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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13 Jun '09 03:45:00 PM

'The papers had blank spots where articles were removed.'

12 Jun '09 09:35:25 PM

Goffmanian words: 'nice', 'student'.

12 Jun '09 08:16:39 PM

One sometimes feels that an example of Goffman's is inspired more by a movie than by natural observation: 'Individuals pushing clothes carts in wholesale business districts create something of the same problem [of systematically altered traffic conditions due to their inherent limitations on movement and traffic management] for themselves and the pedestrians around them'—but then, he seems to take care only to deploy this kind of example ampliatively or supplementally, as the conclusion of a systematic statement about the general phenomenon exemplified and earlier illustrated with natural, normal, typical cases.

12 Jun '09 08:10:33 PM

'I employ the term "our" but do so knowing that in regard to small behaviors the "our" cannot be conventionally or conveniently specified. I can with least lack of confidence make assertions about my "own" cultural group, but I do not know what to call this grouping, what its full span or distribution is, how far back it goes in time, nor how these dimensions might have to be changed, according to the particular bit of familiar behavior under question.'

12 Jun '09 02:26:42 PM

Music in Joyce, in advance of Bloomsday.

10 Jun '09 05:03:16 PM

Strange how little the moderns quote the people they can be taken to respond to.

10 Jun '09 05:02:35 PM

Like anyone else who rides the bus to and from work with the same passengers day after day, and boards at a time of day when, empty, the whole space is at their disposal, the women who ride the 5:55 a.m. 3B to Minneapolis every morning sit spread across all the seats in the front of the bus talking to each other in full voice, and continue on this way even once the passengers who are not part of their informal group gradually fill up the unoccupied space.

10 Jun '09 05:04:29 AM

'Ich bin unfähig, einen Menschen unter dem Aspekt der Erfüllung seiner Träume zu sehen' (I am incapable of seeing a man under the aspect of the fulfillment of his dreams).

[NZZ interview with Aleksandar Hemon and Juniot Díaz]

9 Jun '09 04:36:22 AM

How can you tell that a blog has failed? Is that like getting cancelled?

(And see: Michael Daddino on blogs.)