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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23 Mar '13 09:26:30 AM

I'm a little surprised that Ted Cohen doesn't make anything out of the fact that jokes rely on premises—even when he's contrasting funny jokes to persuasive arguments.

23 Mar '13 09:18:56 AM

'There's No Free Laugh (Anymore)'

23 Mar '13 08:49:44 AM

'I draw your attention to differences and say: "Look how different these differences are!"'

23 Mar '13 05:51:50 AM

'time, no changes'

21 Mar '13 10:24:31 AM

'… well-wishers and help-seekers, deadbeats trying to be better and do-gooders that are falling behind…'

21 Mar '13 10:07:17 AM

'Genuine philosophy may begin in wonder, but it continues in reluctance.'

21 Mar '13 03:21:13 AM

… things so intelligible that laboring to render them legible seems outlandish…

20 Mar '13 11:14:55 PM

Saw a picture of Thomas Jefferson, thought for a sec it was Beyoncé. OK: I will bow down.

20 Mar '13 11:02:05 PM

On 'people want to have something to share' (quoting myself from my 2010 aesthetics course):

'For some things, ‘having something to share’ means having some stuff, and sharing it means giving some of that stuff to someone else (which means you can’t have it for yourself).

For things like art, especially art that can be easily reproduced so that ‘everyone’ can have ‘the same thing’, ‘having something to share’ means ‘having’ something, and ‘giving’ it to someone else so that you can both ‘have’ it. Or: it means that you both have, or ‘everyone’ has, ‘the same thing’ together without any of them keeping it from the others. (This seems more apt of music, stories and poems, and in certain ways TV and movies; but even a dance can be given to someone without being lost. Paintings and sculpture are less readily ‘shared’, or at least, more easily kept from others.)

News, anecdotes, and gossip are especially things that someone might ‘have to share’, which must have something to do with one aspect of sharing art with others: introducing them to it, pointing it out to them, turning them on to it. One looks for people who haven’t heard, because who wouldn’t want to hear?

But once shared in this way—’given’—art can remain shared, something that two people continue to hold in common between them (something over which they meet, like ‘sharing a table’) long after the novelty of shared news would have lasted.

On the other hand, people share secrets, and secrets are diminished by being shared.'