Blog Archive

Monday, January 20, 2014

Philosopher



Met(on the phone) a real, actual Philosopher, tonight.
How utterly Refreshing!
To not have to give a fucking Class, to explain my every utterance!
To be able to dismiss Kierkegard, out of hand...and be understood!
To FEEL the Intellect behind the soft feminine Voice.
To be Understood!
Alas!
Alon!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Wanderers East.



Came across this (http://www.longwayround.com/journeys_long-way-round.htm) on Netflix, wherein Ewan McGregor and some guy named Charlie ride motorcycles from London, east, all the way to New York City.
Khazakstan, Mongolia and Siberia, so far.
I find that I am insanely jealous.
I did my share of Wandering, of course.
I have alluded to those years,my “Wild Years”, many times...and I'll get around to writing about them, and what I grokked, in the near future.
But while Dixie is, indeed, almost another planet...it ain't Eurasia.
As with any program that turns on my Mind, I go on many tangential Wiki Wanders...so it takes me some time to get through a series like this.
I roam through Trans-Oxania...the region beyond what once was known as the Oxus-Jaxartes Valley...around the now dry Aral Sea.
The furthest point in Alexander's conquests.
Or the Road of Bones...the highway in Far Eastern Siberia, built literally on the broken backs of Stalin's political prisoners, whose mutilated corpses are buried in the road-bed, itself...that being an easier interral than digging graves in the permafrost.
Anyhoo...Young Obi Wan's adventure show is worth the time, if you like exotic places, and the logistical nightmare involved in actually going there.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hail Satan.



Fucking hilarious!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/08/satanists-oklahoma_n_4408486.html

I hope that the Rabid “Christians” in the Buckle of the Bible Belt are marshaling their lawyers...
I hope that the Tea People, including all the Sharia fearing Hysterics, and the “Christian Nation” revisionists, and David Barton(and Glenn Beck)...are gearing up...sending in their green stamps and whatnot...
I hope that they take it all the way to the Supreme Court.
It will be as delicious as rocky road on Jennifer Aniston's foot(!?).
It will cost that portion of the Fringe a whole bunch of money...provide fodder for John Stewart, and likely spur counterdonations to PFAW and the ACLU.
Even the current SCOTUS is not crazy enough to attempt to overturn the Establishment Clause so blatantly.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Establishment_Clause
This is the way to counter all of that Xenophobic, ahistorical bullshit.
Perhaps a six foot statue of Kore...or a Reclining Buddha.
Myself, I'd like to see a Druid's Grove dedicated on the Courthouse Lawn.
Even more, I'd like to see a Freethinker's Monument, a la Comfort, Texas, down the road a piece. http://ffrf.org/legacy/fttoday/2002/dec02/fisher.php

For too long, non-Christians...and more pointedly, non- Rabid-so-called-”Christians”...have let the Crazies get away with getting their way in these matters.
We've been too fearful of the cries of “Persecution!”, whenever these nutters are challenged, even half-heartedly.
That it's the frikking Church of Satan that has the Balls to so overtly confront the forces of hate and discrimination and FEAR, is the cherry on top.
We are, and always have been, a Secular Nation...no matter what the David Bartons of the world say.


Monday, January 6, 2014

Semi-Supine

(a la Alexander)

Saturday was balmy, sort of...and relatively...
Me and the Wife were out at the “old house” (the broken down trailerhouse at Mom's), cleaning up more of the detritus, in preparation for installing 1/2” plyboard on the floors, and hardyboard on the rotten wall...(Ugh!)
All of this in service of the Dream of having my Library/Monastery/Hermitage...hopefully by Summer.
An hour into this chore, my back suddenly hurt like hell...not from intense labor, it's not that difficult to hold a snow shovel while Wife sweeps....but from the approaching front.
So everything stopped...and we went and took care of my Mom's chickens(she has Pneumonia, so we've been out every day to do animals)...with me moving slower and slower and more and more painfully...and finally got home....by which time I could hardly walk from the truck to the bed.
….Where I've been ever since.
This is the worst Front, yet.
I slept for maybe 2 hours Saturday night, writhing and moaning...took the max dosage of the pain pills, and smoked a lot of herb...
What is different about this cold front?
The local Pressure didn't change all that much, according to the weather service, as well as my Barometers.
About the only distinguishing feature of this cold front, relative to the others, is the Pressure Differential...between the center of the Low, and me.
When the center moved into Kansas, that's when my back gave out, and the cascade of structural failures began. Last night (Sunday), around 8pm, I suddenly felt better...that Low had moved off to the North East.
Again, I'm left looking for a Mechanism.
I lay here, thinking about Gravity Waves and Subspace(100+hours of Star Trek,lol)...and lament that no one at LIGO ever got back to me.
There's Science, waiting to be done, here.
From 3pm Saturday afternoon, to 8pm Sunday evening, I was in Hell.
12 more hours later, and I'm exhausted from the ordeal.(and cold...it was 14 degrees, at 5am)
How strange it is, to be knocked flat by something so far away.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

