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Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 7:18 pm
by d63
"Calcutta is regularly presented as Hell on Earth, the exemplary case of the decaying Third World megalopolis, full of social decay, poverty, violence and corruption, with its residents caught in terminal apathy (the facts are, of course, rather different: Calcutta is a city bursting with activity, culturally much more thriving than Bombay, with a successful local Communist government maintaining a whole network of social services). Into this picture of utter gloom, Mother Teresa brings a ray of hope to the dejected with the message that poverty is to be accepted as a way to redemption, since the poor, in enduring their sad fate with silent dignity and faith, repeat Christ's Way of the Cross... The ideological benefit of this operation is double: in so far as she suggests to the poor and terminally ill that they should seek salvation in their very suffering. Mother Teresa deters them from probing into the causes of their predicament –from politicizing their situation; at the same time, she offers the rich from the West the chance of a kind of substitute-redemption by making financial contributions to her charitable activity” –From Žižek’s Plague of Fantasies

Of course, this all gets pulled off because of how likable Mother Teresa really is. Note, for instance, the time she appeared in America and argued, against abortion (that is with a twinkle in her eye), that if a woman didn’t want their child, they could easily give them to her. I won’t even go into how unrealistic that was. The interesting thing was how Clinton, a pro-choice politician, responded: stuck in the corner of either agreeing with her or offending (of all people, MOTHER-FUCKING Teresa!!!!! (simply said something to the effect that the woman was beyond reproach: a clear act of appeasement. The problem, to me, however, is that when the woman expressed a political opinion, she threw her hat into the arena of political discourse. And there, no one is beyond reproach.

That said, the main reason I bring this quote up is that we see a similar dynamic (that which Mother Teresa served as a veil to (at work in advertisements for children’s charities. And how can we resist those big sad eyes anymore than we could Mother Teresa? The problem is that, if you think about it, you have to question the very fact that those children exist in the first place. You have to look at the parents. I mean you’re living in a shit-house shack built on top of garbage heap with barely enough food and clean water for yourself, and your response is to bring a child into it. And I know this sounds harsh. It even sounds rightwing since the right would all too enthusiastically grab onto it without (as the right is all too prone to do (pursuing the issue further.

Were they to pursue it further, they would recognize that the problem is the result of their gag rules on foreign aid that includes counseling on birth control and abortion. In other words, what we see in these ads are Christian groups asking us to give money (that is through the pressure of guilt: the big sad eyes of the children (in order to fix a problem they contributed to in a major way. They want us to fix their mistakes, to have their cake and eat it too.

Of course, in the face of those big sad eyes, we’re not allowed to politicize.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:59 pm
by d63
The interesting thing about right wingers is that they tend to throw out bullshit as if they are incapable of imagining someone actually fact checking. It even seems more absurd in the age of Google. And I’m not focusing on Trump here. That issue is being addressed on a public scale through news media. This, rather, was inspired by a recent personal/anecdotal experience. My right wing friend (as he sometimes attempts to do (threw in a little right wing jab at me: he argued that what is happening on the southern border has actually been going for some time and couldn’t see why everyone was making such a big deal about it. My response was reluctance to just accept the assertion and that I would have to look a little deeper into in. And me being me, I did. And as expected, I found out, as usual, that he was only partially right:

The truth is that separating families has always been an option on the border and sometimes actually happened, especially in cases where they decided to prosecute the parents, the main justification for taking the children away being that you clearly could not put them in jail with their parents. However, this tact was not generally taken. (And thank you PolitiFact!) Before the mess we are seeing in the south, the general procedure was to house them in family detention centers where they would be processed until they were either given asylum or deported. In other words, it was rare for children to be separated from their parents except in cases where the child did not actually belong to the adult they were with or were entering alone, the main concern being human trafficking.

But here’s the interesting thing about it: the core of mine and my rightwing friend’s relationship is our mutual intellectual curiosity. We have interesting conversations all the time while, knowing where each other stands, avoiding politics. He had to know that I was going check into it and, facts being facts, dismiss it. And this is likely why he hasn’t pushed the issue since then. And I’ve seen the same thing at the bar, the “library” I go to as part of my process. Once again, they know who I am. They see me every day at the bar with my book, notebook, and computer. Still, every once in a while, they will throw in one of those right wing jabs that they know I’m going to research.

You can’t help but see Frankfurt’s bullshit dynamic at work. They are, in a sense, a lot like actual bullshitters: they tell you stories about their selves that they have got to know no one will believe. I once had a guy describe to me an experience he had in the military: a narrative that perfectly fit Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

I mean you really have to think about the psychology behind all this in order to really understand the age of Trump.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2018 8:22 pm
by d63
Having reached the end of my second full reading of Žižek’s Plague of Fantasies (as well as countless partial stabs at it along with my ventures into Lacan), I’m starting to get a better (if yet vague (understanding of the relationship between desire, drive, castration, the symbolic order, and the phallic and the fetish: the objet petite a. If I understand it right, castration (that which ropes in drive and the desires that emerge from it (is the symbolic order’s way initiating us into its self. This, for us as individuals, creates a void that we have to fill in with phallic supplements that often take the form of fetishes built on the dynamic of the objet petit a, a process that is supplemented by fantasy.

?: or am I getting it wrong….

But assuming I am getting it somewhat right, it seems to me that this could as effectively be described as society not so much suppressing our desires as channeling them to the interests of the powers that be. Now, of course, anyone more familiar with the continental approach might protest that I am over-simplifying what the writer(s) was saying. And I will give them that. Still, I have to question the practicality of taking all these oblique and poetic back roads in order to represent the subtleties they are trying to get across when they could just as easily start with what is immediately accessible and work their way from there.

And the only answer I see to my interrogation is that the continentals are more interested in being interesting writers than they are purveyor’s of truths. It’s a little like what Umberto Eco pointed out in an interview:

The difference between the analytic and continental approach is that the analytic approach attempts to build off of previous discoveries much as science does while the continental approach attempts to say the same old things in such novel ways that they seem to be saying something totally original.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 7:19 pm
by d63
"Lately I've been running by day, drinking by night, as though first to build a man and then destroy him....." -from 'Words' by Philip Levine

The story of my life……
In praise of Phillip Levine:
* ... y_lion.php
-From ‘They Feed They Lion’ by Philip Levine

?: does this poem have the same feel as The Smith’s How Soon is Now ( ... ion=click( to anyone else……

I would also note what I call “the apocalyptic style” in it, that similar to Ginsberg’s Howl: that which runs through a series of images that feel loosely connected. And we can easily feel the influence of Yeat’s ‘The Second Coming’.

