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 Nov 18, 2018 10:04 pm

Werner Twertzog

Money and power do not bring happiness. Nothing brings happiness.


Let's file this one [clearly] under "one man's opinion".

Death is the new 60.

Uh-oh.

No, I shall not "call Saul."

And, with any luck, that will snowball into a revolution.

Your novel is stupid; your painting is banal; your obscurity is well deserved.

Of course that could be anyone of us.

I begin every day as if it is a day on which I shall be shot.

Or a day on which I shall shoot someone else instead.

Ladies, find a man who looks at you the way a deranged penguin looks at the open water and the feeding grounds, then decides to walk a thousand miles towards the mountains, facing certain death.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:16 am

Russell Banks

The received truth of history is shot through and falsified by unknown secrets carried to the grave.


I know I'll take my share.

We are the planet, fully as much as water, earth, fire and air are the planet, and if the planet survives, it will only be through heroism. Not occasional heroism, a remarkable instance of it here and there, but constant heroism, systematic heroism, heroism as governing principle.

How ridiculous is this, he asked.

They were totally alone, those kids, like each had been accidentally sent to earth from a distant planet to live among adult humans and be dependent on them for everything because compared to the adult humans they were extremely fragile creatures and didn't know the language or how anything here worked and hadn't arrived with any money. And because they were like forbidden by the humans to use their old language they'd forgotten it so they couldn't be much company or help to each other either. They couldn't even talk about the old days and so pretty soon they forgot there ever were any old days and all there was now was life on earth with adult humans who called them children and acted toward them like they owned them and like they were objects not living creatures with souls.

Not to be confused with Kids of course.

Public libraries are the sole community centers left in America. The degree to which a branch of the local library is connected to the larger culture is a reflection of the degree to which the community itself is connected to the larger culture.

I can't help but wonder if he has ever actually been in a public library. In the ones around here folks seem no less isolated from each other.

When you have never done a thing before and that thing is not simply and clearly right or wrong, you frequently do not know if it is a cruel thing, you just go ahead and do it. Maybe later you'll be able to determine whether you acted cruelly. Too late, of course, but at least you'll know.

Tell me about yours, I'll tell you about mine.

Let the truth take care of itself, I decided. It's done all right on its own so far.

For some though not unlike the lies.
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 Nov 19, 2018 6:59 pm

David Sedaris

After the trial, I watched as another female pathologist collected maggots from a spinal column found in the desert. There was a decomposed head, too, and before leaving work she planned to simmer it and study the exposed cranium for contusions. I was asked to pass this information along to the chief medical examiner, and, looking back, I perhaps should have chosen my words more carefully. 'Fire up the kettle,' I told him. 'Ol'-fashioned skull boil at five p.m.'


Some folks have all the luck.

Einstein wrote that insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That said, is it crazier to repeatedly throw yourself against a window, or to repeatedly open that window, believing the creatures that are throwing themselves against it might come into your house, take a look around, and leave with no hard feelings?

Now that's a tough one.

I've always had a way with the little people, making it a point to humor them without looking down my nose at their wasted empty lives.

And we appreciate it, don't we?

She said, “I’m going to have you fired.” I had two people say that to me today, “I’m going to have you fired.” Go ahead, be my guest. I’m wearing a green velvet costume; it doesn’t get any worse than this. Who do these people think they are? "I’m going to have you fired!” and I wanted to lean over and say, “I’m going to have you killed.”

A common occurence for some of us.

I had to wrestle daily with both my inadequacy and my uncontrollable jealousy. I didn't want to kill her, but hoped someone else might do the job for me.

And then they all end up on Dateline or 48 Hours.

I can't seem to fathom that the things important to me are not important to other people as well, and so I come off sounding like a missionary, someone whose job it is to convert rather than listen.

Me here, right?
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 Nov 19, 2018 7:59 pm

Existential Comics

The funny thing about people who smugly tell everyone that "nothing matters" is that they quite obviously value their own smugness.


I know that I do.

If you can't trust faceless corporations who exist solely to enrich the shareholders to do what's best for society, then who can you trust?

How about their enablers in Washington?

Postmodernism is the worst. One time when I was twelve postmodernism stole my bike and then laughed at me for thinking the word "bike" picked out a concrete object in the world.

Probably not a true story.

