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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 6:28 pm
by iambiguous
Richard Rorty

Truth is what is better for us to believe.

So, by all means, pick one.

I now wish that I had spent somewhat more of my life with verse. This is not because I fear having missed out on truths that are incapable of statement in prose. There are no such truths; there is nothing about death that Swinburne and Landor knew but Epicurus and Heidegger failed to grasp. Rather, it is because I would have lived more fully if I had been able to rattle off more old chestnuts — just as I would have if I had made more close friends.

Yeah, I guess so...

Philosophers get attention only when they appear to be doing something sinister - corrupting the youth, undermining the foundations of civilization, sneering at all we hold dear. The rest of the time everybody assumes that they are hard at work somewhere down in the sub-basement, keeping those foundations in good repair. Nobody much cares what brand of intellectual duct tape is being used.

Yeah, I guess so...

Had there been no Plato, the Christians would have had a harder time selling the idea that all God really wanted from us was fraternal love.

What's that tell us about, well, either one of them?

As long as we try to project from the relative and conditioned to the absolute and unconditioned, we shall keep the pendulum swinging between dogmatism and skepticism. The only way to stop this increasingly tiresome pendulum swing is to change our conception of what philosophy is good for. But that is not something which will be accomplished by a few neat arguments. It will be accomplished, if it ever is, by a long, slow process of cultural change - that is to say, of change in common sense, changes in the intuitions available for being pumped up by philosophical arguments.

In a thousand years, maybe.

We are equal inhabitants of a paradise of individuals in which everybody has the right to be understood.

Or, sure, we're not.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2019 10:56 pm
by iambiguous
Rene Magritte

Each thing we see hides something else we want to see.

It would have to be that way, wouldn't it?

The purpose of art is mystery.

And is there ever really enough of that?

The mind loves the unknown. It loves images whose meaning is unknown, since the meaning of the mind itself is unknown.

I know, not your mind.

To be a surrealist means barring from your mind all remembrance of what you have seen, and being always on the lookout for what has never been.

That might make me one here then.

Too often we tend to reduce what is strange to what is familiar. I intend to restore the familiar to the strange.

You know, going back to what doesn't explain existence itself.

Nothing is confused except the mind.

Okay, okay: Not just yours.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:13 am
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

"Logic has made me hated in the world." Peter Abelard

We'll need actual examples of course.

“We forfeit three-fourths of ourselves in order to be like other people.” Arthur Schopenhauer

We not being us of course.

"Everything has been figured out, except how to live." Jean-Paul Sartre

Okay, but only if that includes how to die.

"If you are lonely when you're alone, you are in bad company." Jean-Paul Sartre

Me? Never. Not once.

"Who does not suspect is easily deceived." Petrarch

I suspect that's true more for some than for others. And certainly more for some things than others.

"Man has not a greater enemy than himself." Petrarch

And let's not leave out the women.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:50 pm
by iambiguous
Harlan Coben

The truth may be better than lies...But it doesn't always set you free.

If only it was always better.

They say possesions own you. Not so. Loved ones own you. You are forever held hostage once you care so much.

Come on, it's clearly both. Or clearly can be.

Doctors kept stressing that mental disease was the same as physical disease. Telling someone who was clinically depressed, for example, to shake it off and get out of the house was tantamount to telling a man with two broken legs to sprint across the room. That was all well and good in theory, but in practice, the stigma continued. Maybe, to be more charitable, it was because you could hide a mental disease.

It does get tricky.

You don't worry about happiness and fulfilment when you're starving.

Let alone the part about dasein.

You live among this ridiculous wealth and you get lost. You worry about nonsense like spirituality and inner health and satisfaction and relationships. You have no idea what it is like to starve, to watch yourself turn to bones.

Well, they don't call it the human condition for nothing. If only our own part in it.

But sometimes, maybe most times, it isn't that clear. It is dark and you are near the edge of a cliff, but you're moving slowly, not sure which direction you're heading in. Your steps are tentative but they are still blind in the night. You don't realize how close you are to the edge, how the soft earth could give away, how you could just slip a bit and suddenly plunge into the dark.

Let's see if we make it until tomorrow.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:16 pm
by iambiguous
Philosophy Tweets

"You keep to your own ways and leave mine to me." Petrarch

Not counting the part we call reality.

"The difference between political terror and ordinary crime becomes clear during the change of regimes, in which former terrorists become well-regarded representatives of their country." Jurgen Habermas

Shhh. Let's not go there.

"One never really knows who one's enemy is." Jurgen Habermas

Let alone the part they play in it.

