Page 2 of 2

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:00 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 9/27/2020:

In my present immersion in Rorty’s Truth and Progress (my walk about and experiment), I came across something that is rare in a my philosophical process: an article in which I was mostly familiar with the deferred matrixes of meaning involving the work of other thinkers –something essential to understand the philosophical text you are reading. In this case, it was Dennett’s Consciousness Explained. And maybe my peers can help me out with this.

And what it brought to my attention was a conflict (or maybe even oversight (in Dennett’s” multiple drafts” theory of consciousness and his dismissal of a “Cartesian Theater”. His multiple drafts theory involves the mind passing data around to various units of the brain until a unified image of the external experience is achieved. And in this, he sees the emergence of consciousness.

(And I would note here the similarity of Dennett’s model to Deleuze and Guattari’s 3 syntheses of the unconscious: the connective, the disjunctive (to a lesser degree), and the conjunctive in which consciousness is formed.)

And I actually find Dennett’s model useful. The problem for me starts with his “Cartesian Theater”. If I understand the history of philosophy right, the main departure that Husserl and phenomenology engaged in with Descartes was the “thinking substance” that, if you think about it, seems very similar to Dennett’s multiple drafts theory. It’s like the subject and object are so intimately intertwined, there is no distinguishing between the two. So I have to question the whole notion of the Cartesian Theater –or rather Dennett’s use of it.

Furthermore, I would note that what Husserl and phenomenology (via intentionality: the recognition that consciousness is always consciousness of something (took from their criticism of Descartes’ thinking substance was the recognition that underneath all that thinking there had to be something bearing witness to it: a perceiving thing or “ultimate ego” as Husserl referred to it. And it seems to me that Dennett’s multiple drafts model would be equally vulnerable to that criticism and thereby render his concept of the Cartesian Theater invalid. Or maybe it’s just that Dennett attributed something to Descartes that wasn’t actually there.

Or am I just as confused as I must seem here?

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Sep 27, 2020 9:48 pm
by Meno_
This is interesting on many / or on multiple levels. I could scribble something in a bar like You also used to, as Ifrallus was saying ones tims, like this animals with vastly superior eye sight, to accommodate for dark, or in my cass, even as a totally sightless bat, dependent on senses of verbatim heresy. or hsre-say, but the profundity that is implied needs and deserves more than a token comment.

Deferring this is far more valuable even as token recognition.
Within it's own contextual limitation. as a mere nod .

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:46 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 10/18/2020:

Having just finished my graphic guide, Introduction to Thatcherism, I was struck by how intimately and parallel Britain’s history has been linked to America’s since the 80’s. It’s almost like we were separated at birth. As I read it (the history involved w/ Thatcher), I couldn’t help but see the similarities with what we went through with Reagan. Most notable here is their common root in Friedman and Hayek’s Neo-Liberalism. And for both the result was pretty much the same: an increase in the wealth gap and decrease in the quality of life for the poor.

And that was by design, even if the advocates of Neo-Liberalism won’t admit to it. It was noted in the book that Thatcher was considered a bit authoritarian and autocratic. As was said of her: she never met an institution she wouldn’t hit with her handbag. (Think Trump here.) And institutions are what look out for the interests of everyday people. But what was oddly missing in the book (a point that would go toward this particular description of her (was the fact that she sheltered Pinochet when other countries were seeking to indict him for crimes against humanity –and for good reason. And this would seem to be a departure between her and Reagan. But I would argue otherwise. Reagan might be the equivalent of the Republican’s Kennedy, and he might have done things with a smile and a sense of humor, but he was as attached to the inherent fascism of Neo-Liberalism as Thatcher was. He too embraced the tyranny of the functional that saw non-producers as undesirables that deserved to wallow in poverty and misery, even die due to lack of access to healthcare.

But the most interesting parallel was what followed their demise and followed from their legacy: changes in the opposing parties. It was noted that Tony Blair was the Labor party’s compromise with Thatcherism. Now: note his “special relationship” with Clinton who was the Democrat’s compromise with Reaganism. (Think NAFTA here.) Now look at the parallels between Trump and Boris Johnson.