What philosophers dreamed of accomplishing:
500 BC: understanding everything
300: understanding virtue.
1100: understanding God.
1700: understanding even a single thing.
1950: understanding just how to say something that makes sense.
2018: I don't know, to get my article published?


Impeach Trump?

Crony capitalism is when politicians work with rich capitalists to suppress dissent among the workers. Regular capitalism is when the police just beat up the dissenters directly.

Then back and forth they go.

What is philosophy? It's when you think about something so much that you actually end up understanding it less.

Not that you'll ever admit 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 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:17 am

Dylan Thomas

And now, gentlemen, like your manners, I must leave you.


Wit. Sometimes it's all you need.

Poetry is not the most important thing in life... I'd much rather lie in a hot bath reading Agatha Christie and sucking sweets.

Good god, imagine thinking that way about philosophy.

Some people react physically to the magic of poetry, to the moments, that is, of authentic revelation, of the communication, the sharing, at its highest level...A good poem is a contribution to reality. The world is never the same once a good poem has been added to it. A good poem helps to change the shape and significance of the universe, helps to extend everyone's knowledge of himself and the world around him.

A good poem. That's always the catch of course.

Our discreditable secret is that we don't know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don't care that we don't.

No one really knows if this is true however.

I hold a beast, an angel and a madman in me.

Either that or they hold me.

Youth calls to age across the tired years: What have you found, he cries, what have you sought?
What have you found, age answers through his tears, What have you sought.


And then it's turtles all the way 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 » Tue Nov 20, 2018 5:31 pm

Elena Ferrante

Words: with them you can do and undo as you please.


Up in the clouds for example.

The circle of an empty day is brutal and at night it tightens around your neck like a noose.

Not unlike the circle of a full day.

...she was explaining to me that I had won nothing, that in the world there is nothing to win, that her life was full of varied and foolish adventures as much as mine, and that time simply slipped away without any meaning, and it was good just to see each other every so often to hear the mad sound of the brain of one echo in the mad sound of the brain of the other.

He thought: That's what I miss the most.

Each of us narrates our life as it suits us.

Provided of course you have that option.

Children don’t know the meaning of yesterday, of the day before yesterday, or even of tomorrow, everything is this, now: the street is this, the doorway is this, the stairs are this, this is Mamma, this is Papa, this is the day, this the night.

Provided of course they have that option.

At that moment I knew what the plebs were, much more clearly than when, years earlier, she had asked me. The plebs were us. The plebs were that fight for food and wine, that quarrel over who should be served first and better, that dirty floor on which the waiters clattered back and forth, those increasingly vulgar toasts. The plebs were my mother, who had drunk wine and now was leaning against my father’s shoulder, while he, serious, laughed, his mouth gaping, at the sexual allusions of the metal dealer. They were all laughing, even Lila, with the expression of one who has a role and will play it to the utmost.

And now this: Plebs For Trump!
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 Nov 20, 2018 8:06 pm

Sad Socrates

It’s not time we have been setting back each year, it’s progress.


Our progress in particular.

I won’t remember me in the morning.

With any luck he means.

Doubt is the foundation of doing.

Just not up until now.

I was the low point of my day.

He means "I" of course.

Those who are happiest are least interested in themselves.

Fortunately, for folks like me, there are exceptions.

It’s a bad time to be anything.

And, yes, that includes everything else.
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 Nov 21, 2018 12:26 am

José Saramago

I don’t quite grasp your meaning.
Just as I don’t quite understand what I am saying. But back to the point….


Unless of course that is the point.

I have yet to hear a single idea that was worth considering for longer than it took us to listen to it.

Seriously, why do people say such preposterous things?

...don't ask me what good and what evil are, we knew what it was each time we had to act when blindness was an exception, what is right and what is wrong are simply different ways of understanding our relationships with the others, not that which we have with ourselves, one should not trust the latter...

Trust is often problematic here. With ourselves no less than with others.

...we know that it is the search that gives meaning to any find and that one often has to travel a long way in order to arrive at what is near.

The search sometimes being all there is.

God will save you.
Surely you're forgetting that God saves souls rather than bodies.


Let's pin down the difference.

Human vocabulary is still not capable, and probably never will be, of knowing, recognizing, and communicating everything that can be humanly experienced and felt. Some say that the main cause of this very serious difficulty lies in the fact that human beings are basically made of clay, which, as the encyclopedias helpfully explain, is a detrital sedimentary rock made up of tiny mineral fragments measuring one two hundred and fifty-sixths of a millimeter. Until now, despite long linguistic study, no one has managed to come up with a name for this.