That said, the above poem pretty much typifies the reason I have come to love Levine’s poetry and why I have (after many years (returned to his selected poems: that kind of grimy, oil stained feel of someone negotiating an industrialized and unjust environment through a kind of reverence via struggle.
“My brother comes home from work
and climbs the stairs to our room.
I can hear the bed groan and his shoes drop
one by one. You can have it, he says”
-from Levine’s poem ‘You Can Have It’

It’s been interesting returning to Levine in the age of Trump in that you recognize Trump’s potential followers (those negotiating an industrialized and unjust system (in it. And let’s be clear: this is not to assume that Levine would be some kind of Trump mouthpiece. In fact, I would argue that Levine’s interests were a little more Marxist in nature while also seeing the futility of resistance (see ‘Not This Pig’ and ‘Baby Villon’).

And, of course, the scariest thing about it is that Trump seems to want to return us to that grimy, oil-stained environment that Levine was dealing with. And if Trump succeeds we can only hope to approach it with the same spiritual fallback that Levine describes.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:23 pm
by d63
“Classical demonism illustrates the absolutist perspective of deviance by dividing the world into good and evil. To follow the universal set of rules on which a society is based is “good;” to disrupt the plan is “evil” and an affront to God and society. This dualistic perspective, which is often characterized by a supernatural element, suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with those who do not adhere to the social order. Classical demonism has reemerged as an explanation for deviance in modern society, often being used as a convenient way to explain and categorize bad behavior. Modern demonism, while more secular than the classical form, continues to divide the world into opposing forces—those who know what is right and those who do not.” –from Paul Root Wolpe’s outline for his Great Courses lecture: Explaining Social Deviance

And I would offer a form of demonism that Wolpe did not actually go into in his lecture: the tyranny of the functional under producer/consumer Capitalism. The main point I would ask you to focus on in the above is:

“This dualistic perspective, which is often characterized by a supernatural element, suggests that there is something fundamentally wrong with those who do not adhere to the social order.”

The point Wolpe went on to make is that when we talk about the supernatural, it must, by definition, be about what seems to be beyond the natural. He uses it in a more general sense than gods and ghosts. Therefore, when we are talking about “evil”, we are talking about something that cannot be empirically defined. One could almost think of it as metaphysical in a sense. For instance, we can talk about an act as being “bad” in that it will have a certain negative effect; but when it comes to evil, all we know is that it FEELS evil.

He also pointed out that norms (and deviances from them (are basically social constructs. Therefore, deviance (in many circles), is defined by that which breaks or threatens the commonly accepted sense of what the social order is. And the way they prop this up is by acting as if the generally sense of social order is rooted in nature itself –that is as compared to a human construct- a natural force if you will.

And nothing could make this more clear to us than the way we (via media (normalize previously deviant behaviors. Take the sitcom Will and Grace. In it, we come to accept Will, the homosexual, through his portrayal as a perfectly valid producer/consumer. We do as much in TV ads that do not present minorities as their selves as much as yuppies with darker skin. Even when African Americans are presented as rappers, they’re presented as the brothers and sisters that made it as is made clear through all the bling.

Producer/consumer Capitalism is a human construct: an agreement among the participants. In that sense it is a religion (note the god-like invisible hand (a demonization that defines as deviant that which fails to act in the proper role of a producer/consumer. All you have to do is watch any episode of COPS and you will see what I mean. It’s basically a whipping post for non-producer/consumers: white trash and minorities –what is "evil" in the eyes of producer/consumer Capitalism- or that which fails to placate to the tyranny of the functional.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 8:03 pm
by d63
“And this is what we’re up against: a group of people that made a really bad choice, are starting to see the consequences of that choice, but are having a hard time accepting the fact that they have made that bad choice. In reference to the above, if they accept the fact that Trump makes oversimplified choices, they too have to admit that they have made an oversimplified choice. Now imagine how hard that would be for an individual in the face of a reality that is making that all too clear to them. Imagine the denial one would be tempted to resort to.”

Another model to consider here is Kierkegaard’s Continuation of Sin. The point of it is that, sometimes, when a person commits an act that they know to be against a general sense of right, instead owning it, they’ll take the irrational step of leaning into the momentum of the wrong. For instance, I once saw a story on TV of two boys who decided (through a kind of weird incremental process that builds into an outside-of-the-norm act (to kill one of the boy’s parents. They, through the inertia of it, eventually carried out the act. And we can easily imagine them, having recognized what they had done (and completely intimidated and overwhelmed by the likely consequences and the guilt that was too much to own), choosing to lean into their sin (to become “pure evil” (in order to avert responsibility for it. We see a similar dynamic, for instance, in Shakespeare’s Macbeth as well as Sam Raime’s movie A Simple Plan. The two boys went on to do a school shooting.

And I believe we can apply the same dynamic to belief systems. We’re talking about a group of people (outside of the 1/3 of the American voter pool that are completely lost (who, out of frustration, decided to experiment with Trump and saw that experiment go horribly wrong. Imagine the blow to your sense of yourself as an enlightened individual. Imagine the temptation to double down or your previous indiscretion, to rationalize.

In other words, as progressives and democrats, we have to be gentle (and thoughtful (when taking advantage of the reality that is moving many of them away from Trump and the Republicans.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:29 pm
by d63
“Should, therefore, socio-cognitive conflict be prescribed in educational settings? We address these questions by drawing on research pointing out that socio-cognitive conflict is beneficial for learning to the extent that conflict is regulated in an epistemic manner; that is, by focusing on the task or on the knowledge at hand. On the contrary, socio-cognitive conflict can result in detrimental effects whenever conflict is regulated in a relational manner, that is, by focusing on status and on interpersonal dominance.” –from “Learning from Conflict”, Fabrizio Butera, Celine Darnon and Gabriel Mugny

I mainly quote this as a kind of anti-dote (an empirical one even (to quasi-intellectual trolls who come on the boards and treat this like some kind of pissing contest. To them, it is not about growth or a process. It is, rather, a search and destroy mission that will beat down anyone that might stand in the way of their total intellectual dominance. It’s not about finding out what’s right; it’s about making you wrong.

