Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

A Conversation Between Sigismundo Celine And Sigismundo Celine

February 12, 2007

Pride, Groucho:11, 6006 YD

I am Sigismundo Celine, not the man in the moon.

But then he was the man in the moon. Earth was a distant light in the sky far, far away. Various famous Lunatics were gathered around explaining moon-logic to him. “You never get ‘outside’. What you call ‘outside’ is another part of ‘inside’. See?”

“Yes,” he said. “I have never experienced another human being. I have experienced my impressions of them. Even in sexual intercourse I did not, strictly speaking, experience the other: I experienced my experience of her.”

“Then the whole universe is inside my head?”

“But your head is inside the universe. How do you explain that?”

“Well, then, I must have two heads, so to speak. The universe is inside my actually experienced head, but that head and the universe itself must both be inside my head logically necessary conceptual head. Is that it?”

“Yes. My conceptual head contains the universe, or a model of the universe to be strictly precise, and inside the that model is the model of my conceptual head, which is of course also my experienced head.”

“Careful now. You’re building up to an infinite regress.”

“I can see that, but it must be because consciousness itself is an infinite regress. I think that explains coincidences.”

“Are you quite sure you know what you are saying?”

“Yes. A coincidence is an isomorphism between the contents of my conceptual head, outside the universe, and my experienced head, inside the universe.”

“And why would there be such an isomorphism?”

“Because, damn it, my two heads are really only one head. I’ve just separated them for logical analysis.”

“But how can your conceptual head, outside the universe, be your experienced head, inside the universe?”

“Because, because . . .”

“Yes?”

“Because concepts are experiences, too. My conceptual head is experienced, and becomes my experienced head, whenever I think about mathematics or pure logic. Yes, by God. When I see a spotted dog, that is inside my experienced head, as Hume demonstrated. But when I think about the actual dog that creates the image in my experienced head, I must be expanding my conceptual head to include the actual dog, not the image of the dog. So the dog, and the rest of the universe, are actually in my conceptual head, not in my experienced head, which only has their images.”

“But then my experienced head is both inside and outside my conceptual head – which means it is both inside and outside my universe.”

“You’re still in the infinite regress.”

“I can appreciate that. By the way, am I talking to you or talking to myself?”

“Is there a difference?”

from The Widow’s Son by Robert Anton Wilson

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On The Subject Of: Questioning

September 27, 2006

Lust, Harpo:19, 6006 YD

With the unknown, one is confronted with danger, discomfort and worry; the first instinct is to abolish these painful sensations. First principle: any explanation is better than none . . .

The search for causes is thus conditioned by and excited by the feeling of fear. The question “Why?” is not pursued for its own sake but to find a certain kind of answer – an answer that is pacifying, tranquilizing and soothing.

-Nietzsche, Twilight of the Gods

Zamiatin Says:

September 7, 2006

“True literature can only exist when it is created, not by diligent and reliable officials, but by madmen, hermits, heretics, dreamers, rebels and sceptics”.

Today’s Lessons

January 30, 2006

LESSON #1


A handgun is a reality.


A blue uniform is a reality.


A “Police Officer” is a social fiction.

LESSON #2


Paper is a reality.


Printing presses are a reality.


Money” is a social fiction.

LESSON #3


Land is a reality.


Population is a reality.


Prime Minister” is a social fiction.

When?

December 6, 2005

When does a booklet become a book?

When does a novella become a novel?

When does soup become stew?

When does a child become an adult?

When do words become speech?

When does wet dirt become mud?

When does an ugly beast become a monster?

When do sounds become music?

When does a storm become a hurricane?

When does five equal six?

When will we all get it?

Modern Sisyphus, or This Is The Life

September 17, 2005

One night Quiche invited four friends over for some drinks and smoking. She invited Tab Matsui, who always worried about people and her boyfriend Don Mosher who was always worried about animals. She also invited Carmonita Scarfoni, who was always worried about life, and Toni Carboni, who was always worried about death.