Let's explain why this cannot be explained.
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 Nov 21, 2018 5:05 pm

Barbara Kingsolver

The truth needs so little rehearsal.


Maybe, but why take chances?

It's frightening when things you love appear suddenly changed from what you have always known.

People in particular.

I could never work out whether we were to view religion as a life-insurance policy or a life sentence. I can understand a wrathful God who'd just as soon dangle us all from a hook. And I can understand a tender, unprejudiced Jesus. But I could never quite feature the two of them living in the same house. You wind up walking on eggshells, never knowing which is at home at the moment.

One suspects that's the whole point of it.

Every one of us is called upon, perhaps many times, to start a new life. A frightening diagnosis, a marriage, a move, loss of a job. And onward full-tilt we go, pitched and wrecked and absurdly resolute, driven in spite of everything to make good on a new shore. To be hopeful, to embrace one possibility after another--that is surely the basic instinct. Crying out: High tide! Time to move out into the glorious debris. Time to take this life for what it is.

Come on, has that ever happened to you?

How pointless life could be, what a foolish business of inventing things to love, just so you could dread losing them.

Best not to dwell on it I suppose.

Humans can be fairly ridiculous animals.

Well, we are, after all made in God's image.
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 Nov 22, 2018 12:52 am

Lidia Yuknavitch,

We are what happens when the seemingly unthinkable celebrity rises to power. Our existence makes my eyes hurt.


Still, what's that [nowadays] next to what is going to happen.

Because in loving his darkness I found my own.

Anyone here interested in loving mine?

This man was gorgeous. I'm mentioning this because women live their lives secretly waiting for their lives to become movies. We act like men are the ones shallow enough to desire an unending stream of beautiful women but really, if a charismatic narcissist beautiful bad boy man actually desires us, seems to choose us, we go to pieces. We suddenly feel like we are finally in that movie rather than a life. Just what we always wanted. To be chosen by the best looking man in the room. Rhett Butler. Even though we are of course smarter and more mature and more together than to ever want that. Or admit it.

Lots of things like that we don't admit to. Right?

Little tragedies are difficult to keep straight.

Let alone address.

Everybody uses everybody until we're all just a bunch of used up shit sacks waiting to go to dirt.

She means almost everybody of course.

Two things have always ruptured up and through hegemony: art and bodies.

Or hegemony up and through 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 Nov 22, 2018 2:29 am

tiny nietzsche

2028: first horse elected president
2048: first robot elected president
2088: first gelatinous mass elected president


All still an improvement on what we have now.

doktor: are you taking your pills?
me: as many as i can


In other words, over and under the counter.

your nostalgia is killing you

For some though, what else is there?

twitter 2009: skateboard
twitter 2012: bicycle
twitter 2014: automobile
twitter 2018: still a car, but heavily damaged and always on the verge of catching fire


Next up: demolition derby.

I would never belong to a conspiracy that would have me as a member

They'd never invite me.

one theory: trump drinks his own piss

Of course Putin has it on tape.
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 Nov 22, 2018 5:47 pm

Lillian Hellman

Nowadays people write English as if a rat were caught in the typewriter and they were trying to hit the keys which wouldn't disturb it.


We see examples of that everyday here, right Kids?

But success and failure are not true opposites, and they're not even in the same class. I mean, they're not even a couch and a chair.

My Guess: It's gotten much, much worse.

some people are democrats by choice, and some by necessity

I hear that.

...the convictions of Hollywood and television are made of boiled money.

And even that is mostly special effects.

France may be the only country in the world where the rich are sometimes brilliant.

We've probably got one or two here though.

Fear comes with middle age.

And then [eventually] segues into sheer terror.
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 Nov 22, 2018 8:56 pm

Philosophy Tweets

"Millions saw the apple fall but Newton was the one who asked why." Bernard Baruch


Let's top that.

"One of the things that makes Wittgenstein a real artist to me is that he realized that no conclusion could be more horrible than solipsism." David Foster Wallace

Or, sure, more comforting.

"Everywhere do I percieve a certain conspiracy of rich men seeking their own advantage under that name and pretext of commonwealth." Thomas More

If only all the way to the bank.