IDIC



"If man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes are a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear." - Gene Roddenberry

I rarely watched TV, as a kid...not like my peers, at least.
We were too far out for cable(which, at the time, was still rare), and not filthy rich enough for such superfluities as an 8 foot satellite dish in the yard. So we were stuck with Network...3 Biggies, plus PBS, plus 2 “independents”.
Ergo, it was books, encyclopedias, and the Woods, and Dr Who on Sundays.
So I didn't get into TV until I was a young adult...and didn't get into Star Trek until Next Generation.
Picard is still one of my heroes.
And the whole Roddenberrian Idealism has been with me since long before I'd ever even heard of Star Trek, let alone IDIC.

….That's “Infinite Diversity, in Infinite Combination”.
Introduced in the Original Series episode,”Is there in truth, no beauty?”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Is_There_in_Truth_No_Beauty%3F), this ill defined concept is, nevertheless, quite fundamental to my worldview.
A quote by Miranda, in that episode:
““The glory of creation is in its infinite diversity.”

“And the ways our differences combine
to create meaning and beauty.”
(Note: Compare Miranda in the Tempest...”...Oh Brave New World!...”)

This is Pluralism, writ Large.
This is the essential Heart of Liberalism, as I define it...Embrasure of all of the Variety and Diversity of the Universe, and the furtherance of Knowledge and Understanding, thereby.
Contrary to what the Mundanes might be expected to say in response to such a n Ideal, this does in no way Diminish Me...rather, it expands me.
Enriches me.
Makes me Broad and Deep.

Interestingly, the Concept was included in the episode in order to sell jewelry...and this caused problems between Nimoy and Shatner, on one side and Roddenberry, on the other.(http://startrekfactcheck.blogspot.com/2013/08/dont-know-much-about-vulcan-philosophy.html)

Here's a little more, from the quite limited on-line exegesis:”Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations represents a Vulcan belief that beauty, growth, and progress all result from the union of the unlike. Because concord, as much as discord, requires the presence of at least two different notes, diversity is good. The brotherhood of man is an ideal based on learning to delight in our essential differences, as well as learning to recognize our similarities. “
(from:http://everything2.com/title/Infinite+diversity+in+Infinite+Combinations)

While rightly regarded, in Trek-Dom, as the Theme of the Trek Franchise, there is surprisingly little rumination, or exposition, of this concept.
I was almost Giddy to have happened upon it...it leapt from the screen at the foot of the bed, and has been rattling around in my head for 3 weeks...jumping tracks, and bumping into other acronyms, like TINA and LOIS.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/There_Is_No_Alternative) and (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_ownership_import_substituting), respectively.

TINA is my word for the whole My Way or the Highway Thing that has been so fundamental to the development(or non-development) of Western Civ for the last 100 years, or so...re-animated and set to stumbling around again, in Fukyama's Last Man at the End of History. Rozsak called it “Single Vision”.
Every little movement that appears and challenges this...or even just tries to escape from it (Cuba)...is either destroyed...or Absorbed, and neutralised(Borg,lol).
I get the feeling that IDIC could possibly be the antithesis of TINA.
I'm reminded of the Ecological importance of the Edge...the limnal space between field and woods, between land and sea...this is where all the fun stuff happens in Nature. It's where Diversity is at it's greatest.

What a radically different world we'd have, if this had been the Foundational Premise...
Instead, it's the Dominator Paradigm.
TINA.
The Single Vision, the Narrow View.
Small Thoughts for Small Minds....
the consequences, of course, are the proliferation of even more Small Minds...the propagation of Fear, in a fertile soil of Ignorance.
After a while, there's simply no place for the Broad and the Deep...
No room for Big Minds, containing Expansive Thoughts...
No room for the Feral...the Non-Professional...the Un-Approved.


...the day of the philosopher as isolated thinker--the talented amateur with an idiosyncratic message--is effectively gone.