Drinks were poured, spliffs were lit, and conversation ensued. Tab never took spliffs overly well and soon began to worry about the people who were being afflicted by natural disasters. “there’s nothing you can do to prevent something like that,” she said, and began to weep. Don, her boyfriend said “think about the animals though, they truly have no idea what is happening. it must all be a mystery to them. just like everything to us”

“what’s a mystery?” Quiche asked. Carmonita said, “life is a mystery. how can we know what the point is?”

Toni said, “you can’t know the point until you’ve died. it’s too profound.” Quiche began to giggle. Don turned to her, his drink splashing on the tabletop. “how can you laugh, Quiche? terrible things happen all the time. what’s so funny?” Quiche spoke through a bouquet of laughter: “everything.”

Tab asked: “you think it’s funny that we don’t know the meaning of life?”

Quiche answered, “no.”

“well then, what’s so funny?” Don asked. Quiche turned to him. She smiled. “i find it funny that you all believe there is a meaning to the universe. there isn’t.” Carmonita sat forward. “how can you dare to say that? if there isn’t a meaning then there is no point in living!”

Quiche asked, “no?” and began to giggle again. Toni sat very quietly, and finally said “Quiche is right. there is no point. if you think about it, it’s perfectly obvious. there is no meaning to life.”

Tab began to weep again. “well then what are we living for?” Don answered: “nothing.”

Carmonita’s face lit up. “we should kill ourselves!” Toni turned to Carmonita. “yes, you’re right. it’s the only logical response to an illogical universe.”

As the four prepared to kill themselves Don noticed Quiche was lighting up another joint. “what are you doing, Quiche? aren’t you going to kill yourself with us?” Quiche laughed again. “no, i have no intention of killing myself.”

Tab asked, “but why? it was you that made us realize the universe has no point.”

Quiche shrugged. “so?” was all she replied.

Don turned away from Quiche. “forget her, she’s just afraid. come on, let’s get on with it, i can’t stand this world another second.” and he, and the other three killed themselves, and fell back away from the table. Their feet stuck up in the smoky air.

Quiche sat back, gathered their weed with hers, took another haul on the spliff, and said “this is the life . . .”

"It’s Chaos!"

September 3, 2005

In the coverage of the New Orleans disaster I have heard a minimum of five different newscasters describe the situation down there as “It’s chaos!” . . . well, yes . . . but EVERYthing is chaos. A flower growing in a field is part of chaos. A horse running down a road is part of chaos. A fire eating up a house is part of chaos. A riot is part of chaos, and so is the end of the riot.

What they really mean is that disorder is ruling down there, for the time being, not chaos.

Chaos was always there.

The Philosophy Of Gravy

August 14, 2005

All through my life I was told that the way to be happy was to struggle for success. But, success on my terms? Success by the terms of my parents? Success by the terms of my teachers? Or peers? Over time, success was finally laid down to me by society as a whole.

Success meant getting a well paid job that stressed my mind because ‘stress and hard work build character . . . a job you like will indulge the mind, and that’s where insanity starts’ which is really just a more elaborate way of stating the old adage ‘idle hands are the devil’s playground’.

Success also meant looking right – ‘dress for success’ they tell you, cut that hair, cover up those tattoos, get those teeth fixed, stand up straight, stick out your chin, suck in your gut.

Success also meant getting married to a girl from a ‘good family’, which is really code for $. You had damn well better make sure she looks like a melange of Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears (before the meltdown), though, if you want real success, and if she doesn’t quite yet, well that’s what God invented surgery for, right? Just don’t take any pictures of her in good light until the eyes have been widened, the lips puckered to look like a baboon’s asshole, the hair has been stripped and extensions have been implanted into the skull – work on the tits, ass, the works.

Once the girl is established, the next exit ramp to success is having at least two children, one boy and one girl. The boy is to become an extension of you, and the girl is to be the extension of whomever she marries. They had both better be attractive, so they can work in commercials as babies. Success starts early. If they aren’t attractive, keep popping them out, the odds will eventually be in your favour. A couple homely kids in the family photos aren’t an eyesore if two or three lookers even them out.

Success also meant getting into the right activities, such as golf, or, well . . . just golf I guess. Learn to play golf, get a good score, buy expensive (not well made) clubs and show them off in a large expensive bag which will be carried around by the son of someone who is NOT successful. Be contemptuous of him, his father didn’t work hard enough.