Of course, what they will often turn to is this common yet erroneous notion (this common doxa (that we are somehow obligated to make our case to them, even when there is clearly no hope of doing so. They may even play it off as a kind of “tough love”, their way of getting yourself beyond yourself. But all they really care about is their ego. It is a fantasy on their part. But they get away with it, at least in their own little world, because it is propped up by popular culture. Note, for instance, the popular American TV series House or JK Simmon’s award winning performance in Whiplash. We even see this fantasy at work in philosophy in the way we build the same kind of stigma around such figures as Heidegger and Wittgenstein. But why put up with either asshole when you could as easily get what you need from their books?

This kind of mentality might be useful in the military. But there is a big difference between trying to survive in a battle and trying to build a deeper understanding of the world. Unfortunately, as the article points out:

“We argue that, although mastery goals are inherent to education, educational organizations also promote performance goals through evaluation and selection. In this respect they create the conditions for conflicts to be regulated in a relational manner, which is detrimental for learning. We conclude the chapter by reflecting upon the goals promoted by educational organizations that may favor or hinder the constructive effects for learning of socio-cognitive conflict.”

In other words, the sensibility of the troll is basically bred in our education system – especially in America which mainly works under corporate values: the tyranny of the functional. As they also point out:

“This distinction is of importance with respect to the question of the usability of socio-cognitive conflict, as recent research has shown that the two forms of conflict regulation are predicted by different achievement goals. Epistemic regulation is predicted by mastery goals (the will to acquire knowledge and develop competences), and relational regulation is predicted by performance goals (the will to demonstrate competence relative to others). We argue that, although mastery goals are inherent to education, educational organizations also promote performance goals through evaluation and selection. In this respect they create the conditions for conflicts”

Will try to go into this deeper tomorrow.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2018 6:25 pm
by d63
“In the 1960s, Ayn Rand convened an intellectual salon that she called The Collective. Coming from the founder and articulator of Objectivism, a philosophy of radical individualism, this was a deliberately provocative, tongue-in-cheek name. Yet it captured an important truth about Rand’s followers: They were truly followers. They were influenced by her philosophy, her vision, and wanted to share their views with like-minded others. True, those views espoused the intellectual and moral primacy of the individual – the “virtue of selfishness,” as Rand and Branden (1964) termed it – but the intellectual movement that grew up around those ideas was formed and sustained by group processes. The Collective spawned numerous institutes, thinktanks, and newsletters designed to draw in new members; there were struggles for status within the group; and Rand herself became an extremely powerful figure, surrounded and protected by a fiercely loyal inner circle. Indeed, a number of commentators have likened the Objectivist movement to a cult (e.g., Shermer, 1993; Walker, 1999).

The Collective provides an excellent illustration of what we refer to as the independence
paradox. In groups that value individuality, ranging in scale from Rand’s Collective to North
American societies, acts of independence have a paradoxical status: They both challenge the
group’s power and conform to its norms. These acts signify personal freedom and, at the same
time, collective identification (see also Hornsey & Jetten, 2004; Jetten, Postmes, & McAuliffe,
2002).” –extracted from the article ‘The Independence Paradox’ by Jessica Salvatore & Deborah Prentice

I would humbly propose that at the heart of this paradox is the failure of such types to recognize that no matter what they achieve, it can never occur in a vacuum. They are always the benefactors of a social system in which we all participate.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:08 pm
by d63
"In the 4th century, the saying became popular among monastic leaders. According to the monastic author Cassian, as the monk goes about his day in silence, all sorts of thoughts enter into his mind. Some of these thoughts are clearly good ones, leading the monk to act virtuously and to contemplate God. But some of these thoughts come from demons, leading the monk to act wickedly and to turn away from contemplation and prayer. We must analyze the thoughts that occur to us, Cassian tells his fellow monks. “We must, as the Lord’s command bids us, become skillful money changers.”" -study notes from the Great Courses lecture The Apocryphal Jesus by David Brakke

"You simply cannot let your mind wander like that, son. You never know what it will get into." -a line from what I thought was going to be the latest great American novel, but I bogged down in the third chapter and never finished it.

While my quote was basically a secondary expression, the quote above gets at a dichotomy buried really deep in our world culture: that between the classicist and the romantic or what can be respectively described as the dichotomy between humans as civilized beings and humans as natural beings. And we see this in the classicism of Plato and his model of society. He utilizes the analogy of the human body in a hierarchical manner by delegating mind to the highest level (that of philosopher/kings), heart to a middle level (that of the military), and body to the lowest level: that of the unkempt masses.

(And I would digress here by pointing out how Plato’s putting military in the middle (that above the unkempt masses (has been repeated by pretty much by every tyrant history has produced. It’s just something to think about in terms of Trump’s insistence on a military parade.)

But the thing to think about here is that Plato was a result of civilization being relatively young, of having just crawled out of the muck. So it would make sense for people at that time to think: civilization good, nature bad. It was this sensibility that propped up Plato’s argument that poets should be banned from the republic. But, of course, after a series of tyrants justified by Plato’s model, we eventually came to the romantic break.

But you still see elements of the Platonic model (as well as Brakke’s description (in evangelical rightwing thought. But it can also be seen in Zen that (via proper meditation (seeks to quiet the brain chatter, to become pure quiet and calm: classical restraint.

But the main expression of this that I want to cover here is Carl Jung’s malady of the extrovert. The extrovert, being primarily orientated towards the world of objects, must contend with a subconscious that is always working in opposition to what is happening at a conscious level. And the extroverted position would seem the natural one for someone who put their civilized self over their natural self. And what would naturally result from putting too much emphasis on the world of objects is the subconscious attempting to overwhelm the conscious with “unruly thoughts”. Hence the hysteria that Jung attributes to it: that which results from the conflict between the classical and the romantic, the civilized and the natural, the focused and the wandering mind.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:13 pm
by d63
A couple more connections I want to make here. We can also see this guilt association at work in Coleridge’s distinction between fancy and imagination in Biographia Literaria: fancy being the product of natural bodily impulses while imagination stands as an expression of our higher cognitive functions. But it is a model that works and even has social/political implications: note, for instance, the role that fancy seems to be playing in the campaign and presidency of Donald Trump: the fanciful notions about deep states, what immigrants are out to do to us, as well Trump’s Rambo-like solutions to these problems, the Quentin Tarantino revenge fantasies at work in the minds of him and his followers.