"Each murder is one too many." Jurgen Habermas

Well, unless it's justified of course.

"Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself." Leo Tolstoy

There's a reason for that. And, no, not just mine.

"A great man is hard on himself; a small man is hard on others." Confucius

What's that make the Kids then?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:02 pm
by iambiguous
Bob Dylan

If you don't underestimate me, I won't underestimate you.

Except on 4th Street.

An artist has got to be careful never really to arrive at a place where he thinks he's AT somewhere. You always have to realize that you're constantly in a state of becoming. And, as long as you can stay in that realm you'll sort of be alright.

A philosopher too. Whatever "sort of" means.

What did I owe the rest of the world? Nothing.

Of course he can say that, can't he? While most of us...?

You get older. You start having hopes for other people rather than yourself.

I skipped that part.

I define nothing. Not beauty, not patriotism. I take each thing as it is, without prior rules about what it should be.

Not counting things like gravity of course. Or [probably] death.

When you feel in your gut what you are and then dynamically pursue it - don't back down and don't give up - then you're going to mystify a lot of folks.

Right, what you really are.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:24 pm
by iambiguous
Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows the dice are loaded.

I know: If only that were actually true.

Reality is one of the possibilities I cannot afford to ignore.

Let's note all the others.

Follow me, the wise man said, but he walked behind.

Though only if you let him.

I don't really understand that process called reincarnation but if there is such a thing I'd like to come back as my daughter's dog.

Let's make a new thread out of this.

At the very center of our culture is a crucified man, a tortured man hanging on a cross of wood. You have an image of violence at the very center of our spiritual investigation.

If only to die for our sins.

The less I was of who I was, the better I felt.

Imagine then how he feels now.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:01 pm
by iambiguous
Sid Vicious

It's not really my problem if they think I'm weird.

But you are only allowed to be weird in a culture like ours.

I'll probably die by the time I reach 25. But I'll have lived the way I wanted to.

So, is there a philosophy in there somewhere?

You're only half the man that I am, and I have half the brain that you do.

Or, rather, back then he did.

Today everything's a conflict of interest.

Actually, only almost everything is.

You just pick up a chord, go twang, and you're got music.

Here of course we twang words.

The band broke up because I couldn't bear Rotten anymore because he was an embarrassment with his silly hats and his, like, shabby, dirty, nasty looking appearance.

True or not, this will have to do, won't it?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:52 am
by iambiguous
Elena Epaneshnik

It takes a lot of imagination to pretend to be yourself.

You know, once you pin down who you are.

The Face ID on my phone can only recognise me when I smile. And I've tried everything. Every single grimace that I'm capable of.

So, is this a real thing?

If you want to have a lovely dinner with your favourite philosophers, then go to a restaurant and ask for a table for one.

Somewhere in the basement.

Tell me something sexi in French?
Dis-moi quelque chose sexy en français.

You tell me.

The future starts now. But we're already late.

Or, if you're lucky, really, really late.

5 beautiful words
Petit pois

Let's do better.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 3:58 pm
by iambiguous
Ian Curtis

Reality is only a term, based on values and well worn principles, whereas the dream goes on forever.

Actually, it died when he did. But only if it actually did.

Existence is.. well.. what does it matter? I exist on the best terms I can. The past is now part of my future. The present is well out of hand.

Really, really well out of hand for him now. But only if it actually is.

I struggle between what I know is right in my own mind, and some warped truthfulness as seen through other people's eyes who have no heart, and can't see the difference anyway.

Having a heart doesn't change that, he thought.

Nothing seems real anymore. Even the flames from the fire seem to beckon to me, drawing me into some great past life buried somewhere deep in my subconscious, if only I could find the key...if only...if only. Ever since my illness, my condition, I've been trying to find some logical way of passing my time, of justifying a means to an end.

Obviously, he never found it.

We're changing our ways, taking different roads, and love will tear us apart again.

Or, if not love, sex.

I used to work in a factory and I was really happy because I could daydream all day.

Clearly, there are different jobs in different factories. Having worked in a few myself.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2019 10:51 pm
by iambiguous
Frans de Waal

If you wish to expel religion from our European civilization you can only do it through another system of doctrines, and from the outset this would take over all the psychological characteristics of religion, the same sanctity, rigidity, and intolerance, the same prohibition of thought in self-defense.

First Communism, then fascism and now...nihilism?