—Nicholas Rescher, "American Philosophy Today," 'Review of Metaphysics' 46 (4)

-{--”Professionalization is the social process by which any trade or occupation establishes the group norms of conduct, acceptable qualifications for membership of the profession, a professional body or association to oversee the conduct of members of the profession, and some degree of demarcation of the qualified from unqualified amateurs.[1] The transformation into a profession brings about many subtle changes to a field of inquiry, but one more readily identifiable component of professionalization is the increasing irrelevance of "the book" to the field: "research communiqu├ęs will begin to change in ways [...] whose modern end products are obvious to all and oppressive to many. No longer will [a member's] researches usually be embodied in books addressed [...] to anyone who might be interested in the subject matter of the field. Instead they will usually appear as brief articles addressed only to professional colleagues, the men whose knowledge of a shared paradigm can be assumed and who prove to be the only one able to read the papers addressed to them."[2] Philosophy underwent this process toward the end of the 19th-century and it is one of the key distinguishing features of the contemporary philosophy era in western philosophy.”--}-
(from:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_philosophy)

I assert that this has led to the worst of Dogmatism...and Certainty.
Here's your Ivory Tower.
It's almost Ironic to have such a retrenchment into Aristocratic Mindsets in the “Age of Information”...the transformation in communication, and Information delivery into the very smallest niche....democratisation of Knowledge, itself.
Indeed, it's difficult to not see grand conspiracies, working for just this end....Taking this Fragmentation away from the “Liberal” mindset, and tranforming into it's opposite...Revaanchment.
Into the Monastery with such Esoterica...it is for the Initiated, alone!

On that, again, we cannot Know...as most of us are simply not privy to such conclaves.
But the most reasonable Assumption, in my view, is that there are factions, in the Aristocracy, and it's Managerial Class, that compete against each other, often fiercely...but are still aligned(as to direction) in the broadest sense...due to the Logic of the System, that we all ride along in.
But they are in no way Omnicient, nor Omni-potent.
Consider the WWW.
Originally intended as a Command and Control System, robust enough to maintain the Power Structure in the event of an all out nuclear conflict...somebody saw an opportunity to make a lil' Jack...and the Web escaped it's bounds.
Ever since, what I call the Machine...in all of it's multiplicity...has been trying to capture that thing, again...put it behind fences...not just for Money...but, essentially...and unconsciously...for Control...and the Maintenance of current Power Structures.
There's a very real Hope, there...in that Feral-Ness...that Wildness/
I'm reminded of “...that Wild Atreides Gene...”, in the Dune Universe....
Destructive, yet essential for Growth.
The drive to Control ...Everything....is borne of Fear.
Fear of losing one's Place...of Not Measuring Up....
This whole universe of Thought is what Herbert termed the Pharaonic Model”....the model of Empire...and of Emperors.
Authoritarian, Heirarchical.
It must Control everydamnedthing, because it can brook no competition...
Hence the penchant for Ad Hominem and Shouting...in place of Dialog, and Discourse.
We might be proven wrong...which is Unthinkable.
Lol.
My favorite quote....
“Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth -- more than ruin, more even than death. Thought is subversive and revolutionary, destructive and terrible, thought is merciless to privilege, established institutions, and comfortable habits; thought is anarchic and lawless, indifferent to authority, careless of the well-tried wisdom of the ages. Thought looks into the pit of hell and is not afraid ... Thought is great and swift and free, the light of the world, and the chief glory of man.”
― Bertrand Russell, Why Men Fight

Thought is also responsible for us not continuing to live in caves...or trees, for that matter....
We need a Diogenes for the Modern Age...sitting in his tub, just off the Marketplace, and laughing at it's Pretensions.
Masturbating on he legs of those who deem themselves Supermen.

---”The list of specific changes [during the late 19th-century professionalization of philosophy] is fairly brief, but the resultant shift is almost total. [...] No longer could the [philosophy] professor function as a defender of the faith or an expounder of Truth. The new philosopher had to be a leader of inquires and a publicizer of results. This shift was made obvious when certified (often German-certified) philosophy Ph.D.'s replaced theology graduates and ministers in the philosophy classroom. The period between the time when almost no one had a Ph.D. to when almost everyone did was very brief. [...] The doctorate, moreover, was more than a license to teach: it was a certificate that the prospective philosophy instructor was well, if narrowly, trained and ready to undertake independent work in the now specializing and restricted field of academic philosophy. These new philosophers functioned in independent departments of philosophy [...] They were making real gains in their research, creating a body of philosophic work that remains central to our study even now. These new philosophers also set their own standards for success, publishing in the recognized organs of philosophy that were being founded at the time: The Monist (1890), The International Journal of Ethics (1890), The Philosophical Review (1892), and The Journal of Philosophy, Psychology, and Scientific Methods (1904). And, of course, these philosophers were banding together into societies--the American Psychological Association (1892), the Western Philosophical Association (1900), and the American Philosophical Association (1900)--to consolidate their academic positions and advance their philosophic work.[5] “---
James Campbell,(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_philosophy)

