

I only want one thing of men, and that is, that they should leave me alone.

Oh, and by the way, thanks.

The profoundest of all sensualities
is the sense of truth
and the next deepest sensual experience
is the sense of justice.


Not counting reality of course. Mine if not yours.

What one does in one's art, that is the breath of one's being. What one does in one's life, that is a bagatelle for the outsiders to fuss about.

And no he doesn't mean the game.

For she had adopted the standard of the young: what there was in the moment was everything. And moments followed one another without necessarily belonging to one another.

Or [increasingly] the old.
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 Feb 26, 2018 12:34 am

Diane Ackerman

In the rain forest, no niche lies unused. No emptiness goes unfilled. No gasp of sunlight goes untrapped. In a million vest pockets, a million life-forms quietly tick. No other place on earth feels so lush. Sometimes we picture it as an echo of the original Garden of Eden—a realm ancient, serene, and fertile, where pythons slither and jaguars lope. But it is mainly a world of cunning and savage trees. Truant plants will not survive. The meek inherit nothing. Light is a thick yellow vitamin they would kill for, and they do. One of the first truths one learns in the rain forest is that there is nothing fainthearted or wimpy about plants.


Trees in a dog eat dog world. And not a meme in sight.

A life like an intricately woven basket, frayed, worn, broken, unraveled, reworked, reknit from many of its original pieces... Life can survive in the constant shadow of illness, and even rise to moments of rampant joy, but the shadow remains, and one has to make space for it.

A life like that, sure. A life like lots of other things too.

Don't think of night as the absence of day; think of it as a kind of freedom. Turned away from our sun, we see the dawning of far flung galaxies. We are no longer sun blinded to the star coated universe we inhabit.

Next up: Dawn another day.

Out of the blue, Paul reported feeling bouts of calm euphoria, a mystical sense of all's-right-with-his-life-and-the-universe, a bright future in sight. ... I knew well the state of vigorous calm he meant, a frequent visitor throughout my own life.

He pondered: Have I ever felt like that?

Antonina felt convinced that people needed to connect more with their animal nature, but also that animals long for human company, reach out for human attention.

Actually, almost no animals do.

Devising a vocabulary for gardening is like devising a vocabulary for sex. There are the correct Latin names, but most people invent euphemisms. Those who refer to plants by Latin name are considered more expert, if a little pedantic.

If not a lot pedantic.
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 Feb 26, 2018 5:57 pm

John Stuart Mill

Persons of genius, it is true, are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow.


Let's run this by, among others, Don Trump.

A party of order or stability, and a party of progress or reform, are both necessary elements of a healthy state of political life.

On the other hand, money still talks. And more than occasionally screams.

The human faculties of perception, judgment, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice. He who does anything because it is the custom, makes no choice.

Well, he does choose to opt for the custom.

No one can be a great thinker who does not recognize that as a thinker it is his first duty to follow his intellect to whatever conclusions it may lead.

Right, and look where that got me.

So long as an opinion is strongly rooted in the feelings, it gains rather than loses in stability by having a preponderating weight of argument against it.

Isn't that [still] something?!

Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.

By all means then make that 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 » Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:33 pm

The Dead Author

So a postmodernist walks into a bar...Postmodernist: "Can I tell you a story?" Bartender: "Sure." Postmodernist: "So a postmodernist walks into a bar. Postmodernist: 'Can I tell you a story?' Bartender: 'Sure.' Postmodernist: 'So a postmodernist walks into a bar...


And then its turtles all the way down.

If ignorant people really were confident they wouldn't constantly try to rationalize their beliefs.

On the other hand, who doesn't have to rationalize their beliefs?

Don't let civilians have assault rifles, let soldiers have them to kill civilians.
Don't let teachers have guns, they belong to cops to kill teens.
You don't need a silenced pistol for protection, use a shotgun!
Welcome to American arguments for gun control.


Hey, here it's a man's world.

Your best life isn't good enough.

Perhaps, but it only really has to be better than yours.

Socrates walks into a bar, according to Plato.

And the bit about the hemlock?

Yes, American teachers should be armed. Arms are important for pointing at things on the blackboard, making things on a desk more reachable, and operating your hands while writings. Arms are great. Teachers should have two.