"One of the greatest problems of our time is that many are schooled but few are educated." Thomas More

For our time, triple it at least.

"Appearances are a glimpse of the unseen." Anaxagoras

And how far can that be from the unknown.

"Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing." Thales

Unless of course [in today's world] you are absolutely certain to get away with it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:18 am

Vanessa Redgrave

You can't be striving to please; you must be striving to get to the heart of the matter.


Whether there is one or not.

Ask the right questions if you're going to find the right answers.

Whether there are any or not.

The people I admire most are those who struggle for everyone.

Boy, he thought, does that take me back.

The great writers like Chekhov know that tragedy and laughter are just a few steps from each other ... but it took me a long time as an actress to learn that. Actually Arthur Miller taught me in the Seventies. We were making a CBS TV drama of his play Playing for Time about Auschwitz but the characters were laughing. It was a big insight for me to realise that that was what's called gallows humour, in this case worse than the gallows, that humans need to laugh and make jokes in order to survive.

Or, as Lester put it, "Comedy is tragedy plus time!"

I've opened my mouth on a lot of subjects. And I thought the more prestige you get, I'd have the power to do what I like. It's not true.

Just ask Jane Fonda.

As a mother you have got to have a view for now and a view for the future.

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

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:48 pm

John Fowles from The Collector

You know what you do? You know how rain takes the colour out of everything? That's what you do to the English language. You blur it every time you open your mouth.


Either that or [as we all know here] mangle it.

Stop thinking about class, she'd say. Like a rich man telling a poor man to stop thinking about money.

Besides, we all know the fate of Richard Cory.

The only thing that really matters is feeling and living what you believe --- so long as it's something more than belief in your own comfort.

Not that you can't start there.

It's despair that so few of us care. It's despair that there's so much brutality and callousness in the world. It's despair that perfectly normal young men can be made vicious and evil because they've won a lot of money. And then do what you've done to me.

It's despair that, in the end, it is all essentially meaningless.

I'm not really sorry. But I'm not absolutely unsorry.

And who hasn't felt that? Here for example.

He said, one has to learn that painting well - in the academic and technical sense - comes right at the bottom of the list. I mean, you've got that ability. So have thousands.

Let's decide what comes at the top of the list.
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 Nov 23, 2018 9:58 pm

so sad today

no therapist can prepare you for your family


And no therapist could have prepared my family for me.

it's important to give up on everything first thing in the morning

And then every hour on the hour.

i don’t want to die but i want the part after

You'll either get this or you won't.

trying to break up with myself

Imagine me trying to do that!!!

in space no one can hear your dumb opinion

Except God of course.

when you see the emptiness in everything i'll be here for you

She'll at least double 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 Nov 24, 2018 12:24 am

Colson Whitehead

Versifying left her cold. Poems were too close to prayer, rousing regrettable passions. Waiting for God to rescue you when it was up to you. Poetry and prayer put ideas in people's heads that got them killed, distracting them from the ruthless mechanism of the world.


Thank god for philosophy he almost thought.

In death the negro became a human being. Only then was he the white man’s equal.

And don't forgot the yellow, red and brown folks.

They jostled one another, competed for space below as they did above, in a minuet of ruin and triumph. In the subway, down in the dark, no citizen was more significant or more decrepit than another. All were smeared into a common average of existence, the A's and the C's tumbling or rising to settle into a ruthless mediocrity. No escape.

Unless of course you're riding around in a limousine.

Then it comes, always—the overseer’s cry, the call to work, the shadow of the master, the reminder that she is only a human being for a tiny moment across the eternity of her servitude.

Next up: the wage slave.

Pick your fights like you pick your nose: with complete awareness of where you are.

Noted. Right?

In the dank utility room deep in the subbasements of my personality, a little man wiped his hands on his overalls and pulled the switch: More.

Or, sure, less.
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 Nov 24, 2018 8:54 pm

Viet Thanh Nguyen

A great work of art is something as real as reality itself, and sometimes even more real than the real. Long after this war is forgotten, when its existence is a paragraph in a schoolbook students won't even bother to read, and everyone who survived it is dead, their bodies dust, their memories atom, their emotions no longer in motion, this work of art will still shine so brightly it will not just be about the war but it will be the war.


Maybe?

By now the only part of me not sweating were my eyeballs. An X-ray of my skull would have shown a hamster running furiously in an exercise wheel...