That's all well and good.
And it was perhaps a necessary step in the Development of Philosophy....
But it is, in the end , limiting.
We end up thinking that We KNOW...and delimit and self-censor ourselves into the Mundane, the Practical...chaining ourselves with Assumptions...the Last Man, on his little hill...mistaking it for the Universe.
Again, from the Wiki, above:

--”The end result of professionalization for philosophy has meant that work being done in the field is now almost exclusively done by university professors holding a doctorate in the field publishing in highly technical, peer-reviewed journals.”---

Such Peer Reviewed Journals, in Philosophy, as well as in every other field, are increasingly ensconced behind a Paywall...out of the reach of the Feral Thinker, in his Barn.
It's all about Institutions, and Foundations and Organisations....
The Rarefied Air of Towers...the inhabitants of which are unaware of their Blindnesses.

{There is, however, some Hope, again, in such things as this:(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Bullshit)}
but this is the norm:

{“The author must hold a Ph.D. in philosophy or its equivalent at the time of submission.
·The author must be a current member of the APA in good standing.”}
{http://www.apaonline.org/?rockefeller}

Way to Open the Field to competition, guys...
It is implied in this Professionalisation, that “ordinary humans”, without PHD's, cannot possibly contribute anything of Value...which, of course, flies right into the face of Meritocracy, as well as Democracy, and many other Facets foundational to Enlightenment Thinking.

As with American Politics, we are stuck in the Ditch...and so fearful of the Other Ditch, that the road, itself, is Empty.
Once more, My Way, or Nothing...Orthodoxy.

This has settled, like a fine dust, into every cranny of our Civilisation.
One cannot utter an Unothodox statement, without hordes of Screamers emerging from Subspace to harangue and harass...flinging their Strawmen, in limitless supply...
Have we learned Nothing, after all?
Is there to be no place for Empericism?(and I realise that I'm being somewhat confusing and contradictory,with my terminology...such is the Nature of our current milieu...I'll not be confined. That's the Point!)
No place for Criticism?
(I'm thinking, here, of Economic Infallability, in Spite of the actual, objective, Results of such long term experimentation. Why run the damned experiment, at all?!?!...if you're not gonna pay any mind to the Results?!)
Is there to be no place for Conjecture, for Speculation...of the non-economic sort?...for Exploration and Hypotheticals?
What a Dour and Solemn place we have created....with no Horizons to reach for...with nothing but grubbing in the darkness and the muck to look forward to.



I refuse to let Fukyama...or Paul Ryan, Rand Paul or TedfuckingCruz... be the “Last Man”.

I am of the Lebowski School.(see:http://www.leafly.com/hybrid/sour-kush)
And of the Roddenberrian School of IDIC.
And have more akin to the “Continental” Philosophers of Western Europe, than to any of my American contemporaries.(such as there are!)
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_philosophy)
{"if human experience is a contingent creation, then it can be recreated in other ways".[9] }

“Sapere Aude!”

But their experience in the world is so very different from mine.
In that respect, I have little in common with them, either.
My Heroes were all anomalous:Socrates,Diogenes,Zeno, Aurelius.

Nietzsche.Whitman. Kerouac,Snyder.
Boethius,Cato(s), Locke,Jefferson.
Campbell,Rilke,Livergoode, and Huxley.
Rumi, Horace, Eliot,Ginsberg.
Wendell frikkin Berry!
As Uncle Walt said,:”Do I contradict myself?
Verily I contradict myself.
I am Large.
I contain Multitudes!”

I absorb Karl Popper, and Soren Kierkegaard,
“Liberation Theology”, and Steady State Economics.
I integrate Arne Naess, with “Mists of Avalon”, “Dune” and Ster Trek, Star Wars, LOTR,...Foundation, and Empire!
Into a contemporary Mythological construct...
Through which we can view the world.
Plug in Michael Ruppert/CW Mills, and Domhoff, and we have a Coherent(after a fashion) Framework, on which to hang our apprehensions of “Objective” Reality.
{http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfIaRQ146fk}

There is Profound to be found in the very Mundane....
There are Diamonds,in the Sea of Shit...
We're out here....
Use us.



http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/spirit/idic.html