Legged too.
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 Feb 27, 2018 12:41 am

Mary Roach

she has talked to cancer patients whose taste receptors have been destroyed by radiation treatments. The situation is well beyond unpleasant. Your body is saying, ‘It’s not food, it’s cardboard,’ and it won’t let you swallow. No matter how much you tell your brain that you need to eat to survive, you’ll gag.


Once more: What was God thinking?

...as dogs rely more on smell than taste in making choices about what to eat and how vigorously. (Pat Moeller estimates that for dogs, the ratio for how much aroma matters to how much taste matters is 70/30. For cats, the ratio is more like 50/50.) The takeaway lesson is that if the palatant smells appealing, the dog will dive in with instant and obvious zeal, and the owner will assume the food is a hit. In reality it may have only smelled like a hit.

Actually I didn't know that.

No engineer could design something as multifunctional and fine-tuned as an anus. To call someone an asshole is really bragging him up.

Note this first though.

Funny thing happened on the way to the moon: not much, wrote Apollo 17 astronaut Gene Cernan. Should have brought some crossword puzzles.

Well, it could be a true story.

It’s one thing to get enough evidence to convince yourself, but it’s a whole other matter to produce a demonstration that would be acceptable to a community of scientists.

Just out of curiosity, has anyone actually accomplished this?

Here is what William Beaumont had to say about saliva: “Its legitimate and only use, in my opinion, is to lubricate the food to facilitate the passage of the bolus through the esophagus.” Beaumont was right about some things, but he was dead wrong about spit.

For example, out on the mound, the spit ball.
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 Feb 27, 2018 5:50 pm

Malcolm Lowry

In the war to come correspondents would assume unheard of importance, plunging through flame to feed the public its little gobbets of dehydrated excrement.


Not quite bread and circuses, perhaps, but certainly headed in that general direction.

Not that it was not a nightmare. It was, but of a very special kind he was scarcely old enough to appreciate.

I'll bet he's old enough now.

It's amazing when you come to think of it how the human spirit seems to blossom in the shadow of the abattoir!

And few beasts [including occasionally ourselves] seem to be exmpt.

Every man must ceaselessly struggle upwards. What was life but a warfare and a stranger's sojourn?

And now every woman. Or, for that matter, every transgender.

Hell, he finished absurdly. Because...He produced a twenty-peso note and laid it on the table. I like it, he called to them, through the open window, from outside. Cervantes stood behind the bar, with scared eyes, holding the cockerel. I love hell. I can’t wait to get back there. In fact I’m running, I’m almost back there already.

Perhaps there's two of them.

In Arizona, a 1000-acre forest of junipers suddenly withered and died. Foresters are unable to explain it, but the Indians say the trees died of fear but they are not in agreement as to what caused the fright.

Insects probably.
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 Feb 27, 2018 8:42 pm

tiny nietzsche

the void who cried wolf


Fat chance?

my mother always said, if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, please sit next to me

We can call it a club.

Maybe the serial killer has a point.

His for example.

I want my postmodernism to mean something.

Take mine then.

a burning bridge gathers no moss

Not unlike a rolling stone.

exile on hemlock street

But only if you Know Thyself.
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 Feb 28, 2018 12:07 am

Robert M. Sapolsky

In other words, the more genomically complex the organism, the larger the percentage of the genome devoted to gene regulation by the environment.


That can't be good, right Satyr?

The candidate gene approaches show that the effect of a single gene on a behavior is typically tiny. In other words, having the “warrior gene” variant of MAO probably has less effect on your behavior than does believing that you have it.

That can't be true, right Satyr?

There’s also subliminal cuing about beauty. From an early age, in both sexes and across cultures, attractive people are judged to be smarter, kinder, and more honest. We’re more likely to vote for attractive people or hire them, less likely to convict them of crimes, and, if they are convicted, more likely to dole out shorter sentences.

Perhaps we can now call it common sense. With all that this will imply.

What happens when children observe domestic violence, warfare, a gang murder, a school massacre? For weeks afterward there is impaired concentration and impulse control. Witnessing gun violence doubles a child’s likelihood of serious violence within the succeeding two years. And adulthood brings the usual increased risks of depression, anxiety, and aggression. Consistent with that, violent criminals are more likely than nonviolent ones to have witnessed violence as kids.