...on August 16, 1996, when an eight-year-old female gorilla named Binti Jua helped a three-year-old boy who had fallen eighteen feet into the primate exhibit at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. Reacting immediately, Binti scooped up the boy and carried him to safety. She sat down on a log in a stream, cradling the boy in her lap, giving him a few gentle back pats before taking him to the waiting zoo staff. This simple act of sympathy, captured on video and shown around the world, touched many hearts, and Binti was hailed as a heroine. It was the first time in U.S. history that an ape figured in the speeches of leading politicians, who held her up as a model of compassion.

What are we to really make of this?

Ultimately these battles are about females, which means that the fundamental difference between our two closest relatives is that one resolves sexual issues with power, while the other resolves power issues with sex.

I just saw a documentary about this on [I believe] Nat Geo. So: What are we to really make of it?

One can train dolphins to jump synchronously because they do so in the wild, and one can teach horses to run together at the same pace because wild horses do the same.

Okay, but where's the training part come in then?

Rather than reflecting an immutable human nature, morals are closely tied to the way we organize ourselves.

My guess: genetically and memetically. Though not necessarily in that order.

If faith makes people buy an entire package of myths and values without asking too many questions, scientists are only slightly better.

Okay, up to a point. But only up to a point.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 1:49 am
by iambiguous
Werner Herzog

My first consideration, now, in choosing a restaurant, is noise level. If your establishment is too loud for conversation, I walk out immediately.

Never been to restaurant like that. At least not here in Baltimore.

I know little about Ariana Grande, but I would like to know even less.

No one could possibly know less than I do.

I have trouble verifying that I am not a computer because the questions are too philosophically narrow.

Either that or [here] not narrow enough.

"Look to the proles," you say, but to whom are the proles looking?

May Day. And who here among still look to the proles?

I am not a pessimist. I am an idealist. I sustain the hope that none of this matters.

That's the spirit!

If it is not Bauhaus, it is crap.

Although occasionally it can be Cabaret Voltaire.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 4:47 pm
by iambiguous
Amy Winehouse

Life's short. Anything could happen, and it usually does, so there is no point in sitting around thinking about all the ifs, ands and buts.

And then [like her] you die.

I don't care what people think about me. Never did, never will. Life is too short to be worrying about that shit.

Of course some will force the issue. Then it's all about options.

Every bad situation is a blues song waiting to happen.

Let's write one here.

Music is the only thing that will give and give and give and not take.

Nothing doesn't take something.

I'm romantic. I fall in love every day. Not with people but with situations. The other day, I saw a tramp polishing his shoes. That just gripped my heart.

He wondered if his own heart had ever been gripped. Nope, he concluded.

Life happens. There is no point in being upset or down about things we can't control or change.

Does anyone really believe dopey stuff like this?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 11:05 pm
by iambiguous
Barbara Kingsolver

I prefer to remain anomalous.

Either that or ambiguous.

Morality is not a large, constructed thing you have or have not, but simply a capacity. Something you carry with you in your brain and in your hands.

Not only that, but from one extreme to the other.

No reporter worth his buttons will let the facts intrude on a good story.

Buttons? Though, sure, we get the point.

To think is not always to see.

We'll need a context of course.

So one time when I was working in this motel one of the toilets leaked and I had to replace the flapper ball. Here’s what it said on the package; I kept it till I knew it by heart: ‘Please Note. Parts are included for all installations, but no installation requires all of the parts.’ That’s kind of my philosophy about men. I don’t think there’s an installation out there that could use all of my parts.

Or, for her, all of theirs.

Modern people are just like ancient ones, only more numerous.

A hell of a lot more numerous.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 1:58 am
by iambiguous
Werner Twertzog

What do you mean you can't make a documentary? You have a cell phone, do you not?

Wow, how postmodern is that!

Do not shoot one minute more than you need. We are artists, not garbage collectors.

Garbage? Let's not go there here, okay?

I am at Bed, Bath and Beyond, thinking about the afterlife.

That could never happen in a Walmart. As we all know.

Two roads diverged in a wood And I took neither I calmly walked into the foliage never to be seen again.

Not unlike Inés one suspects.

Driverless humans, next year, Musk is convinced.

No, really, is Musk convinced of this?

Extroverts are happier because, as all introverts know, they are stupid.

As an introvert myself, I agree. If stupid goes far enough.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 5:36 pm
by iambiguous
Jerry Fodor

Self-pity can make one weep, as can onions.

My guess: For different reasons.

Philosophers who pay for their semantics by drawing checks on Darwin are in debt way over their heads.

Or at least up to their necks?

On my bad days, I sometimes wonder what philosophers are for.

Not unlike everyone else.

The theory of natural selection reduces to a banal truth: if a kind of creature flourishes in a kind of situation, then there must be something about such creatures (or about such situations, or about both) in virtue of which it does so.

