October 30, 2012

p ^ ~p: that, try as i might, i cannot internalize the intuition that this proposition is non-sense that it is, without argument or qualification, in any and all instances of informational analysis, obviously false , that may be a critical bullet i fail to bite (despite my willingness to be systematically brainwashed to believe otherwise) , it may be my suicide seed to a career in  western analytic philosophy, and may be the seed to aim for something more personally rewarding, may be the seed to treat this tradition as means, a means among means, towards some more substantive end. circumstance is me learning, being embedded in a cultural tradition constructed in antithetical experience to that of my own, being willingly held to intuitions, expectations, standards, values, and ideals not my own, reminding myself  as often as i can that none of it is me, it doesn’t define me, my value in terms of its standards are not my value, my writing and expression of ideas as valued in terms of its standards are not their values, and yet through them, as painstaking and counterintuitive as it can seem at times, is me, and it is me intentionally becoming me

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p ^~p , no one is an idiot because demonstrating derivations doesn’t come naturally to them. i’m not an idiot because nothing in classical logic comes naturally  or intuitively to me. or because what i get out of class in terms of educational experience may be significantly different than the intended course learning objectives. i’m not a poor writer because i don’t systematically constrain the expression of ideas to deductive, formal arguments. i’m not lazy because normatively sanctioned critical philosophical discourse on plato and metaphilosophy breeds little by way of  my motivation or imagination. i don’t not get it.  but like most, i care to get only when the getting looks good.

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why an analytic program, why jump into the deep end of a pool when one has yet to learn how to swim, what good could possibly come of it?

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i was captivated by a recent NPR interview where an american nun, serving in a leadership position among nuns of the catholic church, spoke of the social injustice and inequality nuns face in the hierarchical, patriarchal power structure that characterizes modern catholic religious institutions. when asked why she continues to identify as a catholic in the face of such overwhelming cognitive dissonance and disappointment of the injustices she perceives as being systematically perpetuated by church hierarchy, she asked the interviewer why many americans continue to identify as american though they take issue with similar policies/practices of their representational, governing infrastructure?

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i don’t have any moral of the story other than it seems worthwhile to be critical of/ treat as problematic these various aspects of social identity, what is really worth attaching to in terms of an american identity? how different does a nun’s views on social issues and ideology need to become before it’s no longer viable for her to identify herself as a catholic? who makes that call, her or the church? am i a philosopher? do the modern day boundaries on the label matter to me, should they? what of  boundaries of identity qua mere semantic or ideological convention, what of these conventions qua the residual effect of social power distribution through time,  their existence then seems ambiguous , vague, contingent, but that would be p ^ ~p, too

 

 

October 28, 2012

so i’ll step lightly. because i have seen those really picturesque scenes in movies  where colorful autumn leaves are picked up off the ground on some trail or at some park and swirl around one another, floating freely in a low lying breeze, before being let go again. their illusion: they intend to dance around one another just so. and they get to share the truth in this lie that they wrote this short scene they starred in, or it was written intentionally for them. so maybe the idea is to get good with the sweeping natural and effortless tide. how quick can you design a narrative  (or, if you really master the art, how many can you design?) that reconcile you perfectly profitably to your circumstance? if you get good, and others become invested, then mind consistency between frames . for starters,  keep music, light, and water flowing through scenes. create story time, invite every one.

October 25, 2012

life noun \ˈlīf\ :

October 25, 2012

1. merry-go-round politics; a blurring blunder of leaves, lights, and smoke, 2. see saw arithmetic; it’s tip toe tactics through attics, basements, corners, and crevices. 3. tire swing spooning and swirling your insides outside, and back inside again. then, you fall off, or you get off, or you’re pushed off; and in this process you are finally made aware of the facts that you have no memory of how you got there in the first place, or why you had been possessed by the thought that the only point was to stay attached to the tire. Or, more traditionally, 4.  the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body.

‘Well’, you went on, eyes crowd gazing, ‘I said here’s my toast to the lot of you that is not yet you.’ Then gaze fell back on me, sitting steady at the front of your crowd. You went on, ‘Here’s to all that’s not yet you, yet you, becoming. You, my sweet dear, my beautiful, otherworldly view of nothing, coming from nowhere! Cheers to you, and only you, my angel.’

October 24, 2012

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It’s like that time in 2nd grade (I think it was 2nd grade) when I jumped into the deep end of a pool, even though I knew I couldn’t swim, because it was a birthday party and the birthday girl had come up with the idea herself that we’d all line up and dive in from the same end of the pool and everyone was just so excited about it  and I didn’t want to disrupt the order or compromise the mounting energy and excitement.

I jumped in the deep end, fully aware I couldn’t swim. (Figure it out when I get to the wet part, I must have thought to myself). Some kid passed me a noodle just in the knick of time (probably on the hunch that I looked to be struggling more than I ought to have been).

That kid (who I didn’t recognize from school, so maybe he was a neighborhood friend of the birthday girl ?) talked to me later while we we’re all munching on pizza. He had some story about tracing fall leaves as part of an art project. We caught a rolly polly together. He made mention of my having  wrinkly fingers from swimming, but soft hand skin generally (the latter is an astute , accurate observation). Not to mention he maybe saved my life? I’m sure someone would have noticed I wasn’t swimming in time, but I’m also sure I’ll  prefer to romanticize anything left to roam in my memory long enough. I never saw him again, nor did I think to ask my friend about him at any point later in time.

 

Maybe the thought is that that whole story embodies a serious lack of foresight on my part, even for the second grader version of myself, but I have made pretty similar moves several times in my life, and I did it again just yesterday. Besides, the divine doesn’t have foresight. She just sees all the opportunities at once, everything, in the indisciminately blinding light of immediacy.

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October 24, 2012

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Socrates: But then the life of those people you call happiest is a strange one, too. I shouldn’t be surprised that Euripides’ lines are true when he says: But who knows whether being alive is being dead

And being dead is being alive? Perhaps in reality we’re dead. Once I even heard one of the wise men say that we are now dead and that our bodies are our tombs, and that the parts of our souls in which our appetites reside is actually the sort of thing to be open to persuasion and to sift back and forth.And hence some clever man, a teller of stories, a Sicilian, perhaps, or an Italian, named this part a jar, on account of its being a persuadable and suggestible thing, thus slightly changing the name.And fools he named uninitiated, suggesting that the part of the souls of fools where their appetites are located is their undisciplined part, one not tightly closed, a leaking jar, as it were.’

Complete Works of Plato, Gorgias, 492e-493b.

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bell hooks:

 

“Death is with you all the time; you get deeper in it as you move towards it, but it’s not unfamiliar to you. It’s always been there, so what becomes unfamiliar to you when you pass away from the moment is really life.”

 

“I feel like there is always something trying to pull us back into sleep, that there is this sort of seductive quality in all the hedonistic pleasures that pull on us.”