Perhaps we can now call it common sense. With all that this will imply.

...call the game the “Wall Street Game,” and people become less cooperative. Calling it the “Community Game” does the opposite.”

In other words, less autonomously?

Thus, for our purposes, genes aren’t about inevitability. Instead they’re about context-dependent tendencies, propensities, potentials, and vulnerabilities. All embedded in the fabric of the other factors, biological and otherwise, that fill these pages.

Damn, it would have to be really, really complicated.
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 Feb 28, 2018 6:11 pm

Neil Gaiman

It's astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself into, if one works at it. And astonishing how much trouble one can get oneself out of, if one assumes that everything will, somehow or other, work out for the best.


So, are you astonished? Unlike, for example, me.

Some things may change, said Wednesday, abruptly. People, however... People stay the same.

Really, imagine actually believing that.

Read the books you love, tell people about authors you like, and don’t worry about it.

Anything here tried that?

On the whole, stories don't write themselves.

How about wikipedia entries?

If you have something specific and visible to fear, rather than something that could be anything, it is easier.

Trust me: Not always.

I could be blindfolded and dropped into the deepest ocean and I would know where to find you. I could be buried a hundred miles underground and I would know where you are.

Among other things, bullshit.
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 Feb 28, 2018 11:57 pm

so sad today

gave up on everything but then forgot to stay given up


But now I remember.

beautiful things: dying in my sleep

And, with any luck, tonight.

i'm hungry but not sure if i deserve to exist: the musical

Let's cast it.

it was the best of dicks, it was the worst of dicks

Or: it was the best of holes, it was the worst of holes

I want to get to know you
[gets to know me]
oh


Or [for some of us]: Oh shit!

your natural beauty is getting on my nerves

Worse: your youth.
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 Mar 01, 2018 12:15 am

Leonardo da Vinci

Most people, if you give them a book, they sniff around on it awhile, then try to eat it.


Come on, did he really say this?
Not that I doubt it.


Just as food eaten without appetite is a tedious nourishment, so does study without zeal damage the memory by not assimilating what it absorbs.

Tell that to the folks who run the schools.

Love is something so ugly that the human race would die out if lovers could see what they were doing.

On the other hand, what's that next to unrequited love?

Painting is mute poetry, and poetry is blind painting.

Maybe, but is it any good?

Human subtlety will never devise an invention more beautiful, more simple or more direct than does nature because in her inventions nothing is lacking, and nothing is superfluous.

In other words, it is what it is.

There is nothing which deceives us as much as our own judgement.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:42 pm

Edgar Allan Poe

The best things in life make you sweaty.


Not to mention the worst things.

I wish I could write as mysterious as a cat.

Probably Schroeder's

And so being young and dipped in folly I fell in love with melancholy.

As you get older though folly has less and less to do with it.

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.

Not unlike our past existence.

Invisible things are the only realities.

No, you tell me what that means.

The true genius shudders at incompleteness — imperfection — and usually prefers silence to saying the something which is not everything that should be said.

Sounds more like a fool 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 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:15 am

Saul D. Alinsky

The history of prevailing status quos shows decay and decadence infecting the opulent materialism of the Haves. The spiritual life of the Haves is a ritualistic justification of their possessions.


Cue [among others] the assholes from Boiler Room.

The opposition’s means, used against us, are always immoral and our means are always ethical and rooted in the highest of human values.

Going back [so far] to when we once lived in caves.

There can be no such thing as a successful traitor, for if one succeeds he becomes a founding father.

Yep, that is one way to look at it.

You regard yourself as tolerant, and in that one adjective you most fittingly describe yourself. You really don’t like people you tolerate them.

Not counting all the ones you don't of course.

It hurt me to see the American army with drawn bayonets advancing on American boys and girls. But the answer I gave the young radicals seemed to me the only realistic one: “Do one of three things. One, go find a wailing wall and feel sorry for yourselves. Two, go psycho and start bombing—but this will only swing people to the right. Three, learn a lesson. Go home, organize, build power and at the next convention, you be the delegates.