At the same time, we have to be careful about dismissing the import and utility of fancy in our more analytic pursuits. Take the movies. What distinguishes more mainstream movies from more art house works is the mainstream’s tendency to play on fancy as compared to the art house which tends to take a more detached approach to things. In mainstream movies (Rambo, Several Shades of Grey, the Marvel and DC movies, and on and on and so on……. (we get a modern kind of mythology in which our most primal impulses are given expression. Art house movies, on the other hand (that is while still appealing to those primal impulses), tend to take a more god’s-eye-perspective on human activity. And that is of value and has rightfully earned the designation of fine art. At the same time, you cannot dismiss the analytic value of seeing human impulse and fancy manifested and expressed through mainstream cinema. In fact, I would argue that the groundwork for the Trump presidency has been being laid out there for some time. At the same time, I wanna make clear that when we’re talking about fancy and imagination, it’s not a binary thing. It is, rather, a spectrum between two poles.

The other point I want to make about this guilt of the wandering mind dynamic (or Jungian archetype (can even be seen in the work of those who actually embrace the wandering mind. If you look, for instance, at the New York Abstract Expressionist school or even the work of David Lynch, you can actually see this sense of the wandering mind as a path to hell. Look, for instance, at Jackson Pollack’s Full Fathom Five or Willam DeKoonig’s Door to the River. And it is all too obvious in the work of David Lynch in such movies as Blue Velvet (note the entrance and exit of the ear that caps the movie off (as well as Mulholland Drive which he described as a string of pearls just coming together during a lecture on transcendental meditation. “A beautiful thing”, as he described it.

The point (and I hope I’m not being redundant and superfluous here (is that, in order to truly understand our situation here, it would be anti-productive to completely dismiss (out of some kind intellectual snobbery or deeply buried guilt (the products of our fancy: our wandering minds.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:38 pm
by d63
“The basic celibacy plot appears in nearly all the apocryphal acts. A woman hears the message of a Christian apostle and gives up sex with her husband. The jilted husband is usually a powerful political man—a king, a Roman proconsul, a friend of the emperor—so he can get the apostle executed. The apostle’s message not only disrupts a marriage; it also seems to threaten the city or the empire.” –from, again, David Brakke’s Lecture series The Apocryphal Jesus

Just finished both the audio lecture and the study notes today. But before I move on, I really want to address this particular issue because, as serious as the subject of the lecture seems, it really did evoke a lot of chuckles in the same sense that one might chuckle at a lot of Greek and Roman myths. Believe it or not, as much as the writers of the apocryphal texts had serious religious and spiritual agendas, they were also out to entertain.

That said, excuse me for devolving to common male memes, but my first response was (and I am going by testimony from my married friends: isn’t that what women generally do anyway? It’s like the old joke:

?: what food has been shown to reduce a woman’s sexual drive by 80%....

Answer: wedding cake….

Now before I get an onslaught of testimonies from women about how great the sex has been with their husbands since they got married, I am not in a position question that. This is not some kind of red pill rally. It was just a facetious riff I couldn’t resist.

That said, there are two theories offered for this common theme. On one hand, there is the more feminist one that sees female celibacy as a form of liberation. And you have to think of that in the context of the paternalistic society that women were working under at the time. In fact, it was the encouragement of this female rebellion that, in many of these stories, led to execution of the apostles that encouraged these women to do so. And given that all of the apocryphal texts were centered around the apostles associated with Christ, it is easy to imagine Jesus having this same effect on women and, consequently, sealing his doom.

The other theory is that the motif was meant to highlight the superiority of the apostles as leaders of men –that is in opposition to the pagan leaders as represented by the husbands of the women that, having converted to Christianity, chose to refuse their husbands sex. And this is the more interesting theory in that it puts some shine on more contemporary theory that tends to elevate the feminine over the masculine much as the old apocryphal texts did. What likely made Jesus and the apostles so profound, and appealing to women, was their recognition of the value of the feminine in the face of the macho hubris of the Roman Empire.

And we can see the residual effect of that in thinkers like Lacan who made the distinction between the feminine (what he referred as the eternal (and the phallic: that which creates change in the temporal world.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:08 pm
by d63
“I am not familiar with the definition of eco-system... typical of us humans to use words without knowing the depths of their 'government given' meanings. By eco-system, i mean nature all what naturally makes everyone and everything live together in harmony. Everyone and everything have their place, not all the hybrid, gene-changing man-made stuff. I wonder, has man went too far?” –Debbie Mathis

This is an important issue that I would address by focusing on the qualifying version of the concept: the ecological. The ecological, as I understand it, is a focus on the way various systems (and their various sub-systems (interact with other systems and their various subsystems. Hence the poem above:

a system.

And if you think about it, Debbie, we are basically systems that work from various sub-systems that, in turn, work from various subsystems and on and on. But the plot thickens. Through our interaction and discourse here, we have created yet another system based not only on the semiotic system we are communicating with but the supra-system of Facebook to which we, and our various sub-systems, have adapted to in order to achieve certain results as well. In short, what our discourse has created is a kind of eco-system in itself.

And I am not dismissing your more nature based (that is ‘nature’ as it is commonly understood (understanding of it. It is the popular understanding of the ecological. But I would humbly argue that the position fails to make the distinction between the ecological and conservation. While conservation is specifically focused on the preserving what we commonly think of as nature (is molar in nature), the ecological is more focused on how we, as systems in ourselves, are interacting with and affecting other systems. And in that sense, I fully sympathize when you argue:

“Everyone and everything have their place, not all the hybrid, gene-changing man-made stuff. I wonder, has man went too far?”

From the model I offer above, I would argue that man is a system that has increased its expectation to such an extent that it must basically steal resources from other systems in order to meet those expectations. Man has generally worked from a metaphysics of power in which everything is about overpowering the other. But if that were true, all systems would merely engage in a cosmic game of king of the hill until all that was left one simple system. And which would that be? Man? Or something less cognitive?

As recent evolutionary science has determined, evolution is not about “the survival of the fittest” –a popular meme among neo-liberals. It is, rather, a matter of eliminating systems that are unsustainable. So Debbie, it’s not just a matter of man going too far; it is also a matter of man making mankind an unsustainable system within a system that is far bigger than him.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:45 pm
by d63
“The latter "method" of philosophy is the same as the "method" of utopian politics or revolutionary science (as opposed to parliamentary politics, or normal science). The method is to redescribe lots and lots of things in new ways, until you have created a pattern of linguistic behavior which will tempt the rising generation to adopt it, thereby causing them to look for appropriate new forms of nonlinguistic behavior, for example, ple, the adoption of new scientific equipment or new social institutions.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 196-199). Kindle Edition.

First of all, it is really nice to get back to my pragmatic roots (Steven!!!!!). As I have always said:

While I am drawn to continental concepts, I am equally drawn to the Anglo-American style of exposition.

