Postcards:

For all things philosophical.

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d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:37 pm

“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?

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sat Aug 25, 2018 7:31 pm

“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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:00 pm

“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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:24 pm

“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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 6:54 pm

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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Fri Sep 07, 2018 8:09 pm

“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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:53 pm

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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:22 pm

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.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:10 pm

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:

Logocentrism
Diffe̕rrance
and Deconstruction
(which should be spelled d.construction. 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 d.construction –just consider it guys!!!! (to me feels like the misinterpretation of Hegel’s dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis (on steroids. Deconstruction (or once again: d.construction (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?(d.construction that leaves you with no real foundation.

Impenitent
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Re: Postcards:

Post by Impenitent » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Thus spake Zarathustra

-Imp

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:33 pm

"What the way we have responded to Trump reminds me of is the movie Darkest Hour about Churchill dealing with the approach of Hitler. Churchill was basically negotiating a path through Britain's desire to maintain peace and Hitler's aggressiveness. They just didn't know what to do. They didn't want to fight. But they didn't want Hitler taking over: achieving his ambitions. We are dealing with a very similar situation with Trump as progressives. We just don't know what to do." -me

"This mess isn't going to end with the end of Trump.
We need to be very clear on that." -ibid

I have several concerns here:

For one, I can't help but feel that the troll mentality has broken from cyberspace and become a real-world issue. We clearly saw it in what the tea bagger's have been up to: the modern-day equivalent of the brown shirts. But I think it's become a little more subtle than that. And before I go on, I will admit that I am working with gut instincts based on anecdotal evidence. The best I can hope for is that it resonates enough for you to consider it.

That said, Bruce Cannon Gibney wrote an excellent book (by which I mean he made a convincing argument for his thesis (called A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America. And I would not dismiss his argument -that is altogether. However, things I have seen lately (especially on the boards (has brought me to believe that not all millennial nuts have fallen that far from the tree. That sociopathic MO seems to be at work in a lot of young people I encounter on these boards.

And I don't think I'm the only one seeing this. I recently watched a movie called Untraceable about a serial killer who killed his victims online just to show the system that more people would watch than we would like to believe. And yes, it is just a movie and not solid proof for my thesis here. But there is something about the comments on the antagonist's board that rang true: the way they adopted the mannerisms of professional critics, in a kind of ironic way, to comment on the performance of the murder.

I saw it as well in the first episode of the latest season of Black Mirror. A brilliant computer programmer (the latest version of the Nietzscheian overman (takes people from his real world situation and programs them as simulacra for his own personal fantasy which involves him being a modern day Captain Kirk, a scenario in which he becomes a tyrant to the perfectly sentient replicas. And you can easily see the troll MO at work here. But you see it even more in what happens when the simulacras rebelled and broke free. They found their selves in a gamer’s universe confronted by a gamer who, when he found they had nothing to trade, threatened to blow them out of his quadrant if they didn’t leave immediately.

“Yeah,” he said after they left, “I am king of the fucking universe.”

And you can see a connection (a rhizome (with a point I have previously made on these boards:

“Today I want to explore the InCel (involuntarily celibate (movement and the Red Pill sights they are associated with. It is, of course, tempting to mock it –and many highly intelligent people do. But I’m not really sure that is the smartest approach. For one, it can only exacerbate the situation by taking (what seems to them, at least (a kind of “in-crowd” tone that is, in the sense of not being part of that “in-crowd”, the very source of their understandably painful experience of alienation. And this is important to understand since it may well be this experience of painful alienation that lies behind most of the mass shootings we’re seeing in America. I mean this could well be the reason this is mainly occurring in High Schools and Colleges, the outright cauldrons of narcissism and vanity in which being part of an “in-crowd” is everything. And I’m not blaming the victim here. Kids will be kids. But what I will suggest (and I apologize for my opportunistic Marxist jab (that a lot of this comes from producer/consumer Capitalism and the way it bombards us (via TV ads (explicitly with images of what it is like to be part of an “in-crowd” while implicitly implying that if you are not like one of those people you see, you are no one.”

And I would further reiterate the connection I see between this movement (the alienation involved (and the fascist experiment we are currently engaged in. I would reassert my theory that such sites are prime recruiting grounds for neo-nazis and alt-right types. I’m not altogether sure that jobs are the only thing that white heterosexual males are afraid of Mexicans stealing. (And in my defense, just look how I got trolled when I suggested that world peace could only be achieved when, through interbreeding, we became a world of mutts.)

My other concern is that this propensity towards fascism can only get worse as the pressure to emigrate from third world countries gets greater. As climate scientists have argued, the first main effects will be close to the equator: the place where third world countries are. And I can’t help but see a mob/threshold dynamic in that we are primarily dealing with people with low thresholds for now. But what happens when more and more immigrants overwhelm our capacity to help them out? All I can see is people with higher thresholds (higher tolerances (succumbing to the fascist/troll mentality.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:01 pm

Dear diary moment 9/24/2018:

The latest rhizome I have turned to is classical mythology. And I have done so by downloading three audible lecture series: Greek mythology, Roman mythology, and a great courses one on classical mythology in general. And I’m on the one on Greek mythology right now. And when I am focused on these lectures, it tends to work with my method of operation in that they usually offer a PDF study guide that I can use for a “study point” when the footwork is done and I can go to the “library”. The thing is that at the end of the notes, they generally offer the things you would expect from college courses: suggestions for further reading and, more relevant to my point here, questions to consider.

