Public Journal:

Half-formed posts, inchoate philosophies, and the germs of deep thought.

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Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:38 pm

Last week on Last Week Tonight, John Oliver offered one of his typically spot on (sometimes profound (takes on our contemporary economy. What he crystallized for me is that what we’re dealing with as concerns Trump’s hardcore followers is a fantasy world in which we go back to the old manufacturing economy. And you can’t totally blame them. I’ve drank that Kool-Aid. As a teenager in the 70’s, the assumption was that we would either graduate (or not graduate (from high school and move into union manufacturing jobs like our parents. But that’s not what happened. We failed to anticipate the effects of an emerging global economy ushered in by developing technologies in transport and communications. So I can understand the MEGA-nut’s frustration.

But I would ask them one important question: Does any of them remember what it was like to stand in a fucking assembly line staring at the clock as it crawled to the next break or quitting time? I mean at some point or other, they have to ask their selves why it is mainly Mexican immigrants going into meat packing plants every day.

The truth is: globalism is the genie out of the bottle and there is no turning back. Even if these factories were brought back to America, it wouldn’t change anything because of automation. In other words, as John Oliver crystallized, what we’re dealing with as concerns the MEGA-nuts is a fantasy incapable of recognizing the new knowledge economy. What he pointed out is that the job market of today will require skills of a more cerebral quality, things like critical thinking skills and creativity.

And what it inspired in me was cause for hope as concerns the current threat to our democracy: the Republican Party as it now stands under Trump. And we have to think of it terms of evolutionary adaption. If the new economy requires critical thinking skills and creativity, then the MEGA-nuts are a system that can no longer be sustained, that must be naturally selected out of the system as a whole. In other words, it may well be the market (whatever issues I take with it (that makes the republican platform that unconditionally embraces the market obsolete as it should be, that is while the critical thinking skills and creativity required to thrive in the market bleeds into how people think about others, how they choose to treat them, even if it comes at their own minimal expense. It could be how we evolve from the competitive mode of the MEGA-nut and the Republican platform to the cooperative required if we are to survive as a species.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:33 pm

Dear Diary Moment 3/14/2019:

Lately I’ve been going through the latest issue of Philosophy Now which focuses on mind and self. And the most telling thing about the experience is how I feel like I’m just shutting down throughout it all –how I’m hardly inspired. And do not get me wrong: this is not some snobbish dismissal of the issue. As a Philosophy 101 thing (as well as a Philosophy Now approach), I’m perfectly aware of how important it is to any philosophical process. It’s just what Philosophy Now does. And you gotta respect them for that. I simply will not dis them.

This is more about how I’m reacting to it and an exploration of the whys. And this is important in that I’m having an equally hard time getting into more contemporary pop-philosophers such as Searle, Dennet, Nussbaum, or even Hofstadter who tend to approach philosophy in terms that would be far easier for me to understand than my holy triad: Rorty, Žižek, and Deleuze (and I mean it: damn the French and their weird/obscure philosophies anyway). It’s almost a kind of masochistic impulse on my part: I draw towards what eludes me. As I’m experiencing it, going back to Searle, Dennet, Nussbaum, and Hofstadter (or the subjects being covered by Philosophy Now (would feel like reading a lot of poetry and going back to Ginsberg’s Howl: it was a cool poem that worked for you at an early stage in your process (inspired you to explore further), but hard to bring yourself to want to go back to.

The question for me is how this came to be:

It could be that I (having the addictive personality that I have (have drawn to the elusive. It’s a little like a gambling addiction in that sense of abuse and reward. As I have described Deleuze for some time now: he’s like some beautiful French Mademoiselle that makes you believe you can have her. Then, when you approach, she turns and walks away.

On the other hand, it could be that I have worked my way beyond such issues. Still, I would have to say that I miss being engaged in such issues.