Okay, but is that banal enough?

No doubt, intuitions deserve respect...but I think that it is always up for grabs what an intuition is an intuition of. At a minimum, it is surely sometimes up for grabs.

So, what's your intuition tell you about this?

Suppose that the organism is given the problem of determining the analysis of a stimulus at a certain level of representation - e.g., the problem of determining which sequence of words a given utterance encodes. Since, in the general case, transducer outputs underdetermine perceptual analyses, we can think of the solution of such problems as involving processes of nondemonstrative inference. In particular, we can think of each input system as a computational mechanism which projects and confirms a certain class of hyputheses on the basis of a certain body of data.

Things that only intellectuals pedants say.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Fri May 03, 2019 11:04 pm
by iambiguous
Patricia Churchland

Brains are not magical; they are causal machines.

Let's split the difference and call them both.

Although many philosophers used to dismiss the relevance of neuroscience on grounds that what mattered was the software, not the hardware, increasingly philosophers have come to recognize that understanding how the brain works is essential to understanding the mind.

I know: Don't take this too far.

I am less attracted to guesses about what cannot be done, than about making progress on a problem.

We'll need to know the problem of course.

If you give up because you announce the phenomenon cannot be explained, you are missing out.

Fine, I'm missing out then.

Humility bids us to take ourselves as we are; we do not have to be cosmically significant to be genuinely significant.

Right, genuinely significant.

It seems that the brain has a "small world" architecture - or at least the cortex does. Everything can connect to everything else in a few synaptic steps.

Well, that solves that then.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 5:33 pm
by iambiguous
Martin Gardner

The more the public is confused, the easier it falls prey to doctrines of pseudo-science which may at some future date recieve the backing of politically powerful groups...a renaissance of German quasi-science paralleled the rise of Hitler.

Uh-oh. Few publics have ever been more confused than the one here in America.

Wouldn't the sentence 'I want to put a hyphen between the words Fish and And and And and Chips in my Fish-and-Chips sign' have been clearer if quotation marks had been placed before Fish, and between Fish and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and And, and And and and, and and and Chips, as well as after Chips?

Is this a real thing?

A god whose creation is so imperfect that he must be continually adjusting it to make it work properly seems to me a god of relatively low order, hardly worthy of any worship.

And what if it's your God, Kid?

The sudden hunch, the creative leap of mind that "sees" in a flash how to solve a problem in a simple way, is something quite different from general intelligence.

Any actual flashes here?

Politicians, real-estate agents, used-car salesmen, and advertising copy-writers are expected to stretch facts in self-serving directions, but scientists who falsify their results are regarded by their peers as committing an inexcusable crime. Yet the sad fact is that the history of science swarms with cases of outright fakery and instances of scientists who unconsciously distorted their work by seeing it through lenses of passionately held beliefs.

Any falsifiers here?

As Bertrand Russell once wrote, two plus two is four even in the interior of the sun.

Not counting Betelgeuse of course.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sat May 04, 2019 11:58 pm
by iambiguous
Greg Iles

Rumor runs through the community like a plague, and truth is the first casualty.

Let's start one here.

Our actions have consequences that last long after us, entwining the present with the future in ways we cannot begin to understand.

I'll bet that includes the past too.

Jung didn’t try to separate good and evil. He knew that both exist in every human heart. He called the propensity to evil the Shadow. And he believed that trying to deny or repress the Shadow is dangerous. Because it can’t be done. He believed you have to recognize your Shadow, come to grips with it, accept it, and integrate it.

Next up: the Shadow meets dasein.

Einstein said the arrow of time flies in only one direction. Faulkner, being from Mississippi, understood the matter differently. He said the past is never dead; it’s not even past. All of us labor in webs spun long before we were born, webs of heredity and environment, of desire and consequence, of history and eternity.

Of course Einstein was only a genius. But point taken.

You never wear red to no funeral; red says the dead person was a fool.

Is this a real thing?

The faith of children is an awesome thing to behold. If only we could all be worthy of it.

Faith in what though?

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 2:03 am
by iambiguous

I don’t know what else I can not do to prove I don’t exist.

Let's think of something.

If there were a shot that cured stupid, anti-vaxxers still wouldn’t take it.

Let's poll the Kids here.

People who are wrong are just as sure they're right as people who are right. The only difference is, they're wrong.

Wow, God must be a fucking genius.

Never underestimate the ability of things to get worse.

He can count on me.

At the end of the day, it's 11:59pm.

Of course technically that's not true.

Once you start allowing gay people to marry, what's next? Going on with your life in exactly the same way you did before?