And Rorty pretty much characterizes the latter draw while traversing the former. And this is the cool thing about Rorty: the way he kind of blue-collarizes the more obscure concepts of continental thinkers: Heidegger, Derrida, etc.: while demonstrating a command of the general sense of what was at work in them. He’s generous, a kindly old teacher much like Jaspers who, as I have found in my recent reading, is an incredible writer.

That said, what I want to mainly point to (that is in reference to the above quote (is Rorty’s clear recognition of the value of resonance and seduction in any discourse. And this where I see the pragmatic overlap between him and Deleuze –Deleuze being the writer for which the creative act was never that far from the back of his mind.

And as the prodigal son to my pragmatic board (it’s been a while since I’ve had anything to post on it), I have found things that support my pragmatic sensibility. In my immersion in the Great Courses lecture series, Argumentation: the Study of Effective Reasoning by David Zarefsky, I found out that legitimate argument is not so much about that which stays within the confines of logic (both formal and informal), but that which contributes to the productivity of the discourse, that which works towards the goal of a better understanding or a working compromise.

In other words, it is ultimately about what works. Beyond that, all there is who it is working for and why.

Anyway: good to be back for a while, guys. Steven???

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 8:24 pm
by d63
“I use "ironist" to name the sort of person who faces up to the contingency of his or her own most central beliefs and desires - someone one sufficiently historicist and nominalist to have abandoned the idea that those central beliefs and desires refer back to something beyond the reach of time and chance.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 74-75). Kindle Edition.

Here again we see an overlap between Rorty and Deleuze as well as the provincial bourgeoisie postmodernism that Rorty represented –that is in Rorty’s healthy respect for the element of chance. Hence the term “contingency” in the title. And this is important to understand in order to place it all in the context of the history it was working in. It was, for instance, a reflection of the same sensibility at work in the Beat poets and the anti-classicism that has haunted our culture since. And I would further note that what Rorty seems to be getting at is the same model that Deleuze presented in Logic of Sense: that of series, events, and chancing. Rorty, like Deleuze, sees us as systems composed of various sub-systems with their relevant sub-systems interacting with various supra-systems. And given that model, it becomes easier to see how the element of chance (what Deleuze also referred to as the dice roll (would play an important role in that process.

And the import of that important role is that it undermines classicist attempts to establish (through pure willpower (some kind of all purpose model that will explain everything and, consequently, offer solutions to any problem we might encounter. This, I would argue, is a residual effect of the metaphysics of power that has haunted us since the earlier days of civilization (when we had just crawled out of the muck): the notion that “civilization good; nature bad”. And we can see it at work in Nietzsche as well as Smith and it’s culmination in Ayn Rand and Neo-Liberalism.

But in Rorty and Deleuze, we see a more honest and developed assessment of our evolutionary process that, by recognizing us as nodes in a complex system, offers a more efficient model (the Metaphysics of Efficiency as compared to the Metaphysics of Power (of not “the survival of the fittest”, but the elimination of systems that, due to higher expectations that cannot be met by the available resources (that is without taking resources from other more productive systems), are unsustainable.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:04 pm
by d63
“Habermas, and other metaphysicians who are suspicious of a merely "literary" conception of philosophy, think that liberal political freedoms require some consensus about what is universally human. We ironists who are also liberals think that such freedoms require no consensus on any topic more basic than their own desirability. From our angle, all that matters for liberal politics is the widely shared conviction that, as I said in Chapter 3, we shall call "true" or "good" whatever is the outcome of free discussion - that if we take care of political freedom, truth and goodness will take care of themselves.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 1208-1211). Kindle Edition.

Of course, I’ve always been with Rorty and his loose criteria of what constitutes a legitimate argument: what I would call his anti-classicist position. (Or actually, it might be better to call it an a-classicist position since, while I (someone Rorty might refer to as an ironist (feel no commitment to classicist notions of eternal truth, I still have no problem with taking in classicist arguments to see what I can use. Trust me: Plato and Aristotle are on my reading wish list as well as Habermas.

But what Rorty is addressing here is an issue we are dealing with to this day. In fact, I actually saw it today at work on MSNBC in a respectable progressive commentator who attributed the mess we are in with Trump to the assault on truth coming from both the right and the left. But given my limited window here, I have to keep my focus and comment deeper on this later. Just let me say for now that it was more a matter of the right hijacking leftist strategies for ill gains.

That said, in support of Rorty’s position and in opposition to the notion that we require some kind final vocabulary or conceptual scheme to achieve justice, if you think about it, if we didn’t share a kind of instinctive sense of the desirability of freedom, we’d pretty much be fucked regardless of what sophisticated and compelling conceptual schemes our academics could come up with for us. And while I love theory and philosophy as a form of play, let’s face it: ideology and the theory it is based on follows basic human praxis and not the reverse.

Therefore, theory, at best, can only hope to participate in the sensibility of those who are open to it. To argue for some kind of truth to be found, as Habermas and even Žižek does, is only to set ourselves up for yet another authoritarian regime, not to mention a false understanding of what is required. As Rorty rightly argued:

“I want to dismiss the first of these objections fairly quickly, in order to concentrate on the second. The former amounts to the prediction that the prevalence of ironist notions among the public at large, the general adoption of antimetaphysical, antiessentialist views about the nature of morality and rationality and human beings, would weaken and dissolve liberal societies. It is possible that this prediction is correct, but there is at least one excellent reason for thinking it false. This is the analogy with the decline of religious faith. That decline, and specifically the decline of people's ability to take the idea of postmortem rewards seriously, has not weakened liberal societies, and indeed has strengthened them.”

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:37 pm
by d63
“One good example of a view which the "morality system" makes seem indecent is that sketched in Part I of this book: the view that although the idea of a central and universal human component called "reason," a faculty which is the source of our moral obligations, was very useful in creating modern democratic societies, it can now be dispensed with - and should be dispensed with, in order to help bring the liberal utopia of Chapter 3 into existence. I have been urging that the democracies are now in a position to throw away some of the ladders used in their own construction.” -Richard Rorty. Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity (Kindle Locations 2596-2599). Kindle Edition.

