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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25 Feb '13 09:17:53 AM

Eight months into the 'secession war', an entry in Whitman's Specimen Days from 'Down at the Front' records a startling image:

'Out doors, at the foot of a tree, within ten yards of the front of the house, I notice a heap of amputated feet, legs, arms, hands, &c, a full load for a one-horse cart.'

For some pages to follow, every word and phrase between commas retains some of that charge, as if limbs have been strewn across the page—and a sentence without several commas is rare, as is an entry without one of Whitman's characteristic lists.

24 Feb '13 11:22:10 PM

One of the falsest poses, of having taken it all in.

22 Feb '13 05:14:12 AM

You can't just tell every story whenever.

18 Feb '13 10:08:29 AM

'Yeah! yeah what happened to Imipolex G, all that Jamf a-and that S-Gerät, s'posed to be a hardboiled private eye here, gonna go out all alone and beat the odds, avenge my friend that They killed, get my ID back and find that piece of mystery hardware but now aw it's JUST LIKE—'

15 Feb '13 07:57:25 AM

'—Hey, Briscoe's your new partner? —It's temporary. —You hope.'

14 Feb '13 09:51:58 AM

'… just as familiar as our struggle to say what cannot be said ("I love you") is our confidence that lives, actions, and gestures are more expressive than the constative or descriptive sentences that express facts only—even though gestures or actions provide no logical connection to vouchsafe understanding, agreement, or successful communication.'

14 Feb '13 12:31:07 AM

Socrates never loses control of himself; he doesn't need to compose his thoughts in writing. If connected, these facts would suggest that we, with our need for writing, find some of our thoughts, or their disorder, disquieting.

It could be that what disquiets us is the feeling that they must be given more order, or made to fit one.

14 Feb '13 12:02:16 AM

One can imagine Socrates taking time to think, but not: not being ready to publish.

13 Feb '13 11:57:42 PM

It's not clear whether philosophers think of the gist of an argument as what is persistent about it, or as what it's been reduced to.