Disquiet Junto Project 0303: Out of Sequence
8 hours ago
[W]hen he wrote a review of a book by a French scholar that purported to show strong affinities between theosophy and Henry More's philosophy (a thesis Craig thought without merit), he began the review by saying, "This book fills a much-needed gap."Oh, that's good. (I had to read that twice.) It seems that Professor Staudenbaur had many talents, having written a novel called Cosmos Lycanthropos: Planet of the Man-Wolf. I'm afraid I won't have time for that one any time soon (see above).
it’s time to take back New Jersey from the politicians and power brokers who have raised our taxes and turned a blind eye to corruption, and return New Jersey to the people.(This candidate’s party is not currently in the statehouse.) From the other one, we have this:
I pledge to cut waste, increase efficiency, and reform the budget process. Common sense tells us that we should grow our economy, instead of increasing taxes. We must replace the failed practice of ‘tax, borrow, and spend’ with a new strategy of ‘invest, grow, and prosper.’At the moment, he’s ahead in the polls.
A lottery similar to Spain’s Christmas Lottery and Japans Quarterly (High Annuity). The Green agenda and way of life is only a ad-hoc liberal come socialist program. Socialist achieved world wide which the Greens credit themselves for. The Socialist Parties are the Parties whom people in many lands turn to for change. In the Socialist Party USA we stand on our History and Accomplishments. We where once America’s Alternative, Third Party and will be again.Moving on. The Green Party candidate is either oblivious to the slight from his SPUSA opponent, or he takes the high road, asking simply “When will we, the people, say ‘ENOUGH!’?” Similarly, the One New Jersey candidate concentrates his fire on the major parties:
My fellow New Jerseyan’s, you DO have a choice.I assume the ambiguity in the third line is unintentional. (If not, he’s a sly one.)
You can waste your vote on the Democrat or Republican, or vote for me.
So when your tax bill goes up again, remember, you made that choice.
The bottom line is we’re ALL New Jerseyan’s FIRST.
to give the “FINGER” state-wide to our Demo-publican party politicians who wage their LIE based “WAR on US”. […] I personally chose to use the “GOD GROWN HERB MARIJUANA” so I fight our governments war on it’s “POT-FRONT”. The fact that I can obtain marijuana any day of the week I chose is testimate to the failure of our governments racist war on drugs.You see, it’s a free speech and free-exercise issue:
In our Governments 21st century drug war ‘RASTAFARI’ is as illegal a religion to practice in America as Quakerism was in England in 1690, or Faluan Gong is in China or Christianity is in Saudi Arabia today.Naturally, he’s not simply speaking in the abstract; it has affected him personally:
While I’ve also denied the Right to change my own name to NJWEEDMAN.COM.After a ringing peroration (“we in America today have more reason to revolt than the colonist did in 1776”), he leaves us with:
“TAKE A TOTE, THEN VOTE”!(Quotes in original.) So I’m to bring a bag to the polls with me. Not sure what the point of that would be. It’s too bad he’s not running to win – if he did win I’d be sure to read the paper more often. I can just see it now:
“ENEMY OF THE STATE”
Governor NJWEEDMAN.COM Blows Smoke at Legislature
Some will be inclined to think that the view just now described is too clearly mistaken, and even bizarre, to be rightly ascribed to Plato. Such an impression, I think, is the result of an overexposure to contemporary philosophical discussions, in which such logical and quasi-logical matters as relational predication are so thoroughly and unremittingly scrutinized. Even Aristotle, who criticized this aspect of Plato's doctrine, himself had no very clear understanding of relations (as a glance at Categories 7 and Metaphysics V. 15 will show), and perhaps nobody did until late in the last century.At first I didn't understand; but then I realized: he means the nineteenth century. This is the first, for me, of what will surely be a long series of such double-takes in coming years.