Let's note 4 through 10.

These are the days when man has his hands on the sublime while he is up to his hips in the muck of madness.

Back then maybe, but now we're at least up to our necks.
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 Mar 02, 2018 4:00 am

Philosophy Tweets

“We are what we repeatively do. Success is not an action but a habit.” Aristotle


Clearly [for some of us] that can't be good.

“I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Confucius

Sometimes even when you do it wrong.

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?” Albert Camus

As [no doubt] Adolph Hitler pointed out.

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

Let's form a club.

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

And what could be simpler than a brain that points this out?

"How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.” Marcus Aurelius

Noted. But then what?
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 Mar 02, 2018 7:44 pm

C.G. Jung

God has fallen out of containment in religion and into human hearts—God is incarnating. Our whole unconscious is in an uproar from the God Who wants to know and to be known.


Perhaps not your God though.

I am astonished, disappointed, pleased with myself. I am distressed, depressed, rapturous. I am all these things at once and cannot add up the sum.

Not even after consulting with Sigmund Freud. Or for that matter with Sabina Spielrein.

A true symbol appears only when there is a need to express what thought cannot think or what is only divined or felt.

Our true symbols of course not theirs.

Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself.

Examples please.

Christians often ask why God does not speak to them, as he is believed to have done in former days. When I hear such questions, it always makes me think of the rabbi who asked how it could be that God often showed himself to people in the olden days whereas nowadays nobody ever sees him. The rabbi replied: "Nowadays there is no longer anybody who can bow low enough."

This answer hits the nail on the head. We are so captivated by and entangled in our subjective consciousness that we have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions. The Buddhist discards the world of unconscious fantasies as useless illusions; the Christian puts his Church and his Bible between himself and his unconscious; and the rational intellectual does not yet know that his consciousness is not his total psyche.


On the other hand, what God?

The greatest and most important problems of life are all fundamentally insoluble. They can never be solved but only outgrown.

Unless of course you die first.
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 Mar 03, 2018 12:08 am

T.S. Eliot

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us...and we drown.


You know, if drowning is even an option.

Poetry is not a turning loose of emotion, but an escape from emotion; it is not the expression of personality but an escape from personality. But, of course, only those who have personality and emotion know what it means to want to escape from these.

Trust me: It might not be that for you.

Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don't mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.

Lecture them about objective morality. Or God for that matter.

Distracted from distraction by distraction

Whatever works I always say.

Love is most nearly itself
When here and now cease to matter.


What the hell does that even mean?
Or: What the hell could that even mean?


Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future
And time future contained in time past.


Anyone here care to pin that 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 » Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:09 pm

Ali Smith

You can’t expect to live in the world like the world’s your private myth.


Not counting those that do.

Everywhere’s a here, isn’t it?

Though for others, a there.

Mind and matter are mysterious and, when they come together, bounteous.

And that's just here on Earth.

Are we at mercy of technology or is technology at mercy of us?

Let's just call it a point of view.

His little sister is brilliant. She is at her desk deep in a book, half-opened books all over her desk, all over the floor and the bed. She likes to read, she reads all the time, and she prefers to be reading several things at once, she says it gives endless perspective and dimension.

Not only that but she never actually had to do anything.
Else for example.


She’d opened the book she bought today. She’d started to read, from the beginning, quite quietly, out loud. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. The words had acted like a charm. They’d released it all, in seconds. They’d made everything happening stand just far enough away. It was nothing less than magic. Who needs a passport? Who am I? Where am I? What am I? I’m reading.

Like you're doing now.
On the other hand, what to make of 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 Mar 03, 2018 9:36 pm

God

The reason evangelicals don’t believe in evolution is that it hasn’t happened to them yet.


And He would know.

I'm not much of a people God.

Right, like all the other animals would agree.

The more things don't change, the more they stay insane.

Down here He means.

EXCERPT FROM THE WORLD'S SECOND-MOST POPULAR MORAL CODE
"The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger...is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides..." --Quran 5:33


So, the jihadis are right!

EXCERPT FROM THE WORLD'S MOST POPULAR MORAL CODE
"If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity." —Deuteronomy 25:11-12


Let's run this by, among others, the Pope.