I think I know what he means. But, sure, maybe not.

The word that identified what we did not possess was "money,". The other word was "votes," so that together "money votes" was "open sesame" to the deep caverns of the American political system.

Obviously, there are more compelling ways to point this out.

Like a shark who must keep swimming to live, a politician had to keep his lips constantly moving.

And that's a lot of lies.

Nothing, the General muttered, is ever so expensive as what is offered for free.

Of course that won't always be true.

So the list went, a fair percentage collecting both welfare and dust, moldering in the stale air of subsidized apartments as their testes shriveled day by day, consumed by the metastasizing cancer called assimilation and susceptible to the hypochondria of exile.

Anyone here on that list?
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:36 pm

Philosophy Tweets

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


Come on, like there are not really, really important distinctions to make.

"The World is not ruined by the wickedness of the wicked, but by the weakness of the good" Napoleon Bonaparte

By definition, right?

"I am not a positivist. Positivism states that what cannot be observed does not exist. This conception is scientifically indefensible, for it is impossible to make valid affirmations of what people 'can' or 'cannot' observe." Albert Einstein

And then on to the very, very big and the very, very small.

"Mark this well, you proud men of action! You are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought." Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Clearly, for better or worse.

"Genuine tragedies in the world are not conflicts between right and wrong. They are conflicts between two rights." Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

Dialectically as it were.

"Our knowledge can only be finite, while our ignorance must necessarily be infinite." Karl Popper

For example: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=194441 :lol:
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:22 am

Mario Vargas Llosa

My impression is that life—a big word, I know—inflicts themes on a writer through certain experiences that impress themselves on his consciousness or subconscious and later compel him to shake himself free by turning them into stories.


An existential contraption as it were.

Instead of speaking of justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, classless society and class society, they talked in terms of God and the Devil.

In other words, either one or the other. And it doesn't get any simpler than that.

...as everybody in the Andes knows, when the devil comes to work his evil on earth he sometimes takes the shape of a limping gringo stranger.

Up here of course it's the other way around.

Because happiness was temporal, individual, in exceptional circumstances twofold, on extremely rare occasions tripartite, and never collective, civic.

Not counting nationalism of course. Or even rooting for the home team.

A Criminal is the case of surplus of human energy directed in the wrong direction.

Not from his point of view.

In the civilization of our times, it is normal, and almost obligatory, for cookery and fashion to take up most of the culture sections, for chefs and fashion designers now enjoy the prominence that before was given to scientists, composers and philosophers. Gas burners, stoves and catwalks meld, in the cultural coordinates of our time, with books, laboratories and operas, while TV stars and great footballers exert the sort of influence over habits, taste and fashion that was previously the domain of teachers and thinkers.

Yeah, ain't we the lucky ones.
[and here of course the fucking Kids]
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby were34 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 2:11 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Moreno wrote:
iambiguous wrote:If determinism is true, everything we think, feel, believe, do etc. is just a knee jerk reflex. It's natural. It's natural in that it comes wholly from nature. The fact that some don't believe it is doesn't change that. Our problem is we don't seem to know for certain if this is true.

yes, but that is not getting the context of what I wrote. Given that we do not know, you and I, we can only look at the various positions. One irony of the determinist position is they are basically saying they have no idea what their own real motivations are for believing what they believe -including the belief in determinism.


Motivation itself would seem to be just an illusory frame of mind here. To understand it we would need to understand what "motivates" matter itself to interact as it must. Why this set of laws and not some other? Yet, in doing so, we would in turn be "motivated" by the same laws.

How can this be explained other than in the manner in which we must think we understand it?

Moreno wrote:This is not true for people advocating other positions. The position itself should entail an admission that they really cannot know if they are being logical in arriving at their opinion determinism is the case.


My position is this: I think "I" have some measure of understanding and control [as dasein] in chossing among alternative explanations. But I don't have a convincing argument [even to myself] to counter volchok's speculation about mind being matter and matter, in being the same "stuff", being rooted in the laws of nature.

My argument is that mind is a kind of matter that has never existed. And that, among its seeming properties, is this intuitive sense that "I" am able to choose among alternative explanations. And, finally, that science is in its infancy in understanding human consciousness.

What is ironic then for me are those determinists huffing and puffing to blow my house down when, like big bad wolf and the three little pigs, we are all up on the same stage, our strings being pulled by nature.

