josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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4 Mar '14 05:09:08 PM

We read the weather as volatile, time as fleeting, when we should just as often note the obdurate stasis of clouded days and constant temperatures, the inert bulk of times, skies, which need hardly a week to make us feel that things have always been this way, that this is how it is.

We recall the sun and recall our nights on different occasions, in different circumstances.

3 Mar '14 02:32:52 AM

'Auden preferred to err in the opposite direction, by presenting himself as less than he was.'

2 Mar '14 12:09:26 AM

Could modernism have failed to catch on (to whatever extent it did in the various arts) in philosophy for as dumb a reason as philosophy's already thinking it had a 'modern' in the early modern revival of philosophy, and its occupying itself constantly ever since with a task of 'making it new' (i.e., sustaining or overthrowing that revival)?

(Plus all the internal reasons like, guh.)

1 Mar '14 11:10:44 PM

'… an endless propaganda war whose object is to prove to someone with money that they deserve better than to die in a ditch without healthcare'

1 Mar '14 10:17:43 PM

'Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!'

1 Mar '14 09:25:57 PM

Read/write culture, the paper kind, is, of course, an outgrowth (thanks to technological innovation) of listen/speak culture. And both are manifestations of do/think culture.

Traditionally, philosophy identifies itself with (as) do/think culture against (what has become) a do-only culture. Or sometimes, with think-only culture.

Academic philosophy can be defined by its cultural institutions: by the particular ways in which it is, or falls short of being, read/write, listen/speak, and do/think. They are restrictive and rigid, and some of the main things you learn when you are 'trained' to be an academic philosopher involve, not how to thrive within these forms of culture (nobody teaches you that), but what is required or not permitted of the participants. This involves who speaks and who listens, and who writes and who reads, about what and how and when.

(Socrates would just bump into you on the street, and ask away.)

I grew up in an internet culture that was more read/write (in its specific ways, which thanks to technological innovation also transposed certain aspects of listen/speak culture) than the one we have now. Internet place and internet time have changed. And so has internet sociability, in which its read/write culture grew.

That internet culture was not exclusively academic, in the sense of being housed largely in institutions of higher education (or, in my case in 1992, high school)—it was just as much populated by hobbyists and engineers. So, by many people for whom what they did was a kind of thinking, the kind of thinking that is doing: trying, solving, building, tinkering. To my mind, that culture of cooperation, experimentation, and know-how carried over into the adjacent culture culture. You can sometimes still find its remnants on the internet, if you look.

More recent developments are less sociable. And, I think, just plain stupid about culture. Indifferent to its realities. The most effective learning management system is talking about books and then writing. The most effective classroom management technique is being a person.

(How long before teachers start calling themselves 'learning managers'? Like Socrates, one of the greatest learning managers ever to exist, who ironically denied that he ever learning-managed anyone.)

1 Mar '14 08:13:57 PM

'Read/write culture' —write that down!

1 Mar '14 06:07:04 PM

Residual life.

1 Mar '14 03:27:29 PM

'I regret to inform you that according to our records you are dead.'