Prosecutor: You were on duty on the afternoon of March 22, 2005, correct?You might be wondering why this isn't "leading the witness." The answer is that the prosecutor has the police report in front of her and she's picking out the key facts that show what happened to be the particular crime she says it is (we don't want to hear every insignificant detail). It gets to be testimony because every few phrases the witness puts in a "that's correct." I bet police officers hate grand jury appearances. And yes, most of the prosecutors were women (real ones, though, not impossibly cute ones like on Law & Order).
Witness [invariably a police officer]: Yes, that's right.
P: And you pulled over a car which was going 80mph in a 50mph zone?
P: You asked the driver for his license and registration?
W: That's correct.
P: And then you noticed a glassine bag filled with a greenish-brown vegetation which you took to be marijuana?
P: ... and which was later tested at the police lab and determined actually to be marijuana?
W: Yes, that's correct.
P: And it was determined to weigh 8.26 grams?
P: And you also saw another glassine bag with a whitish powdery substance?
W: I did indeed.
P: ... which was later tested at the police lab and determined to be cocaine?
W: It is as you say, o madam prosecutor.
P: And cocaine is a derivative of the coca leaf?
W: Only children and fools would disagree.
Prosecutor: After making the buy, you then engaged in a drug-related conversation with the suspect?I always wanted to know (you're allowed to ask questions, and they're actually very patient at repeating or explaining things, but I didn't feel like I could mess with them for my own amusement) if the witness could remember the actual words of the "drug-related conversation." After all, the suspect surely didn't say "I hereby affirm that the drugs which I have sold you are of a particularly high quality." I swear I saw a hint of a smile on one detective's face at this point, as if amused by the incongruous legal language.
Witness: Yes, I did.
P: ... during which he affirmed that the drugs were of a particularly high quality?
Jim Holt, in his discussion of Simon Blackburn's new book, "Truth: A Guide," says that Blackburn "accuses Nietzsche of sloppy thinking" (A Critic at Large, August 22nd). Holt argues that Blackburn's protest arises from Nietzsche's claim that we are limited by our perspectives. However, this is to ignore the Nietzschean "will to power," which interprets, and seeks to engage with, as many perspectives as possible. Nietzsche sought to describe the complex relations between perspectives and how we organize the multiplicity of existence as knowledge. Simplifying Nietzschean perspectivism in this way effectively pulls the teeth of a complex argument in order to declare in the next moment that it has no bite.Well said! In fact, that's the best short explanation of the connection between will to power and perspectivism in Nietzsche that I've seen. W.t.p. engages other perspectives in order to dominate them (naturally). It sees (we see) difference as disagreement (that is, as someone else's error), and it attempts, Borg-style, to assimilate the truth available from other perspectives into our own while quashing the error, and thereby showing/manifesting its own superiority. Of course that's not always possible (but tell that to the w.t.p.). Note Stern's cognitivist, rather than skeptical or relativist, account of perspectivism: our (re-) organization of the multiplicity of existence results in knowledge. And if "describing the complex relations between perspectives" is what perspectivists do, then I need not feel self-conscious in appealing to Davidson and Wittgenstein in pursuing a "perspectivist" project (for which I have taken some guff).
Jim Holt has Sidney Morgenbesser saying "The trouble with pragmatism is that it's completely useless." I heard it this way: playing off the supposedly pragmatist claim that "truth is what works," he said "Pragmatism is true, but it doesn't work." This is quite different (look again at that first part).Come to think of it, I may even have heard him utter those very words (recalling his remark for us, that is, not making it for the first time).
[I]t is evident that today's theoretical vocabulary has led to an intellectual void at the core of our educational endeavors, scarcely masked by all the posturing, political zealotry, pretentiousness[,] general lack of seriousness, and the massive opportunism that is particularly glaring in the extraordinary indifference to or outright attacks on logic and consistency (p.13).Holy smoke! Not surprisingly, the most common digs at Theorists, here as elsewhere, are the ones attributing to them not simply some intellectual failing, but also some moral vice, usually hypocrisy: they reject all dogmatism – except their own! They claim to be working for the downtrodden – but they're self-absorbed fatcats! They claim to be doing new and exciting things – but they're unoriginal conformists, just putting new labels on the same tired old crap! Et cetera!