EXCERPT FROM A BOOK IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM
"If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her." --Deuteronomy 22:28-29


Today a shekel is worth approximately 0.29 dollars. You do the math.
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 Mar 04, 2018 12:23 am

Vincent van Gogh

I put my heart and soul into my work, and I have lost my mind in the process.


And then to top it off most of the fame was posthumous. On the other hand...

What am I in the eyes of most people — a nonentity, an eccentric, or an unpleasant person — somebody who has no position in society and will never have; in short, the lowest of the low. All right, then — even if that were absolutely true, then I should one day like to show by my work what such an eccentric, such a nobody, has in his heart. That is my ambition, based less on resentment than on love in spite of everything, based more on a feeling of serenity than on passion. Though I am often in the depths of misery, there is still calmness, pure harmony and music inside me. I see paintings or drawings in the poorest cottages, in the dirtiest corners. And my mind is driven towards these things with an irresistible momentum.

And that's not nothing, right?

I am seeking, I am striving, I am in it with all my heart.

And that's not nothing either, is it?

The sadness will last forever.

No, really, what if it actually did?

I try more and more to be myself, caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.

The gall of the man!

It is with the reading of books the same as with looking at pictures; one must, without doubt, without hesitations, with assurance, admire what is beautiful.

Providing of course that you actually agree with the words being written.
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 Mar 04, 2018 7:35 pm

Kurt Andersen

The antisharia movement lobbied states to pass statutes and constitutional amendments banning the use of sharia in their courts and legal systems, a fantasy solution to an imaginary problem, almost like a government plan to prevent a zombie apocalypse.


Now that will stir up debate.

We have fiction mimicking truth, and truth mimicking fiction. We have a dangerous overlap, a dangerous blur. And in all probability it is not deliberate. In fact, that is part of the problem.

Let's pin down what philosophy mimics.

In other words, America was founded by a nutty religious cult.

Does that then explain a nutjob like Don Trump?

it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing. It is my job to create universes…. I consider that the matter of defining what is real—that is a serious topic, even a vital topic. And in there somewhere is the other topic, the definition of the authentic human. Because the bombardment of pseudo-realities begins to produce inauthentic humans very quickly, spurious humans—as fake as the data pressing at them from all sides….Fake realities will create fake humans. Or, fake humans will generate fake realities and then sell them to other humans, turning them, eventually, into forgeries of themselves. So we wind up with fake humans inventing fake realities and then peddling them to other fake humans. It is just a very large version of Disneyland.

Let's at least agree this barely scratches the surface.

Extreme religious and quasi-religious beliefs and practices, Christian and New Age and otherwise, didn’t subside but grew and thrived—and came to seem unexceptional. Relativism, the idea that nothing is any more correct or true than anything else, became entrenched in academia—tenured, you could say. But it was by no means limited to the ivory tower. The intellectuals’ new outlook was as much a symptom as a cause of the smog of subjectivity that now hung thick over the whole American mindscape. After the 1960s, truth was relative, and criticizing became equal to victimizing, and individual liberty absolute, and everyone was permitted to believe or disbelieve whatever they wished. The distinction between opinion and fact was crumbling on many fronts. As the conservative elite positioned itself as the defenders of rigor against the onslaught of relativism, its members preferred to ignore the unwashed masses on their side, the reactionary hoi polloi activated by America’s extreme new believe-whatever-you-want MO. Anti-Establishment relativism had erupted on the left, but it gave license to everyone—in particular, to the far right and in the Christian fever swamps.

Oh shit, we never thought of that.

...it will require a struggle to try to make America reality-based again.

That was than, now it will take a miracle.
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 Mar 04, 2018 10:08 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“Misfortune nobly born is good fortune.” Marcus Aurelius


I think that perhaps I know what he means. At a distance as it were.

“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.” Seneca

Of course that's where I come in.

“No great thing is created suddenly.” Epictetus

Let alone out of nothing at all.

“I had wanted life not to bother me too much, and had succeeded - and how pitiful that was.” Julian Barnes

Yeah, I used to think that too.

"Eternity…It has nothing to do with life, I thought; it is the contrary to all life. It is something limitless, endless, a realm of death which the living must look into with horror. Was it here that I was to dwell?" Pär Lagerkvist

Let's ask him now.

“Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.” Seneca

If only day after day after day.
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 Mar 05, 2018 12:09 am

D.H. Lawrence,

It was as if thousands and thousands of little roots and threads of consciousness in him and her had grown together into a tangled mass, till they could crowd no more, and the plant was dying. Now quietly, subtly, she was unravelling the tangle of his consciousness and hers, breaking the threads gently, one by one, with patience and impatience to get clear.


Or, as others call it, free.

The novel is the one bright book of life. Books are not life. They are only tremulations on the ether. But the novel as a tremulation can make the whole man alive tremble.

True, but it still pales next to music.

One could laugh at the world better if it didn't mix tender kindliness with its brutality.

Me, I'll stick to snickering.

When we really want to go for something better, we shall smash the old. Until then, any sort of proposal, or making proposals, is no more than a tiresome game for self-important people.

And how they abound here! Though, sure, include me among them.

But the act, called the sexual act, is not for the depositing of seed. It is for leaping off into the unknown, as from a cliff's edge, like Sappho into the sea.

Or, by all means, just skip to the orgasm.

Their whole life depends on spending money, and now they’ve got none to spend. That’s our civilization and our education: bring up the masses to depend entirely on spending money, and then the money gives out.

Thank God [if there is one] that mine won'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 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 6:14 pm

Diane Ackerman

Suffering took hold of me like a magic spell abolishing all differences between friends and strangers.


You either speak this language or you don't.

No matter how politely one says it, we owe our existence to the farts of blue-green algae.

Technically in other words.

Below us somewhere in the gelatinous phantasmagoria of churning blue, the whales wouldn't be much aware of the storm.

On the other hand, they can't hold their breath forever.

Much of life becomes background, but it is the province of art to throw buckets of light into the shadows and make life a new again.

Either that or throw buckets of shadows into the light.

Words are small shapes in the gorgeous chaos of the world.

Gorgeous, right.

The idea of safety had shrunk into particles - one snug moment, then the next. Meanwhile, the brain piped fugues of worry and staged mind-theaters full of tragedies and triumphs, because unfortunately, the fear of death does wonders to focus the mind, inspire creativity, and heightens the senses. Trusting one's hunches only seems gamble if one has time for seem; otherwise the brain goes on autopilot and trades the elite craft of analysis for the best rapid insights that float up from its danger files and ancient bag of tricks.

And there it is, coming for me, coming for 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 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 12:10 am

John Stuart Mill

It's hardly possible to overstate the value, in the present state of human improvement, of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves, and with modes of thought and action unlike those with which they are familiar. Such communication has always been one of the primary sources of progress.


That or wars.

The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.

The Gods, maybe?

But these few are the salt of the earth; without them, human life would become a stagnant pool. Not only is it they who introduce good things which did not before exist, it is they who keep the life in those which already existed.

You worship yours, we'll worship ours.

He who lets the world, or his own portion of it, choose his plan of life for him, has no need of any other faculty than the ape-like one of imitation. He who chooses his plan for himself, employs all his faculties.

Like this can only be a good thing.

The idea that truth always triumphs over persecution is one of those pleasant falsehoods, which most experience refutes. History is teeming with instances of truth put down by persecution. If not put down forever, it may be set back for centuries.

Tell me that's not the embodiment of "human all too human".

Despotism is a legitimate mode of government in dealing with barbarians, provided the end be their improvement.

First, however, let's decide once and for all who the barbarians are. And whether or not instead to simply exterminate 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 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:40 pm

Amy Chua

Do you know what a foreign accent is? It's a sign of bravery.


Let's note a few contexts.

Nothing is fun until you're good at it.

So, are philosophers the exception? Let's ask the Kids.

But just because you love something, I added to myself, doesn't mean you'll ever be great. Not if you don't work. Most people stink at the things they love.

So, are philosophers the exception? Let's ask the Kids.

As a purely mathematical fact, people who sleep less live more.

For some though [like insomniacs] in agony.

Every day that you don't practice is a day you're getting worse.

Okay, so how is that different from not getting better?

There are all kinds of psychological disorders in the West that don't exist in Asia.

How about the other way 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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