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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2 Aug '06 05:36:05 AM

'Both the Tractatus and the Investigations are obscure books but in quite different ways. The Tractatus is obscure because we are simply presented with conclusions or answers to questions we have not been told ('1 The world is all that is the case. 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things' (T:1).) and the effort to overcome this obscurity consists in the reader reconstructing the reasoning that gives these assertions meaning and point. In his preface, Wittgenstein says it is not a textbook, and this is usually taken to mean that its difficulty prevents it from being an introduction. This is certainly correct, but it is also true when construed as a remark about genre. Mathematics textbooks, for example, consist either of worked questions and answers, or sets of unanswered questions, or some combinations of these. No textbook ever consisted of sets of answers alone.'

25 Jul '06 11:12:33 AM

Last night at the Second Moon the barista (baristo?) was playing Electric Masada - I love being able to figure out what something is, never having heard it before - and oh was the atmosphere, uh, heavy in there. Then his boss stopped in and he switched it to 'Desire' or something.

Tonight at the Second Moon the barista, apparently in a state of agitation (she skipped a number of things in the same way), let 'Since I Left You' play well after the singing came in before skipping it.

25 Jul '06 10:03:34 AM

'Sehend deine Haltung, interessiert mich dein Ziel nicht.'

23 Jul '06 02:31:25 AM

'waiworinao' = 'why worry now'

22 Jul '06 12:54:36 PM

The mere prospect of some books lightens my mood; but then I set out to read.

18 Jul '06 10:21:30 AM

Lately when I am told about the plot of a book, or a movie, I find I care little about the particular details, so that if someone tries to give them to me I take it as a sign that the plot is not all that interesting. But if it can be described to me in what are practically generic terms - it's about a girl detective, it's about a private eye in Nazi Germany, it's a picaresque about an astronomer and a surveyor crossing colonial America - well then I'm interested.

14 Jul '06 10:21:09 AM

In order for me to write at any length (and for any length of time) here, I seem to need to start from a great wealth of significance, a felt connection to a body of important things, ideas, moments, experiences, which all provide the background against which I can focus on some small detail that moves me to write, typically when I am struck by a sense that only through centering around that detail do all the things in the background make their real importance known.

I am constantly aware of this, and constantly feel that the background is not there - and so I am continually at sea (where there is no background because it all looks the same).

12 Jul '06 10:33:12 AM

'And satisfaction is not had, and philosophy is not done, once and for all.'

11 Jul '06 08:42:30 PM

I woke up with a theme from the Orb stuck in my head, but it was stripped of all its menacing sexual overtones.