The point is that I don’t think we can talk about either legacy without the other. It has to be, rather, the Reagan/Thatcher (or Thatcher/Reagan if you will (legacy. Once again: separated at birth.

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:56 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 10/23/2020:

“At first reading, the concept of animal consciousness appears built into the Darwinian ‘struggle for survival’. This phrase seems to imply the presence of a person, a struggling self that really cares about whether or not it survives.” -Brewer, Stephen. The Origins of Self. Kindle Edition.

Back in the 90’s when I was a little less mature (they were the early 90’s), I found myself in what I can only call a chemically inspired conversation about whether a gnat or an ant can have a sense of self. My good friends (who were also chemically inspired (argued, to put it simply:


I (being me: argued the diametrical opposite. Of course, the whole discourse being chemically inspired, it never got that heated or in depth for that matter. My argument, in that spirit, was primarily instinctive and even visceral. It wasn’t until later upon more sober reflection that I actually started to articulate it. I realized that the problem lie in the instinct for survival. It seemed to me that if a gnat or an ant were as mechanistic as my friends suggested , that instinct would only kick in if I were to directly stick a pin into them. But that is not the case. They rather tend to anticipate threats to their survival. And it just seems to me that you have to have some real sense of self (of what you are trying to protect (in order to respond to such an indirect threat.

And at no time is this more obvious than when encountering that Beelzebub Fly: that lone fly that decides to invade your private space and antagonize you relentlessly. I mean you have to ask how it manages to evade every clapping of your hands together. And think about it:

In order to finally be rid of it, you literally have to out-think it. You have to utilize the technology of holding your hands apart just above where it lands, cocked and ready to slap together when it attempts to take off.

Think about it.

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2020 9:08 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 12/6/2020:

Bateson, in Steps to an Ecology of Mind, takes issue with the term “ethos” in that it is just too short. The problem with that, he argues, is that it can make a term seem more concrete than it really is. He also refers a lot to Russell and Whitehead’s Principia Mathematic in which they address the set of all sets and the unlikelihood that any category can actually be a member of the group it describes. This, in turn, points to a certain amount of independence among the individual members of a given set.

This leaves me curious as to how this will change the way one might think of Capital. There are forms of Capital (money, land, human, knowledge, etc., etc.), yet we talk about Capital as if it, in itself, does things. And we can say as much for other short words such as love or hate. I’m just curious as to how this particular epiphany will take off in me.

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2020 12:06 am
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 12/14/2020:

Just finished Bateson's Steps to an Ecology of the Mind: 513 pages of reading pleasure. And while about 90% of what I read slipped by my filters, the about 10% that did catch was enough to pique my interest. I found things I could use. But that behind me for now (I will have to do rereads), next on my que is Donald Trump's Beautiful Poetry then the graphic novel My Friend Dalmer and then Alan Watt's Taoism: The Watercourse Way. And this, to me, seems to be a lucky set of coincidences in that after reading the first two books, Watt's spiritualism may just be the cleansing I need.

That said, I just started on Rob Sear's The Beautiful Poetry of Trump. It was a book I bought while drunk and on Amazon based on a recommendation by a Facebook friend. I didn't expect much from it. But I got to say that, so far, I have been laughing all the way. What it reminds me of is what Steven Colbert said when someone pointed out that Trump must be making his job, as a comedian, much easier. Colbert just grinned at him wryly and said:

"It virtually writes itself."

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Dec 20, 2020 9:37 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 12/20/2020:

“Certain Chinese philosophers writing in, perhaps, the -5th and -4th centuries explained ideas and a way of life that have come to be known as Taoism –the way of man’s cooperation with the course or trend of the natural world, whose principles we discover in the flow patterns of water, gas, and fire, which are subsequently memorialized or sculptured in those of stone and wood, and, later, in many forms of art.” –from Alan Watt’s Tao: The Watercourse Way

This revisit to Watts (I haven’t read him since the mid 90’s (has pretty much confirmed what I have suspected for some time now: that Watt’s form of Taoism has had a major influence on my conception of the nihilistic perspective. I even began to worry that I was basically rehashing it while making it seem edgier by bringing in the term “nihilism”. However, as the above quote has brought me to realize, there is one clear line of demarcation between the two: while Taoism tends to anchor itself to the general flow of nature, the nihilistic perspective tends to focus more on the very underlying nothingness expressed in the Taoist concept of the yin (the feminine (the negative upon which the positive is interdependent. We can only conceive of nothing because something exists. Still, something only makes sense in contrast to the possibility of it not being. The plot thickens.