what is particularly noticeably in our authors' writings is the general lack of ad hominem attacks, even when confronting some of the more preposterous and unreadably convoluted theories. They concentrate not on personality—as central an issue as Theory's stars have made this in cultivating their public personae—but instead on logic, reason, and evidence, concepts without which [oh, thanks so much for pointing this out] it is impossible to have any sort of fruitful intellectual exchange. They are mindful [...] that the habit of many theorists to make claims without showing any awareness of the highly contentious nature of their premises and reasoning is a symptom of the poor standard of argumentation prevailing in modern literary theory (p.7).Amazing. An ad hominem attack right in the middle of a passage trumpeting the virtuous lack of same. Not promising. However, Morris Dickstein, a contributor to the book and the editor of a decent anthology on pragmatism, assures us that "Theory’s Empire confines itself to serious academic critiques," so I suppose I should keep reading.
Dilbert: No one ever wants to take more than half of what's left of the last doughnut. That's why I call it Xeno's [sic] doughnut. Hee hee!Sigh. Of course, that's Zeno of Elea he's talking about, not Zeno of Citium! Zeno of Citium's doughnut would remain untouched on the plate! Ha ha! (Oog.)
Dinner companion drains glass.
Passing waitress, to dinner companion: I heard some of that. Do you want to switch to hard liquor?
Dinner companion, holding out glass: Hurry.
A physics professor is lecturing. At one point he points to a formula on the board and says "And now, it's obvious that from this formula, this one follows" (writing another one). Then he stops, and says "Hold on a minute," and covers the board with equations while the students wait in silence. Finally he nods, and says "Yes, I was right! It is obvious that this follows from that."What does this have to do with grand jury duty? I'll tell you. I don't know how things are in other states, but in New Jersey whenever they want to try someone for a felony (or, in NJ-speak, an "indictable offense"), they have to bring their evidence to a grand jury to show they have a chance for a conviction, that they're not grasping at straws (or railroading some poor schmuck or political opponent). The idea is that if they can't get a) a simple majority of 23 people to agree, even when b) unopposed by defense lawyers, that c) there is a prima facie case for guilt, then they would just be wasting everyone's time at trial, where they need a) unanimity among 12 people, b) in the face of a vigorous defense, c) that the guy is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
1. Karl Marx [in a walk, apparently]Except for #s 1 and 10, this is a decent list, better than one might expect. It's not particularly informative, though, given the vagueness of "greatest." In coming up with my own list, I used more specific, if also subjective, criteria: points were awarded for influence (on me, past or current), present usefulness (again, for me), general importance, and other assorted intangibles.
2. David Hume
3. Ludwig Wittgenstein
4. Friedrich Nietzsche
6. Immanuel Kant
7. St. Thomas Aquinas
10. Karl Popper
1. WittgensteinHonorable mention [points awarded for: same as above, plus (if the philosopher is relatively new to me at present) estimated future usefulness]: Putnam, Rorty, Peirce, James, Isaac Levi, Robert Brandom, Dennett, Danto, Anscombe, Frege, Heraclitus, Zhuangzi, Kierkegaard, Hegel, Gadamer, Schleiermacher, Merleau-Ponty, Bergson, Jennifer Hornsby, Charles Taylor, John Haugeland, D. Z. Phillips. Okay, I'll stop now.
2. Donald Davidson
3. John McDowell
7. Gilles Deleuze
9. J. L. Austin
10. Stanley Cavell
1. Colin McGinnAlso: Kripke, Husserl, Michael Devitt, Churchland(s)
2. Jerry Fodor
3. Ayn Rand [but see Dr. P's comments here]
4. David Stove
5. Jean Baudrillard
1. Barry StroudFor Sartwell's own idiosyncratic likes and dislikes, see here.
2. John Searle
3. Roger Scruton
4. Crispin Sartwell
5. W. V. O. Quine
6. Philip Kitcher (or Dennett in his specifically naturalistic moods)
7. Plato et seq.
8. P. F. Strawson (on some subjects)
9, 10. Descartes and his contemporary minion Thomas Nagel
You must bear in mind that a Grand Jury exists only as an entity, [...]Well, I'm glad we cleared that up. But is it identical with its essence?