Just a few final remarks on the book before I move on:

Rorty, of course, throughout the book seems to be pimping the ironic position over the metaphysical one. And he did a pretty good job of defending it against one of the main LIBERAL arguments (via Habermas and, I think, Žižek as well (against him: that the ironic position is, by nature, private in nature and, therefore, hardly suited to address public issues such as justice or freedom. However, Rorty takes the rather practical (perhaps pragmatic (approach of treating the two as two separate activities that can be going on in an individual at any given time. And I would agree in the sense that nothing about my concern with public issues obligates me to adjust my private agenda for self creation in any way. If it were otherwise, living in the age of Trump would obligate me to focus purely on social and political issues. I would be obligated to not be wasting my time on philosophers such as Rorty or Deleuze –that is when I believe immersing myself into Rorty can actually supplement my more public concerns.

(For instance: I would note the overlap between the recent accusations (by progressives of all people (that Trump is the result of attacks on the truth by left as well as the right. But this is a false equivalence. While attacks on the truth by leftists were primarily about undermining authoritarian belief systems, attacks on the truth by the right are about an Orwellian attempt to prop up the authoritarian belief system.)

But I would take Rorty’s point further by noting, yet again, his pragmatic overlap with Deleuze. Deleuze is clearly what Rorty would describe as an ironist –that is as compared to a metaphysician. And like the ironist Rorty describes, Deleuze (throughout his career (rejects any hope of a final vocabulary and clearly embraces the private agenda of self creation. But it is in Deleuze that we see a melding of the private and the public (especially in his work w/ Guatarri (in that having seen the revolution of May 68 fail like it did, he turned to a private revolution that would hopefully change the sensibility of the individual.

And isn’t the sensibility of the individual ultimately what we’re up against in the age of Trump?

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:31 pm
by d63
“The representationalists’ attempt to explain the success of astrophysics and the failure of astrology is, Putnam thinks, bound to be merely an empty compliment unless we can attain what he calls a God’s-eye standpoint – one which has somehow broken out of our language and our beliefs and tested them against something known without their aid. But we have no idea what it would be like to be at that standpoint. As Davidson puts it, “there is no chance that someone can take up a vantage point for comparing conceptual schemes [e.g., the astrologer’s and the astrophysicist’s] by temporarily shedding his own.” -Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 6). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

And yet again we come up against the pragmatic overlap between Rorty and Deleuze –maybe even Putman. As far as I can tell, what we are looking at is the very concern that Deleuze was looking at in Difference and Repetition as well as Logic of Sense: the difficulties produced by our finite nature in the face of an infinite matrix of cause and effect. And to put it in the terminology of chaotics: what distinguishes Rorty and Deleuze from more classicist perspectives is that they both recognize the immense and fractal nature of causality as compared to the Newtonian linear understanding of it. Causality comes from all directions: right, left, from behind and ahead (from above and below), the present, past, and future. And all we can do is hope to capture some of it. Hence the import of chance for both Rorty (although he referred to it as contingency (and Deleuze.

And the personalities of both thinkers can be better understood in the context of this relationship. Rorty was more like the kindly old school teacher who took it slow. He was more temperate in nature. I mean does anyone know of the man having any vices? That is outside of an occasional wine at dinner parties. “Dinner and conversation at the Rorty’s” as Deleuze and Guatarri put it in What is Philosophy. Therefore, he tended to take the intellectually curious under his wing as if to protect them from the overly rigid and superfluous criteria of the classicists. Rorty argued that the only way we deal with the infinite is by accepting our limits in the face of it.

Deleuze (reported to be an alcoholic), on the other hand, approached the infinite as a kind of renegade. “Fuck the classicists” he argued and (with the help of Guatarri (encouraged us to accelerate as we bounced around the infinite matrix in the hope of (through a kind of momentum (achieving a kind-of god’s-eye perspective as described by Putman.

My main point here is that both (via different approaches (were anti-classicists that saw through the authoritarian/hierarchical nature of more traditional approaches and sought to undermine it before it got dangerous –much as it did with Heidegger.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:00 pm
by d63
“There are two principal ways in which reflective human beings try, by placing their lives in a larger context, to give sense to those lives. The first is by telling the story of their contribution to a community. This community may be the actual historical one in which they live, or another actual one, distant in time or place, or a quite imaginary one, consisting perhaps of a dozen heroes and heroines selected from history or fiction or both. The second way is to describe themselves as standing in immediate relation to a nonhuman reality. This relation is immediate in the sense that it does not derive from a relation between such a reality and their tribe, or their nation, or their imagined band of comrades. I shall say that stories of the former kind exemplify the desire for solidarity, and that stories of the latter kind exemplify the desire for objectivity. Insofar as a person is seeking solidarity, she does not ask about the relation between the practices of the chosen community and something outside that community. Insofar as she seeks objectivity, she distances herself from the actual persons around her not by thinking of herself as a member of some other real or imaginary group, but rather by attaching herself to something which can be described without reference to any particular human beings.” -Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 21). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Here again, we see how Rorty’s pragmatism democratizes philosophy as compared to the classicist approach of creating a kind of hierarchy via the subject/object dichotomy in which the subject stands above the object, almost godlike, and declares judgment upon it: tells the object “what it is”. And it would only be a short jump from that to the guru complex of seeing the potential disciple as an object to the self proclaimed guru: the one that went through all the steps and climbed the ladder and found “enlightenment” that the disciple must seek in order to evolve from an object into a “subject”. And we see this accelerated under Capitalistic values. Note, for instance, the claim by scientists like Hawkings and Neal DeGrass Tyson that science will make philosophy obsolete. What else could that be but the proclamations of the benefactors of the best knowledge that money can buy? And what is really telling is how stuck they seem on the old paradigm of the lone genius like a Newton or Einstein, or even (as a caveat to the arts (a Van Gogh.

What the neo-classicists fail to see is that the new paradigm (in an almost cosmic sense of irony (is the computer programmer (most notably the hacker) –that which both Rorty and Deleuze (in their pragmatic overlap (were perfectly compatible with. Both in their materialism (their discarding of the subject/object dichotomy (were about giving us license (Rorty through unfettered discourse (Deleuze (with the help of Guatarri (through a de-centered rhizomatic model (to act as nodes in a system of exchange through which we can get beyond ourselves via a kind of social momentum, one in which we could actually make things better, one brokered through solidarity and inter-subjectivity rather than fawning over some exceptional individual.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:26 pm
by d63
“To be ethnocentric is to divide the human race into the people to whom one must justify one’s beliefs and the others. The first group – one’s ethnos – comprises those who share enough of one’s beliefs to make fruitful conversation possible. In this sense, everybody is ethnocentric when engaged in actual debate, no matter how much realist rhetoric about objectivity he produces in his study.” -Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (pp. 30-31). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

This, of course, will put a bit of a scare in many of my progressive peers. And at a more nominal level (as well as popular), ethnocentricity is looked at in racial terms. But here Rorty is expanding the term. And it is important to understand how he is doing so. As Voltaire argued:

If you want to talk to me, define your terms.

