Archive for October, 2018

October 31, 2018

le marais livide” “de longs haillons de brumes” [ Mallarmé]

October 30, 2018

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October 30, 2018

Our societal advancements are not close to keeping pace with our technological advancements — Gil Scott-Heron – Whitey On the Moon


As late as July 1921 the “New York Times” was calling it wireless telephony, and wireless remained widespread until World War II, when military preference for radio established it as the (n.)

A Disinterested though Partisan Appeal to the Political Scientists of the Future

October 29, 2018

Note that, although a partisan, the below was written as a disinterested appeal to the political scientists of the future to explain the perverseness of the political discourse of our time.

Again, what I find so puzzling is the odd reverse-imaging of the attitudes of Democrats and Republicans today. At times, this seems simply a sort of childish tit-for-tat: “you called Bush II incompetent and a poor speaker (sincerely), so now we’ll call Obama incompetent and a bad speaker (insincerely), no matter that we might criticize him on firmer grounds.” But at times it seems to go deeper than this, seems to go beyond anyone’s conscious decision-making: “we allege Clinton to be a corrupt official, so now we will elect this actually corrupt, dishonest guy. And while we want to see every last thing Clinton’s ever written, we don’t have any interest at all in seeing even the most basic documentation (tax returns, medical history) of our own candidate.” Etc. To me, there remains something to be unearthed psychologically here, something not yet understood.

Republican claims that Obama couldn’t speak without a teleprompter. (I would have thought it was obvious that thinking on his feet was one of Obama’s clear strengths, that it was one of Bush II’s evident weaknesses, yet Republicans at the time, and still today, have decided to go after Obama on precisely these grounds –that he’s not a good speaker. Why?)

Republican claims that Obama was “incompetent”. (Bush II, with Iraq and Katrina among else, was seriously vulnerable to charges of non-competence. That is how the word came to enter the lexicon of the news. Yet Republicans at the time, and still today, will go after Obama on precisely these grounds. Obama, who made tough good calls on Osama Bin Laden and GM, who pulled us out of a downward financial spiral, etc… Why?)

Republican claims that Clinton is “corrupt.” (It was evident that Donald Trump was kind of a dark figure well before he was nominated and elected. If Republicans were non-plussed by the alleged corruption of Clinton, why would they have selected as their nominee precisely a person who himself seemed at least a little dirty?)

The most recent iteration of this is the revelation that Trump habitually talks on insecure phone lines, which, after all the uproar about Clinton’s handling of classified information, you would think that Republicans might care about, but just don’t. Just like they once were concerned about the deficit but now don’t. (What is surprising here is not that Republicans don’t have anything to say about it, but that they have elected a person so disdainful of security procedures –that they want a person from their party who does the very thing they disparage a person from another party for having allegedly done. N.b. this is not at all the first such breech of security of which Trump’s been guilty.)

As I say, I very much hope political science will one day give clarity to the alternate realities we’ve experienced in our time. My perception is: Republicans falsely impugn Democrats with doing the things they actually do, and support among their own candidates those attributes they fear their opponents might have. (I.e., they fear Clinton’s corrupt; so they think corruption is powerful and good, and so support an actually corrupt person like Trump.) The reason involves some combination of extraordinary wealth and extreme desperation that has been spawned by technological advance.

October 28, 2018

Chaque artiste semble ainsi comme le citoyen d’une patrie inconnue, oubliée de lui-même, différente de celle d’où viendra, appareillant pour la terre, un autre grand artiste. ***

October 27, 2018

and “We are the tongues into Being” is absurdly supposed, and “We are The Tongues and Tongs of God,” is absurdly thought…Opening Wrong Cabinet

The Feeling of Thinking One Knows

October 26, 2018

What do we know of the experience of being ignorant, of how it feels? We know of the experience of being ignorant that it resembles closely the feeling of thinking one knows, the feeling, indeed, of omniscience. (Perhaps even the numbness of total unknowing is a sort of presumption of knowledge… Would we go so far as to say that that person whom we deem most ignorant feels himself to be most omniscient?)

Does the feeling of (actually) knowing differ in any way (in many ways?) from the feeling of incorrectly thinking one knows? In the way we just said, yes, ignorance is a far more sweeping feeling of knowing, of knowing all, than actual knowing. The person who thinks he knows more than he does thinks also that knowing is more than it is. (Perhaps: real knowing isn’t a “feeling” at all while thinking one knows is. And yet knowing, whether correct or incorrect, can often be accompanied by a feeling of victoriousness.)

Additionally, although those who know tend to be guarded and cautious about the things they know, there is one thing which, through experience, they have come to know with confidence and certainty: and that is the misconceptions of those who only think they know. (That is, experts know very well the errors of amateurs and students of their field.) These –the misconceptions– the knowers may know even better than the thing they hope to know about, we suggest.

October 26, 2018

4.38 / trans.
καὶ ὅκου ἔνι τοῦ σώματος ἱδρὼς, ἐνταῦθα φράζει τὴν νοῦσον.

October 25, 2018

Tracking Tax Runaways ; Apollinaire recite le pont Mirabeau ; Literature is against us (int. anne Boyer); saving electricity / air conditioning; Electrons and their Interactions — Richard Feynman ; ETRUSCAN ENGINEERING & AGRICULTURAL ACHIEVEMENTS ; Kurtis BlowBasketball ; What we’re doing to the Earth has no parallel in 66 million years … [POST]

October 24, 2018

A ‘mad monologue’: he is –a conspiracy theorist or paranoid– he thinks that historical events (he concentrates on 9/11 but knows a few you haven’t heard of) are conspiracies to keep us from thinking of our personal lives, that all history has been invented to keep us from thinking about ourselves.

Why can’t we think about ourselves, he wants to know? The world movers don’t want me to contemplate me so they dream up and orchestrate these extraordinary “historical” things that supposedly happen to us. And they don’t care what history is just so long as it’s got “big events”.( They know what would happen were people ever to “know themselves” and they know that under those conditions there certainly wouldn’t be any “history”.)

October 22, 2018

Child with mother behind, rushing toward street.

Three couples with dogs, each with very big dogs.

Mother and daughter returning from memorial day celebration — mother, head down, pushing crib up the steep hill. Daughter, smiling to herself, head to one side.

Wanted to call them “Elleman turns” (U Turn) a sedan and service truck in synchronicity.

Bird propelling itself with wings just enough to get over the fence; having passed that mark, let herself flop.

Ethiopian gal asking directions to DMV (Day — um- vay) with umbrella for the strong sun.

Couple crossing, as I cross, — do I go between them as my trajectory and a sense of symmetry suggests, or instead be obedient to a vague social principle?

The idea is not that “everything I think is wrong” but that “everything I think is wildly wrong” (that the area of what I think does not, perhaps will not, intersect the area of what is the case)

Like two feet: a white van in the right lane accelerating then gliding forward, followed by a yellow school bus, a heavy step on the gas, then gliding by the white service van.

Just passed by a woman jogger — expect as she passes to breathe in her perfume– but at that moment I become enclosed in a block of aroma from a different source: laundry is being done in nearby home; strong scent of Bounce or similar product.

Area between the cuff of the electrician’s pants and the sole of his shoe, the brown curving part of the heel, or back, carved out by the grey end of the pant leg.