Authors are listed in order of degree of belief in the central thesis.Got it.
Symphonic as the soundscapes were, longtime Fripp fans may have missed the sound of his guitar itself, with its searing liquid-nitrogen chill.This is exactly right. I hereby authorize Mr. Pareles to strike that "may have." And well said!
Are you hungry? I haven't eaten since later this afternoon.Yes, boys and girls (girls?), Primer is a time-travel movie. As experienced chronocinephiles know, there are two strategies for making a TTM. First, you can wink at the audience and say, no, it doesn't make sense, but at least it's a different kind of big-screen peril for our hero to get into – will he make it back to the future or get stuck in the past (or eaten by prehistoric monsters), will he "change the past" (with whatever consequences this is stipulated to have) or fail to do so, etc. Or you can make it as realistic as possible, tantalizing us with the idea that it might (be intended to) make sense after all. (Or there's the glorious La Jetée, which we've already discussed.)
Did you like Pi? If so, go see this one.
By the way, the attention to detail in the beginning is great. Often in thrillers with technical content, if you have a technical education you have consciously ignore all the stupid movie crud that they pull to make it into a good story. But this movie pulls off an incredibly believable technical story, with only a few distracting gaffs. That is, the tech jargon is good enough that you don't get distracted and can focus on the story line.
Final comment: Yes, it is very hard to follow the story line in this movie.
Obviously I'm not going to spoil it, but I think the following fact will help when the movie gets kind of hairy towards the end: Aaron is the dark-haired guy, Abe is the blond-haired guy.
One of the marks, though not a necessary mark, of a really great philosopher is to make a really great mistake: that is to say, to give a persuasive and lastingly influential form to one of those fundamental misconceptions to which the human intellect is prone when it concerns itself with the ultimate categories of thought.I like that. For examples, my first thought was Descartes, then Plato (but something tells me Strawson's talking about Kant's "idealism"). People, like myself, who strive mightily against the all-too-pervasive misconceptions abounding in the wake of Plato and Descartes can forget the genius it requires to give these fundamental misconceptions a determinate form. Those who perpetuate the misconceptions -- our contemporary Cartesians and Platonists -- tend to see them (say, the conceptual self-sufficiency of subject and object) as the merest common sense, and the contribution of Descartes and Plato as on a par with other philosophers: i.e., as trying, and (ironically) failing, to establish their doctrines conclusively. The irony here, that is, is that it is on the basis of their (internalized) Cartesianism and Platonism that these people see the task of philosophy as trying to do what Descartes and Plato indeed failed to do, thus causing them to deny the label ("who, me? A Cartesian [Platonist]? But I reject skepticism [the Forms]!"). When we learn to see philosophy aright, though, we can see Plato's and Descartes's contributions, again ironically, as in line with Wittgenstein's ambition to (teach us to) "pass from a piece of disguised nonsense to something that is patent nonsense" (PI §464). In other words, this is the flip side (the negative side) of what he is more usually seen as urging on us: to pass from failing "to notice something—because it is always before one's eyes" (§129) to, well, noticing it, and thus "command[ing] a clear view of the use of our words" (§122).
Bella figlia dell' amorewhich means "Beautiful child of love [or Cupid, anyway]". No help there. But the next line is:
Schiavo son de' vezzi tuoiwhich means "I am a slave to your charms" -- but of course you don't care what it means, because your eyes are drawn, like mine were (metaphorically speaking) when I saw it (ditto), to that first word. Of course! There's been all this hoop-la in the last couple of days about the autopsy of that poor lady from Florida (you know the one I mean). Dr. P. posted on it here, and Ed B. here, with a follow-up here (Ed's comment: "Good Lord, what must it be to go through life thinking like these loonies?"). Apparently the wingnuts, instead of shutting up, given that the autopsy proves them wrong, are all atwitter because the doctors don't know what caused her brain damage in the first place (as if that mattered), except that it wasn't what the 'nuts had been darkly hinting that it might be (i.e., spousal abuse). At least they weren't making anything out of Michael's name meaning "slave" in Italian...