And it’s not like Rorty is really departing that much from the generally accepted understanding of the term. Even in the more nominal/racial sense of the term, the ethnic is still about a community that shares certain beliefs and understandings of the world (or reality (that community happens to live in together. Therefore, Rorty’s point equally applies at the more nominal level. Neither situation offers hope of totally opposed ethnicities (and “opposed” is an important term here since it involves different realities (being able to productively communicate with each other. Note, for instance, our progressive difference with the right under Trump. Trump and his followers, by Rorty’s understanding of the term, are of a completely different form of ethnocentricism.

I see this all the time (as a progressive in Nebraska (with my dear rightwing friends. From an ethnocentric perspective, on one hand there is no point in us discussing politics since it could not possibly be productive; on the other, and from an ethnocentric perspective as defined by Rorty, we can still interact due to our shared experience in other areas.

Likewise, I can still (as a white heterosexual male( share a kind of ethnocentricity with people of other races, genders, and sexual orientations through whatever shared belief systems and assumptions we happen to have: we can still engage in productive discourse.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:54 pm
by d63
In the midst of my present immersion in Rorty, I recently went through the audio book for Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in the 20th Century. And I gotta say that it read to my ear like some of Rorty’s best writing, not just in terms of prose style, but his clarity of exposition (much like that of Philosophy and Social Hope (and the way it clarified a lot of what I was extracting from his more academic writings.

One of the main things it crystallized for me was something that had been emerging in my readings (that which I fully sympathize with: Rorty’s respectful but critical stance towards Foucault. (And keep mind here that I am mainly working from my memories of an audio book with no actual text to refer to. So I’ll mainly be working from summarizations.) And the main thing that struck me was Rorty’s point that oligarchs would love nothing more than for academics to focus on high theory since it would distract them from coming up with real and practical ideas about how to fix the mess the oligarchy is creating. And we have to admit that theory is a bourgeoisie luxury. I mean it mainly works within the universities that not everyone has access to. Mix corporate funding into that and what you get is the best knowledge that money can buy.

Add onto that, the culture of futility that Foucault represents, and you get a double orgasm for the oligarchy that is perfectly implicit in this mess. And as Rorty pointed out to me (as well as my peer Steven Orslini (in a description that was clearly a reference to Žižek: the problem with high theory is that while it is good at analyzing problems, it offers little in the category of solutions.

However, Rorty (like myself ( is not anti-theory. He is very clear on his admiration for it. And he mitigates this conflict by making the distinction between the private realm of philosophy (the realm of self creation: that of high theory such as Foucault or Žizek or Deleuze (and the public realm in which philosophy seeks real solutions to real problems.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:09 pm
by d63
“In particular, we should follow Davidson rather than (as Hesse does) Black in our account of metaphor. For, by putting metaphor outside the pale of semantics, insisting that a metaphorical sentence has no meaning other than its literal one, Davidson lets us see metaphors on the model of unfamiliar events in the natural world – causes of changing beliefs and desires – rather than on the model of representations of unfamiliar worlds, worlds which are ‘symbolic’ rather than ‘natural’. He lets us see the metaphors which make possible novel scientific theories as causes of our ability to know more about the world, rather than expressions of such knowledge. He thereby makes it possible to see other metaphors as causes of our ability to do lots of other things – e.g., be more sophisticated and interesting people, emancipate ourselves from tradition, transvalue our values, gain or lose religious faith – without having to interpret these latter abilities as functions of increased cognitive ability. Not the least of the advantages of Davidson’s view, I shall be arguing, is that it gives us a better account of the role played in our lives by metaphorical expressions which are not sentences – scraps of poetry which send shivers down our spine, non-sentential phrases which reverberate endlessly, change our selves and our patterns of action, without ever coming to express belief or desires.” -Rorty, Richard. Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth: Volume 1: Philosophical Papers (p. 163). Cambridge University Press. Kindle Edition.

Throughout this particular immersion in Rorty (I still have one more book to go), one of the things I have sadly neglected is the import Rorty puts on Metaphor in the intellectual/philosophical process –even the scientific as I will try to go into later. And that seems strange to me as (in a clear, vulgar even, deferment to an appeal to authority (he kind of confirms what I have always suspected: the important role that resonance and seduction can play in an intellectual (as well as creative –go figure (process.

First of all, I would ask the reader to consider the possibility that the term “metaphor” is pretty much interchangeable with the term “model”. I mean think about it: when we present a model, it is as if we are basically saying: it is as if….. And it is all over philosophy. For instance, Sartre’s model of the relationship between being-in-itself and being-for-itself. And we can see, yet again, the pragmatic overlap in Deleuze and Guatarri’s de-centered rhizomatic network. And even as early as Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition, it was clear that the creative act was never that far from Deleuze’s mind. Nor Guatarri's for that matter given The Anti-Oedipus Papers. It’s no wonder they hooked up.

And we see as much in science. Take, for instance, the models offered by microphysics: atoms and molecules and the ways in which they interact. We see drawn pictures of them. Yet, we can only assume they exist from inference and the fact that those inferences seem to work, those models and metaphors. We do as much with energy.

And by “seem to work”, I mean that those models and metaphors resonate and seduce through their continued usefulness in dealing with our reality, that which seems to me a kind of evolutionary mandate.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:53 pm
by d63
Today’s study point (at the “library” (in Rorty’s Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth in the chapter “The Priority of Democracy to Philosophy”) brought me back to the issue of Rorty’s more expanded understanding of ethnocentrism. Again (or rather to articulate on points I’ve made earlier), the boards we tend to associate with on Facebook involve a kind of ethnocentrism (that is by Rorty’s definition (to the extent that when we ally ourselves with a given board, we do so because we happen to share certain assumptions. And it is that ethnocentrism that allows us to engage in productive discourses together.

That said, Rorty points to two different approaches to social justice: the Kantian de-0ntic approach in which we have some universal non-temporal standard that applies to everyone that could possibly exist in the universe, and the Hegelian identification with community: hence Rorty’s embrace of the ethnocentric in that by achieving empathy with those within our immediate circle (especially in the case of progressives (we develop the tools to empathize with those in the expanding circles of the others. In other words, the others don’t need to become us in order for us to empathize with them and choose policies that will help them. All that really matters is that we help make things better for them. In other words, Rorty as I understand him is arguing that we have to work from our ethnocentric position towards understanding and justice for the other: a, BTW, typical Bourgeoisie Liberal position. And would that really matter to the individual it happens to be helping?