But a lot implications and overlaps come out in the thick of it. Taoism defines itself as that which cannot be defined. The nihilistic perspective loses itself the minute it begins to justify itself. Justifying is what results in glum characters dressed in black who punctuate every statement with a long sigh that trials into silence and ends with: not that it matters anyway. What this fails to recognize is that being tapped into the underlying nothingness of things in no way commits us to negativity. I mean how can nothingness have such a fixed trajectory?

But the main compatibility I want to point to is how the two, while having a clear difference of orientation or sensibility, are perfectly capable of accommodating the other. Taoism would tend to accept the nihilistic perspective as just another expression of the flow of nature. The nihilistic perspective, on the other hand, would accept the Taoist approach as just one trajectory out of the underlying nothingness of things among others. As it would with Christianity, it would recognize that while there is no real foundation for embracing such a belief system, there is equally no real foundation for not embracing it.

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sat Jan 16, 2021 9:37 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 1/16/2021:

One of the main things that is coming out of this second approach to Donald Bogue’s Deleuze on Music, Painting, and the Arts is the connection Deleuze saw (especially in his work with Guatarri (between the human creative act and nature in general. And, here again, we return to Bergson’s point (a major influence on French culture as well as other cultures): that nature is inherently creative.

But I’m mainly working in initial wider swipes here. And in a general sense, I’m starting to appreciate the extent to which the book goes into zoological and social biological research in order to describe how D & G propped up their arguments. And it may (given my 70’s addled brain (take a few more runs to fully grasp it all. But one that did stick was a point made about the connection between art (in its general sense (and territoriality. Bogue, for instance, points out how the colors on tropical fish that inhabit coral reefs are often determined by the space they occupy on that reef.

And all this makes sense to me given my long held belief that art (in all its forms including literature and even interior design (is about conditioning both internal and external space. We basically do it in order to mark our space. Furthermore, it goes to the extent to which artists find their selves in litigation processes over copyright issues.

Which brings us to another question: regardless of the positive aspects of it described above, doesn’t it also risk landing us in what D & G refer to as a “paranoid center”? I mean we tend to think of art as a liberating force.

But still….

Re: Dear Diary Moments:

PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2021 9:51 pm
by d63
Dear Diary Moment 1/17/2021:

One of the cool things about this reading of Donald Bogue’s Deleuze on Music, Painting, and the Arts is that it is really crystallizing a lot of often vague understandings I have arrived at from my extensive library of books by and about Deleuze -w/ and w/out Guatarri.

Take, for instance, D&G’s understanding of the refrain and that music is defined by a deterritorialization of the refrain. Here we can see continuity in Deleuze’s thought going back to Difference and Repetition. As I understood (and still understand it), the cornerstone of the book was a analytic/metaphysical assertion:

That even a pure repetition must consist of different instances of the same thing; therefore, the only thing that can ever really be repeated is difference: a state of becoming.

In other words, for our purposes here, the territorialization that defines a refrain always carries within itself the seeds of its own deterritorialization. And anyone that has engaged in the creative act knows this. It is always a process of repeating what you know until you somehow get beyond it. And we better understand how this very refrain works in nature when we consider the three functions it can serve:

As point of order such as when a child sings a song when walking through a dark and isolated place.

A circle of control such as when an animal marks their territory.

And, finally, as a line of flight such as the repetitions of genetic code that allow us to evolve while anchoring us from becoming deformed freaks.

In short: every refrain, every repetition, every territorilization holds, within itself, the seeds of its own deterritorialization, its own becoming.