And the question to consider that struck me today was:

What was the relationship between Zeus and Hera?

And the reason I zeroed in on this is because the mythology of Zeus and Hera (the Jungian archetype (represents a dynamic that haunts us to this day. If you think about it, we see a similar dynamic at work in modern media that portrays rich couples as a relationship between a philandering husband that cats around while the wife tolerates it so she can maintain her social status and abuse it as well. Zeus (as I am coming to understand (was a major player spreading his seed into whatever female he could trick into getting down to the dirty.

Hera, at the same time, was always working behind the scenes: manipulating everything to her own elitist status.

I mean how familiar could that story sound?

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:05 pm

Dear diary moment 9/29/18:

Something new (to me at least (that came up in my recent immersion in Greek mythology is that, in Homer’s Odyssey, the song of sirens promised fame and glory. I didn’t know that before. And I must admit a certain amount of confirmation bias in the why of what I am about to follow with here. But the main reason I took note of this is that it is perfectly compatible with my sense of Odysseus’ endeavor to hear the siren’s song without risk of self destruction.

There have been two myths that have haunted me for some time now, myths that I see as potential articles with philosophical implications very much in the spirit of Camus’ essay on Sisyphus. One is Orpheus’ attempt to bring Eurydice back from the underworld and his failure to do so because… well, he just looked back. This one, to me, illustrates Lacan’s notion of Jouissance.

In the case of Odysseus’, what I see is an individual that desperately wanted to experience what most mortal minds don’t get to. Hence the external restraints on his behavior (being tied to the mast and having wax plugs put into the ears of his rowers (as compared to arrogantly depending on his capacity for will power. And this goes back to points I made on a previous rhizome concerning George Bataille: https://www.facebook.com/groups/6757450 ... 493297244/

In Odysseus, we see the epitome of the intellectually/creatively curious individual. One who, much as Charles Bukowski and Silvia Plath (as well as many other artists (reflected, was perfectly willing to broach the edge of the abyss, in order to see something most others don’t get to, but was smart enough to impose upon himself external restraints on his behavior.

d63
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Re: Postcards:

Post by d63 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:59 pm

If the recent events regarding Kavanaugh and Lord have shown us anything, it’s that we are dealing with a cult dynamic here –exactly, mind you, as Bob Corker (a republican (suggested. And in this case (as concerns the attacks on democrats), what we are looking at is the very Cassandra complex that tends to accompany the cult dynamic. What the repugs are basically spinning to their base (via confirmation bias( is the notion that the left of center attacks on Kavanaugh are purely political when the repug’s arguments, as far I can tell, are basically meant to make it look as if Kavanaugh was being unfairly persecuted when, in fact, they have completely failed to establish, for instance, that Lord was some kind of politically driven nut job out to sabotage Kavanaugh’s career. And that whole FBI investigation was little more than a sham that Trump channeled towards his ends to make it look as if the repugs were being fair and balanced.

It’s a little like being in love with a sociopathic player: they’ll go out and screw around on you (establish their power over you (then turn it around on you to make it seem like everything is your fault.
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To give you a real sense of the cult dynamic involved: have any of you noticed the way in which people around you are watching FOX News or listening to people like Glen Beck or Alex Jones? It’s like they’re programming their selves. Their world (which was once working great for white heterosexuals –especially male ones –think make America great again (is no longer working the way it should. And, of course, to bring into a political discourse the argument “what’s in it for me alone?” simply would not work in something meant to find a working compromise. So it stands to reason they would have to turn to the “in-crowd” of the cult. This was foreseen by Kierkegaard’s Continuation of Sin in which the individual, rather than face the guilt of their bad choices, leans into sin. Everyone knows, at some level, hate can only lead to ill and evil.

So why wouldn’t they turn to gurus like FOX News, Glen Beck, or Alex Jones to make their self indulgence seem a little less evil than it actually is? Make it feel a little less irrational and unreasonable?
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And the cult dynamic always begins and ends the same. It always starts with a lot of promise, arguments for how you have every right to self indulgence, that the only thing standing your way is such and such. But, by the end, all you’re hearing about is what you must do for the higher purpose of what the guru is offering you.

And make no mistake about it: Trump is a guru. At least that is the way he sees himself.
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Such is the misdirect that the emerging oligarchy under producer/consumer Capitalism must turn to in order to establish itself.

And the Republican platform is its primary form of expression.

Impenitent
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Joined: Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:04 pm

Re: Postcards:

Post by Impenitent » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:53 pm

guilt by accusation is a beautiful thing

"I saw you with the devil!!"

1861

-Imp

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