And the main reason I’m on about this today is that I see a connection with Arthur Lupia’s (in Uninformed: Why People Know so Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It (model concerning how people tend to develop intellectually: from information to knowledge to competence. And the reason that I bring Lupia into this is that Rorty seems to have an instinctive grasp of the model. Rorty understands that the process always starts with information. But more importantly, he understands (as Lupia did (that the knowledge part of the process is always intertwined with the individual’s belief system. In other words, the knowledge part of the process (dependent yet exploitive of the information offered to it (is always facts, data, and belief systems intertwined. The knowledge part of the process is always organic in nature in that it has to grow out of itself: an evolutionary mandate if you will –even neuro-plasticity if you think about it.

To put it another way: our growth process is not so much a matter of making ourselves a completely different other, but of always reaching beyond ourselves into the “impossible other” that Lacan described. We grow out of ourselves towards the other.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:22 pm
by d63
Rhizome 9/9/18:

Today just finished Rorty’s Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth while doing my footwork and started on the latest issue of Philosophy Now (in which I have a letter to the editor, BTW (at the library. My plan is to keep reading PN (which is about Continental philosophy (at the library and getting some things done around the house during my footwork sessions. These Nebraska rains have put me in a situation where my yard has become like fighting a jungle that just wants to be. After this digression into PN, I have every intention of finishing my Rorty immersion with Heidegger and Other Essays. Everything’s an experiment, right?

But before I put the previous book behind me, I want to clear up some misconceptions I may have instigated myself. I have generally talked about this “pragmatic overlap” between Rorty and Deleuze. And Rorty actually backs me on this in the way he tends to refer to continental philosophers –most notably Heidegger and Derrida. And I do believe there are overlaps between American Pragmatism and the Continental approach in that they do have some similar goals: most notably the undermining of authoritarian narratives and epistemological systems -what Marcuse referred to as “operationalism”.

However, if there is anything I have learned from my recent excursion into Objectivity, Relativism, and Truth, it’s that American pragmatism tends to distance itself from the radical nature of the continental and opts rather for the practical. It sees the continental as strong on diagnosis while weak on prognosis (that is in its futilism (and solutions.

Of course: who knows what will result from the Age of Trump.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:11 pm
by d63
Rhizome 9/10/18 (and please excuse the dear diary moment:

Today, I read an excellent article on Derrida in Philosophy Now (issue 127): Mike Sutton’s “What is Derrida Saying to Us?” But first a couple of confessions. First of all, I should admit that I mainly know Derrida through secondary text. I mean the guy is notoriously obscure. And I’m not sure I have enough time left in my lifetime to immerse myself in him enough to even broach (or traverse as the postmoderns like to say (any respectable claim to authority on him. Secondly, as I have said before, I tend to judge other writers in terms of what I can use for my own process. And these two points come together in my confessing that my main respect for Derrida comes from what I can use in him based on what I have gathered from secondary texts on him. And I praise Sutton’s article in that spirit and for its focus (crystallizations of my own understandings (on 3 important Derrida-ian concepts:

and Deconstruction
(which should be spelled But another time on that.)

Logocentrism pretty much goes to what Rorty is opposed to: this notion that there is some kind of final language by which we can judge all other languages. We can also translate this to Rorty’s point in Philosophy as a Mirror of Nature: this erroneous notion of some transcendent epistemological system by which we can judge the validity of our assertions.

Diffe̕rrance goes to the foundation of why we can never hope to find any all purpose solutions to every problem we face. Diffe̕rrance forces us to wing it because no matter what situation we’re up against, we can never find an original cause that we could, once diagnosed, change and fix everything for the good. This is because, in the same way that meaning is deferred in language, causality (therefore meaning (is always deferred: multiple chains of cause and effect converging into the horizon and disappearing into nothing.

(At the same time, it is important to note a different kind of Diffe̕rrance in Deleuze and Guatarri. In their case, it is about an infinite rhizomatic universe in which there is no center, a complex in which the horizons are always within the matrix itself.)

Deconstruction (or rather –just consider it guys!!!! (to me feels like the misinterpretation of Hegel’s dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis (on steroids. Deconstruction (or once again: (is what I believe has led to the nihilistic perspective that I am attempting to pimp. As I have said: it’s not just a perspective you just say: sounds good, think I’ll take it on. It is rather what results from an ongoing process of (dare I say it?( that leaves you with no real foundation.

Re: Public Journal:

PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2018 8:09 pm
by d63
Yesterday, in a discourse on Democrats are Stronger Together ( ... up_comment ), I went off on this particular rant:

“It goes deep, girls. These red pill sights in which white beta males complain about their frustrations with females (which is generally innocuous (too often digresses into misogyny and rape culture. The In-cells (the involuntarily celibate (only get there quicker. Now imagine the racism that might result from seeing white women go with men of other races. Imagine what a prime recruiting ground these red pill and In Cell sights would be for Neo-Nazis and the alt-right.”

And I know how strange it must have seemed in the context given that the board is primarily focused on the political which tends to be more mainstream and practical in nature –understandably so. I understand why it got no response. It was just one of those situations in which my tendency to straddle the political and theoretical led to me breaking into a theoretical rant that seemed out of place to those witnessing it.

However, in my defense, I read, today at the “library”, an excellent article in Philosophy Now, Scott Remer’s “A Radical Cure: Hannah Arendt and Simone Weil on the Need for Roots”, that kind of went to my point. I quote in reference to Arendt:

“Indeed, the atomized and individualized mass is a necessary precondition for totalitarianism (p.318). Languishing in a “situation of spiritual and social homelessness” (p.352), shorn of sustaining social bonds and ties, individuals are forced to live in a world where they cannot exist meaningfully and fruitfully. They try to escape this agonizing limbo and, in the absence of powerful inclusive left-wing alternatives, they look to exclusivist reactionary movements for succor.”

Now, of course, Red Pill sights were not foremost on Arendt’s mind. They didn’t really exist in her time. But still her point seems prescient given what we face in the age of Trump and the alienated that constitute his followers. And as is made very clear, Arendt roots this in the alienation created by producer/consumer Capitalism and the “in-crowd” mentality that emerges from it and leaves those who are not part of that in-crowd in desperate situations.

Hence: their distaste for the intellectual elite (the democrats and progressives (that Trump exploited. But more on this tomorrow. It’s far more complex than today’s window would allow.