It's theatre of the absurd:

John murders Jane as he must. We react to this as we must.

Then:

John is caught, tried and convicted -- or not -- as he must. John is executed -- or not -- as he must. Or John escapes from prison -- or not -- as he must.

Everything, everything everything: only as it must be.

Is this the world we live in?

...I am not clear on what might be construed as a non-physicalist determinism. If minds are a kind of matter and matter is a kind of energy and all three interact in space-time per the immutable laws of nature then this entire exchange we are having is only as it could have been. "I" either have some measure of autonomy here or "I" don't.


Moreno wrote:a non-physical determinism simply means that one does not believe that all substrance is physical, but still you believe all events are determined entirely by past ones. Calvinists would be an example of such a belief system. They did believe in a soul that had an afterlife, but they believed, given God's omnicience, that this afterlife was already decided long ago.


Well, Calvinism has always struck me as particularly absurd theatre. What we choose to do on earth is merely an embodiment of God. I think: Why do good when the fate of my soul has already long ago been decided. But then I do good or bad only in accourdance with an omniscient and omnipotent point of view anyway.

Huh?

Obviously: I'm missing something here.

I understand that I have effects. I understand that I choose what I do in order to generate these effects. But if I could not not have chosen these things how is that really different from the effects falling dominoes have on each other?


Moreno wrote:It's not different.

I will try this one more time, then I will give up.

As far as I can tell you have claimed two unpleasant results of determinism being the case:
1) I am just dominoes, everything that will happen could only have happened and nothing else. The belief in/acceptance of the fact of determinism affects my mood negatively because determinism means.......
2) People have no reason (or even less) to be nice/moral, since everything is natural. The belief in/acceptance of the fact of determinism affects how people will ACT negatively because determinism means......(all acts are natural, etc)

I utterly agree that one is the case if determinism is true. At least for you and me and likely many other people.
I disagree that 2 is the case.


People have a reason but they could not not have chosen a reason other than the one that they have.

That's the part I get "stuck" on.

I can think, "I love children and I would never harm them". Or, I can think, "I hate children and fuck them if they get in my way."
But what I can't do [per determinism] is freely choose to embrace one point of view rather than another. Or, given contingency, chance and change, autonomously change my mind.

However, what people who reject determinism have is a reason to believe they can [in ways not fully understood] choose among alternative manners in which to think and feel and behave.

And that is when I introduce them to dasein: to limitations in what we can know about ourselves and the value judgments we choose.

The tricky part for me is always this: we can think about it one way or the other but we can't know for sure if the way we think about it is freely chosen or, even if it is, is the right way in which to think about it.

Moreno wrote:I do not find it to be the case that determinists are more prone to immoral behavior and I think that given that we are social mammals that even in the absence of a notion of free will, there are plenty of causes to make us be good.


Here you come the closest to nudging me into understanding your point. I see it...but I don't. It just keeps eluding me.

[Like trying to truly grasp Einsteins space/time continuum]

Anyway, thanks for plugging away at it. There are just those things I can't fully wrap my mind around. And "compatibilism" is one of them.

Still, determinist are [to me] no less dasein. They choose or don't choose cruelty over kindness because [as with non-determinists] the life they lived [and the manner in which they have come to understand it] predisposed them to one sort of thinking/feeling/doing rather than another. But, again, given contingency chance and change, their point of view can evolve. But: is our perception of "contingency, chance and change" itself rooted firmly in the laws of matter?


i think, perhaps, i think, im....confused....here.....
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby were34 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:45 pm

iambiguous wrote:Mario Vargas Llosa

My impression is that life—a big word, I know—inflicts themes on a writer through certain experiences that impress themselves on his consciousness or subconscious and later compel him to shake himself free by turning them into stories.


An existential contraption as it were.

Instead of speaking of justice and injustice, freedom and oppression, classless society and class society, they talked in terms of God and the Devil.

In other words, either one or the other. And it doesn't get any simpler than that.

...as everybody in the Andes knows, when the devil comes to work his evil on earth he sometimes takes the shape of a limping gringo stranger.

Up here of course it's the other way around.

Because happiness was temporal, individual, in exceptional circumstances twofold, on extremely rare occasions tripartite, and never collective, civic.

Not counting nationalism of course. Or even rooting for the home team.

A Criminal is the case of surplus of human energy directed in the wrong direction.

Not from his point of view.