Finally, I would point out that I tend to turn on with the audio books I listen to based on recommendations from MSNBC and other more social/political sources. It becomes a matter of what I can use. It’s like I’ve pointed out before: one of the nice things about having a Democrat in the White House is that it allows me the luxury of dealing with more abstract and remote issues. But when a Republican one is in it (especially one like Trump), it’s always a call to more political action: a more social/political focus as concerns my process.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
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d63
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Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:45 pm

“But to appreciate fully the inventiveness of right-wing populism, we have to turn to the master class of the Old South. The slaveholder created a quintessential form of democratic feudalism, turning the white majority into a lordly class, sharing in the privileges and prerogatives of governing the slave class. Though the members of this ruling class knew that they were not equal to each other, they were compensated by the illusion of superiority— and the reality of rule— over the black population beneath them.” -Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind (p. 53). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

This basically goes to the question that Deleuze and Guatarri (via Wilhelm Reich (asked: what it is about people that seem to seek out their own oppression, to vote against their own interests. And we see it all over the con job that the republicans are selling people today. Take, for instance, the republican tax reform. As Paul Ryan sold it, it was all about putting more money in the pockets of “working families”. But that was hardly the case. You have to put in mind that Ryan was a big fan of Ayn Rand who glorified the rich: the supposed “god-like” that she was so fond of. Ryan didn’t care about working families. All he cared about was his country-club buddies whose asses he had to lick to get where he was –much like Rand. And however he may have spinned it, his retirement (his exit-stage-left (was him getting out of Dodge before the consequences of his tax reform actually took hold. We have to give him credit for being smart enough to foresee those.

And we see this all over the MAGA-trolls. Trump, too, is all about his country-club buddies. But he plays on this common archetype of the “truthful outburst” (think of the movies “Man of the Year” and “Bulworth” (as the book points out, rightwingers are notorious for adapting leftist motifs) in order to convince his followers that he is authentic. And he does it in the same manner those of the Old South did (that is while maintaining a hierarchical advantage over them): by deluding them into believing they are part of his “in-crowd”. It’s exactly what Hitler did while maintaining a distance between him and his fans.

Now add to that the power of media (how Capitalism via media sells possibility more than anything: who wants to be a millionaire?), and you get a sense of how what we are dealing with is a highly evolved form of what the Old South utilized to maintain their power over their slaves as well as the less rich whites.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
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Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:24 pm

“But to appreciate fully the inventiveness of right-wing populism, we have to turn to the master class of the Old South. The slaveholder created a quintessential form of democratic feudalism, turning the white majority into a lordly class, sharing in the privileges and prerogatives of governing the slave class. Though the members of this ruling class knew that they were not equal to each other, they were compensated by the illusion of superiority— and the reality of rule— over the black population beneath them.” -Robin, Corey. The Reactionary Mind (p. 53). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

“That school of thought contended with a second, arguably more influential, school. American slavery was not democratic, according to this line of thinking, because it offered the opportunity for personal mastery to white men. Instead, American slavery was democratic because it made every white man, slaveholder or not, a member of the ruling class by virtue of the color of his skin. In the words of Calhoun: “With us the two great divisions of society are not the rich and poor, but white and black; and all the former, the poor as well as the rich, belong to the upper class, and are respected and treated as equals.” –ibid but on p. 54

It’s like I’ve always said: when it comes to Capitalism there is nothing new under the sun. When it comes to oppression, Capitalism is little more than a more subtle approach to what despotic leaders have been doing since the beginnings of civilization. And this puts some shine on what Robin attempts to explain throughout the book: that conservatives, as a counter-revolutionary force, have always been forced to adopt revolutionary mannerisms. And the reason they have do so is because their position, in a public discourse that inherently must be about what is best for everyone, have little more to offer than what is best for them (that which is intellectually and creatively bankrupt): how they maintain power.

And where we clearly see the evolutionary legacy of the above expressed is in the privatization of the prison system and the mass incarceration of African Americans. What we are looking at is a situation in which shareholders (mostly white (are increasing their dividends through laws that tend to condemn African American men and women to the prison system –that is by keeping them in desperate situations. Of course, the rest of us white Americans who have no stake in the stock market are suppose to overlook this outright form of fascism because at least it’s not us. And in this sense, we’re as empowered as the non-slave holding whites in the old south felt.

