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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24 Dec '14 09:37:50 PM

'Now if Diogenes' disenchantment with the polis, with its nomoi and nomismata, as engendered by his experience of exile, leads to the Cynic reconception of autarkheia ("self-sufficing") from a collective civic virtue to a personal one, this is no less true of the Cynic idea of freedom. Just as autarkheia changes its meaning—is effectively defaced—when applied to a stateless individual living in exile, so too does freedom. Clearly, the Cynic understanding of freedom cannot be that of Plato, Aristotle, or the citizens of Athens, since its premise rejects the polis as the locus or source of freedom. Therefore, freedom cannot be a matter of legal status (or entitlement), such as that of being a citizen. The Cynic conception of freedom—"to use any place for any purpose" (DL, 6.22)—is a license to practice autarkheia free from that "most intimate of social fetters," shame (aidōs), the cornerstone of conventional Greek morality.'

24 Dec '14 06:48:25 PM

'It's very beautiful and stupid.'

21 Dec '14 12:08:35 AM

'At the beginning of the Hellenistic period (ca. 323–31 B.C.), Greek society enjoyed the refinements and luxury of a highly developed civilization, yet social inequalities were always widespread. It is often asserted, and with some justification, that with the decline of the polis (or city-state) as the comprehensive center of social life, each individual felt compelled to secure his own happiness in a world in which it was not uncommon to be sent into exile, taken prisoner by pirates, or sold into slavery, according to the whims of Fortune (Tukhē). From this point of view, Cynicism was intended as a response to this quest for happiness, by which the Greeks of this uncertain time were almost obsessed. Consequently, it offered Hellenistic society a systematic moral practice (tekhnē) capable of guiding the individual toward happiness and delivering him from anguish.'

20 Dec '14 11:56:03 PM

Cynic freedom: 'To use any place for any purpose'.

16 Dec '14 10:45:48 PM

'Women writing in the "I" fight the specter of the diary, which saps their authority and saddles them with the obligation to be both a good author and a good subject.'

12 Dec '14 04:19:59 AM

'But now I say nothing. I'm not an electrician anymore.'

11 Dec '14 04:47:53 PM

'… in the journals, the effort of it appears again and again…'

10 Dec '14 06:07:29 AM

'… the imperatives of conception might make it necessary to improvise at great length.'

9 Dec '14 09:38:27 PM

'Robots in human form'