Sunday, March 18, 2012

Lives with Only Emergencies, Births, and Fishing for Excitement

  • Did the Blockhouse Trail (and some of its side-trails) off River Road yesterday, gonna go throw plastic at metal today  (I can already see the side-effects of our not-Winter, the gnats out already, I picked two ticks off my socks, the cherry blossoms on our frontyard tree have already bloomed and fallen, and it's still technically Winter), so yes, more avoidance of confronting my complicity by indulging my complicity; still, have some links before they go stale.
  • Madness is not the issue.
  • Fucking panopticon.
  • Fucking NYPD.
  • Police brutality reports.
  • Fucking American conservatives.
  • Will the ghost of Breitbart yell "stop raping people" at Tea Partiers?
  • Fucking American liberals.
  • Fucking American liberals.
  • Fucking Americans.
  • Fucking Americans.
  • kill chain nation.
  • The precariat is not a class.
  • Giant Carnivorous Termite Caucus.
  • Fuck the AARP.
  • "The comma is a giveaway," from an obit of a philosopher that caught my eye, though I'd never heard of her. Let's continue:“Once you combine ‘necessarily’ with ‘All humans are mortal,’ ” Professor Neale explained, “there are actually two ways of doing it: ‘Necessarily, all humans are mortal’ and ‘All humans are necessarily mortal.’ They sound the same, and a grammarian would say, ‘What’s the difference?’ But in logic they’re quite different.”The difference hinges on how much of the sentence the modal word modifies. In Sentence 1, “Necessarily, all humans are mortal,” the word “necessarily” casts a wide semantic net: it takes into account not only the real world, but also any hypothetical ones.“The comma is a giveaway,” Professor Neale said. “You’re saying, ‘In every possible world, everything that’s a human in that world is mortal.’ ”In Sentence 2, “All humans are necessarily mortal,” “necessarily” has a narrower scope: it ignores the merely possible and attends only to what actually exists. This sentence means, roughly, “Every human (who actually exists in this world) has the property of being mortal (in every world).”Such issues may seem of small consequence, but the need to talk about them is necessarily the meat of philosophical logic. In the literary arena, questions like these are played out masterfully in the work of Lewis Carroll and Jorge Luis Borges. But philosophy itself lacked a formal framework that would make rigorous discussion possible. 
  • I suck at logic - the If Ralph ate tomatoes on Tuesday what did Amy eat on Thursday section of the GRE? Sucked.
  • Brooklyn Pilsner is my favorite brew in the world.
  • On complaining: It’s an interesting question: why did the philosophers of logic pass the test of political commitment, while the philosophers of subjectivity failed? Roudinesco proposes logic itself as a ‘philosophy of heroism’, making a link between the lack of authorial subjectivity in Cavaillès’s philosophical writings and his selflessness in sacrificing his life for his country. By following ‘the logic of the Resistance’, Cavaillès, like Canguilhem, established ‘a logical coherence, grounded in the primacy of the concept, between political commitment and intellectual activity’. This claim, which seems to imply the politicisation of logic itself, strikes me as very strange. Is one to understand that the philosophers of commitment lacked the logic to live according to their writings? That the only people who had enough logic to do it were logicians? What, then, drew the philosophers of logic to the philosophy of commitment in the first place?
  • Happiness.
  • Let's go exploring! Good thing I work in a library - the massive three volume collected is sitting on my desk - serendipitously, I thought of Calvin and Hobbes just days before bensix's post. 
  • Is silence going extinct? Cool sounds.
  • Throbbing Gristle.
  • It's true the two songs below were in my head when I woke up Saturday morning - I couldn't find the song that was in my head this morning. Apologies.


Jack Gilbert

In the small towns along the river
nothing happens day after long day.
Summer weeks stalled forever,
and long marriages always the same.
Lives with only emergencies, births,
and fishing for excitement. Then a ship
comes out of the mist. Or comes around
the bend carefully one morning
in the rain, past the pines and shrubs.
Arrives on a hot fragrant night,
grandly, all lit up. Gone two days
later, leaving fury in its wake.


  1. So I pull into the lot of the gas station convenience store where I sometimes check e-mails, and I see this happy 40ish couple getting in their car each with a big gulp styrofoam container of soda; they're smiling, relaxed.
    Me: Can I read what it says on your tattoo with the swastika?
    Him: Sure (sticking his arm out the car window).
    Me: "We have to insure the security and continued existence of all white children." Only white children?
    Him: (smiling) That's my main concern.

  2. I try understanding the swastika-tattoed, I end up making everybody, including myself, mad.