(Afterthought: I need to associate this with Žižek’s point about jouissance through others.)
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:22 pm

In order to fully understand the dynamic at work here, we have to understand Žižek’s point about jouissance in The Plague of Fantasies. As he explains, we tend to experience pleasure through the pleasure of the other. We do it, for instance, through our children, grandchildren, and our pets. We even do it through our machines. In this case, Žižek points to our tendency to set our recording devices to record more shows than we’ll ever be able watch. It is as if we take a kind of pleasure in knowing our machines have taken some kind of pleasure in those shows that we’ll never get to experience.

And it was this same dynamic that the old south exploited in that by making non-slave holding-whites part of some “in-crowd”, the non-slave-holding whites were able to experience pleasure through those that could afford slaves. And Capitalism has perfected this dynamic via game shows, celebrity culture, legalized gambling, the glamorization of the rich, and reality TV (and who wouldn’t want to think that their life would be so interesting (so profitable (as to be worth recording for prosperity?) in that what it seems to sell best is possibility: a chance to be part of that “in-crowd”. I mean “who wants to be a millionaire”?

This is all over the case for self indulgence at work on FOX News or any Pro-Capitalist argument. It’s not a matter making their case for the cause of self-indulgence. It is, rather, a matter of snidely dismissing any argument against the cult of self-indulgence via the “in-crowd” sensibility. And that vicarious experience of pleasure is the means by which they seduce those who, from a more rational perspective, are being exploited by those higher powers and only stand to lose by supporting such powers. It's how they get them to vote against their own interests.
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
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Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

Re: Public Journal:

Postby d63 » Mon May 06, 2019 9:57 pm

Dear diary moment 5/6/2019:

I’ve lately (from the perspective of a Metaphysics of Efficiency: that which is maximized by minimizing the differential between input and output (been thinking a lot about what goes on at the deepest and most micro level of things. It seems to me that, at that level, things become an either/or (in other words binary (situation in which an act either achieves an almost 100% efficiency or a zero one. And this is because of the minimal level of expectations at work.

I would return to the main influence on this conceptual scheme: my sustenance as a maintenance tech. Think about an electrical motor which consists of thousands of windings in order for it to work. Now think about any individual winding. It is either working or it is not, close to 100% efficiency or at dead zero. Now think about the collective effect of multiple windings at dead zero. As that occurs, the tech or the technology at work has to increase the energy input in order to get the same effect from that motor. And in the process, efficiency decreases by increasing the differential between the resources available to a given act and the resources gotten out.
And we see as much in life. We have these complex expectations that consist of various sub-expectations. And in the process, we find that the resources available to us force us to shut down other expectations in order to meet the needs of the expectations that are most important to us. And I understand that I am working in broad swipes here: a little (perhaps a lot (abstract and incomplete in my explanation: that, unfortunately, would take a book.

But my main point here is that it seems to me that at the micro level, things seem to work at a more on/off binary manner which (through a cumulative effect (creates the analogue effect we experience in life that works in the spectrum of the differential between input and output. It works very much like a computer.

Or have I completely confused you? Is there any chance of me being able to drop the mic right now?
Humble yourself or the world will do it for you -it was either Russell or Whitehead. I can't remember which.

When I was young, I use to think the world was a messed up place so i was pissed off a lot. But now that I'm older, I know it is. So I just don't worry about it. -John Lydon (AKA Johnny Rotten).

Anarchy through Capitalism -on a flyer thrown out during a Kottonmouth Kings concert.

First we read, then we write. -Emerson.

All poets are damned. But they are not blind. They see with the eyes of angels. -William Carlos Williams: in the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl.

You gotta love that moment when the work is done and all that is left to do is drink your beer and sip your jager and enjoy what you've done. It's why I do and love it.

I refuse to be taken seriously.

Once again: take care of your process and others will take care of theirs. No one needs a guru. Just someone to jam with.

:me
User avatar
d63
ILP Legend
 
Posts: 5516
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:27 pm
Location: Midwest

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