Beautiful daughter of Eroswhich is what I would say, they have:
I am a slave to your charms;
With a single word
You can console my pains;
Come, and feel the rapid beating of my heart.
Ah! of Venus the fairest daughterYikes!
The slave of your charms here behold;
One word from thy beautiful lips
My suffering alone can assuage;
Come, and my fond heart relieve
Of its anxious palpitations.
[Verity]: Please, Mr. Elderling, won't you help us save the Six Duchies?
[Fitz and Verity together]: Pleeeeease??
[Elderling]: (rolling his eyes) Oh, okay, if it'll get you off my back. Might enjoy kicking Raider butt.
[Fitz and Verity together]: Yaay!
Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews do. They don't worship some different deity whose name is "Allah" -- "Allah" MEANS "God." Arabic-speaking Christians refer to "Allah" just like Muslims do. The Catholic Maltese (who speak a language directly related to Moghrabi Arabic) say "Allah" as well.
I cannot but approve your purpose in signifying your willingness to elucidate and moderate those passages in the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus which have proved a stumbling-block to readers. I refer in particular to those which appear to treat in an ambiguous way of God and Nature, which many people consider you have confused with each other. In addition, many are of the opinion that you take away the authority and validity of miracles, which almost all Christians are convinced form the sole basis on which the certainty of Divine Revelation can rest. Furthermore, they say that you are concealing your opinion with regard to Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World, sole Mediator for mankind, and of his Incarnation and Atonement, and they request you to disclose your attitude clearly on these three heads. If you do so, and in this matter satisfy reasonable and intelligent Christians, I think your position will be secure.
Isn't it fun to smash things?I would make some remark here about the times we live in, except children have been saying this to each other from the beginning of time -- and besides, he's right. Ah, to be a kid again!
A great many black names today are unique to blacks. More than 40 percent of the black girls born in California in a given year receive a name that not one of the roughly 100,000 baby white girls received that year. Even more remarkably, nearly 30 percent of the black girls are given a name that is unique among every baby, white and black, born that year in California. (There were also 228 babies named Unique during the 1990's alone, and 1 each of Uneek, Uneque, and Uneqqee.)
Roland G. Fryer Jr., while discussing his names research on a radio show, took a call from a black woman who was upset with the name just given to her baby niece. It was pronounced shuh-TEED but was in fact spelled "Shithead."
Or consider the twin boys OrangeJello and LemonJello, also black, whose parents further dignified their choice by instituting the pronunciations a-RON-zhello and le-MON-zhello.
A young couple named Natalie Jeremijenko and Dalton Conley recently renamed their four-year-old son Yo Xing Heyno Augustus Eisner Alexander Weiser Knuckles Jeremijenko-Conley.
I put the bread into the oven at 3:00, and when it came out at 5:00, it was done.
For the French bread cycle you can expect the following things to happen as the timer counts down to zero.
To begin: The dough is kneaded for the first time. (18 minutes)
At 3:32: The dough begins to rise (40 minutes)
At 2:52: The dough is kneaded for the second time. (22 minutes)
At 2:30: The dough continues to rise. (20 minutes)
At 2:10: The dough is "punched down." (30 seconds)
At 2:10: The dough rises for the final time. (65 minutes)
At 1:05: The bread begins to bake. (65 minutes)
At 0:00: The bread is finished.
When we examine what we should say when, what words we should use in what situations, we are looking again not merely at words (or 'meanings', whatever they may be) but also at the realities we use the words to talk about: we are using a sharpened awareness of words to sharpen our perception of, though not as the final arbiter of, the phenomena.