In the civilization of our times, it is normal, and almost obligatory, for cookery and fashion to take up most of the culture sections, for chefs and fashion designers now enjoy the prominence that before was given to scientists, composers and philosophers. Gas burners, stoves and catwalks meld, in the cultural coordinates of our time, with books, laboratories and operas, while TV stars and great footballers exert the sort of influence over habits, taste and fashion that was previously the domain of teachers and thinkers.

Yeah, ain't we the lucky ones.
[and here of course the fucking Kids]


most rational and informative and supported by solid philosophy post is yours. ( i admit it )
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby were34 » Sun Nov 25, 2018 6:24 pm

iambiguous wrote:Russell Banks

Go, my book, and help destroy the world as it is.


Nope, not yet.

When you are a long way from where you think you belong, you will attach yourself to people you would otherwise ignore or even dislike.

No way that I ever did.
No way that I ever would?


One hates a person for the same reason one loves him.

We'll have to know the person first of course.

What you believe matters, however. It’s all anyone has to act on. And since what you do is who you are, your actions define you. If you don’t believe anything is true simply because you can’t logically prove what’s true, you won’t do anything. You won’t be anything. You’ll end up spending your life in a rocking chair looking out at the horizon waiting for an answer that never comes. You might as well be dead. It’s an old philosophical problem.

Trust me: there actually are alternatives.

But when you’re a kid it’s like you’re wearing these binoculars strapped to your eyes and you can’t see anything except what’s in the dead center of the lenses.

Either that or x-ray specs.

All those happy, pretty, successful people--he hated them because he knew they didn't really exist, and he hated even more the magazine that glorified them and in a way that made them exist, actors, rock musicians, famous writers, politicians. Those aren't people, he fumed, they're photographs.

Let's just call it sour grapes and move on.


i agree with your every single word. there is no such information in entire forum which is here in this 1 post.

i 100 percent agree with you. =D> =D>
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 25, 2018 7:56 pm

Dave Eggers

We are not meant to know everything, Mae. Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown?


God knows?

Suffering is only suffering if it's done in silence, in solitude. Pain experienced in public, in view of loving millions, was no longer pain. It was communion.

How close is this to utter nonsense?

In her kitchen, she saw many things she would like to eat. On the counter, there was a bunch of new bananas, yellow as a Van Gogh chair, and two apples, pristine. The cabinet was open and she saw a box of crackers, a new box of cereal, a tube of curved chips. She felt overwhelmed, seeing all of the food there, that it was all hers. And there was more in the refrigerator! There were juices, half a melon, a dozen bagels, salmon, a steak, yogurt in a dozen colors. It would take her a week to eat all of this food. She does not deserve this, she thought. It really isn't fair, she thought. You're correct, God said, and then struck dead 65,000 Malaysians.

Anyone here know if this is actually true?

The raising of a child is the building of a cathedral. You can't cut corners.

You know, if that is even an option.

Your life has been lived a hundred times. A thousand times. It's not all that great, really. Don't take it so seriously.

Let's all try this.

If things continue this way, there will be two societies - or at least I hope there will be two - the one you're helping create, and an alternative to it. You and your ilk will live, willingly, joyfully, under constant surveillance, watching each other always, commenting on each other, voting and liking and disliking each other, smiling and frowning, and otherwise doing nothing much else.

Unless of course the alternative is even worse.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 26, 2018 12:18 am

Robert Cormier

Do I dare disturb the universe?
Yes, I do, I do. I think.
Jerry suddenly understood the poster--the solitary man on the beach standing upright and alone and unafraid, poised at the moment of making himself heard and known in the world, the universe.


My guess? Jerry will grow out of this.

A new sickness invaded Jerry, the sickness of knowing what he had become, another animal, another beast, another violent person in a violent world, inflicting damage, not disturbing the universe but damaging it.

My guess? Jerry will grow out of this.

And he did see--that life was rotten, that there were no heroes, really, and that you couldn't trust anybody, not even yourself.

My guess? Jerry will not grow out of this.

They tell you to do your own thing but they don't mean it. They don't want you to do your thing, not unless it happens to be their thing, too.

And not just Mommy and Daddy.

There was nothing more beautiful in the world than the sight of a teacher getting upset.

Especially when you're the reason.

She discovered how distant pity was from hate, how very far it was from love.

And isn't that a pity, he thought.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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