I know: what if that was actually true!

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 6:17 pm
by iambiguous
Taylor Jenkins Reid

Fate or not, our lives are still the results of our choices.

Right, fate or not.

That’s the part I was stuck in, the part where you accept the apology because it’s easier than addressing the root of the problem.

Until that becomes the root of the problem itself.

They say that when you remember something, you are really remembering the last time you remembered it. Each time you recollect a memory, you change it, ever so slightly, shading it with new information, new feelings.

If only going back to the day you were born.

...forgiveness is different from absolution.

Spelled different too.

It’s very easy to rationalize what you’re doing when you don’t know the faces and the names of the people you might hurt. It’s very easy to choose yourself over someone else when it’s an abstract.

My guess: There's a good reason for that.

Sometimes divorce isn’t an earth-shattering loss. Sometimes it’s just two people waking up out of a fog.

Much like a marriage can be two people walking into one.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 9:00 pm
by iambiguous

The next time I create mankind I'll conduct an environmental impact study first.

And it's not like He doesn't have billions of planets to choose from.

Most homophobes are secretly gay. However, most arachnophobes are not secretly spiders.

Hmm, a category mistake?

The Easter Bunny is a ridiculous myth that completely detracts from the factual reality of the Son of God rising from the dead.

What's that make Santa Claus then?

Human beings are the only species on earth who are all a bunch of morons.

Created in His image to boot.

It wasn’t a Good Friday for Jesus, I can tell you that.

Well, He did die for our sins.

It’s weird being an atheist when you have My job.

Really, I can't even imagine it.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 2019 11:02 pm
by iambiguous
Janis Joplin

Hippies believe the world could be a better place. Beatniks believe things aren’t going to get better and say the hell with it, stay stoned and have a good time.

Next up: the Yippies.

All my life I just wanted to be a beatnik. Meet all the heavies, get stoned, get laid, have a good time. That's all I ever wanted. Except I knew I had a good voice and I could always get a couple of beers off of it. All of a sudden someone threw me in this rock 'n' roll band. They threw these musicians at me, man, and the sound was coming from behind. The bass was charging me. And I decided then and there that that was it. I never wanted to do anything else. It was better than it had been with any man, you know. Maybe that's the trouble.

Among other things, they should put this on her tombstone.

I'm not really thinking much...Just sort of, trying to feel.

Not unlike everyone else. Eventually.

It's hard to be free but when it works, it's worth it.

Providing of course you have nothing left to lose.

I'd rather have ten years of superhypermost than live to be seventy sitting in some goddamn chair watching TV.

So, how superhypermost are you? You know, if that's even an option.

Wait a minute, maybe I can do anything.

If not anymore.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 4:23 pm
by iambiguous
Woody Allen

Everybody knows how awful the world is and what a terrible situation it is and each person distorts it in a certain way that enables him to get through. Some people distort it with religious things. Some people distort it with sports, with money, with love, with art, and they all have their own nonsense about what makes it meaningful, and all but nothing makes it meaningful. These things definitely serve a certain function, but in the end they all fail to give life meaning and everyone goes to his grave in a meaningless way.

I was once this optimistic myself.

I didn't believe in reincarnation in my past life, and I still don't.

Let's see if we can spot the flaw here.

Right now it's only a notion, but I think I can get the money to make it into a concept, and later turn it into an idea.

One wonders if he ever did.

Error, no keyboard. Press F1 to continue.

Is this even possible?

Existence for eternity could get a little boring...especially towards the end.

Is this even possible?

The universe is haphazard, morally neutral, and unimaginably violent.

And not just in September.

Re: a thread for mundane ironists

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2019 11:00 pm
by iambiguous
Richard Rorty

Academic disciplines are subject to being overtaken by attacks of "knowingness"- a state of mind and soul that prevents shudders of awe and makes one immune to enthusiasm.

No, not just you, Kid. But, here, especially you.

If the body had been easier to understand, nobody would have thought that we had a mind.

Let's explain this to, among others, me.

The difference between people and ideas is...only superficial.

If not profoundly superficial.

Open-mindedness should not be fostered because, as Scripture teaches, Truth is great and will prevail, nor because, as Milton suggests, Truth will always win in a free and open encounter. It should be fostered for its own sake.

A classic general description.

I think of an intellectual as just being bookish, being interested in history books, utopian ideas, that kind of thing.

Worse [far worse] is the philosophical equivalent.

To abjure the notion of the truly human is to abjure the attempt to divinize the self as a replacement for a divinized world.

On the other hand, who wouldn't abjure that?