Success also means grasping onto some arbitrary religion, but not too tightly . . . zealots never achieve TRUE success. If someone asks you if you believe in God, the answer is yes, but if they ask you which god get the hell out of there, because that question means the conversation is sliding downhill into metaphysics, and philosophers are NOT successful. Go to church a couple times a year, and toss out a couple dollars to the collection plate when you do. Ask for a receipt.

Toward middle age begin carrying a pipe around, and practice clenching it in your teeth, but do not light. You’re too good looking to get mouth or lung cancer just to show how distinguished you are. Buy a small red sports car, and drive to the mall to pretend to pick up your kids. Look for a potential candidate for an affair. If you happen to see your children leaving the mall, drive away; walking builds character, and besides, your sports car can’t fit anyone but you.

Early retirement, a gold watch, and the inevitable move to Florida are the capping achievements of the successful life. Try to tan a lot, but not so much that you get wrinkles. Think of George Hamilton, use him as your guide. Make sure you leave a lot of money behind so people will always talk about how successful you were. Make sure they get you an obelisk as a headstone. Or, better yet, a tomb. That’s true success.

Everything else is just gravy.

My response?

Fuck you, and your expectations, bucko. I will name what success is to me, and that is having as good a time as is humanly possible, as often as is possible. Laughing and crying. Thinking about things beyond how to make the next buck, pursuing art and leisure, pondering metaphysics, eating well, smoking some grass, drinking some beer, giggling with someone I love, trying to help people as much as I can, reading books other than the ‘one everyone is talking about’ instead of watching hours of Survivor or Desperate Housewives.

I live for that gravy.

Hail Eris.

Relativism?

July 27, 2005

I was reading, this morning, about the merits (or lack thereof) of Relativism in philosophical thought. The author of the book actually considers this mode of thought as ‘wrong’, which surprised me. I could easily imagine someone claiming that Relativism doesn’t work for them, or isn’t as helpful as other ways of thinking, but to actually refer to it as wrong, and logically inconsistent seems strange to me.

Relativism is, for those who don’t know, the theory that there is no absolute truth, and that, therefor, all truth is relative.

Presently, I lean much closer to that way of thinking than many others. Discordianism seems to me to be a way of grasping with the inconsistencies of the world, and there are many, in a way that is more realistic. I know, I just claimed Discordianism is more realistic than other ways of thinking . . . horror! But, in the sense that the world is full of inconsistencies and contradictions, yes, I think it is more realistic. Discordianism teaches us that things can be both true and false at the same time. How many of us can say we truly loved our parents with all our hearts and never once despised them while growing up? There were several times I hated both my parents, and yet I still loved them. The love doesn’t override the hate to me, though, as some would claim; I believe both existed at the same time. I loved and hated my parents at some points. The mind is a complicated contraption. Or, we can pull out the old standby argument in favour of E-Prime, that in certain circumstances light can be both a wave AND a particle. Light is not one, or the other, it is both. Or, what about colour? Is a Granny Apple really green? No. To our eyes it appears green, but to a bird it might be a completely different colour . . . and when you consider that a green apple appears green because green is all that is reflected to our eyes you are forced to consider that the apple is actually the opposite of green: red.

So, is a Granny Apple really red? Yes and no, unfortunately. If truth be told, the apple has no colour at all. Colour is just a way our brain interprets what we are looking at. An apple is made up of molecules, and molecules have no colour. So, rightfully NOTHING has colour. And, yet, it appears to us that they do.

So, until further notice from me I am still putting stock in Relativism.

Hail Eris! – All Hail Discordia!

Dummy!

July 26, 2005

I started reading a book on ways to think today . . . a very basic book intended for someone with a somewhat soft, malleable brain like mine. The book is Philosophy For Dummies. The other night I had people over and a couple of them picked the book up, with what seemed like thinly veiled disgust. Note that I say ‘seemed’, nobody said as such, and it could certainly be some form of projection from me, but I noted a sense of dismay. One said, jokingly, “So, are you a dummy, then?”

My answer was, of course. The level of my ignorance is staggering.

I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit it. I never took philosophy, and I would like some groundwork before I go onto individual thinkers. Hell, if I don’t know anything about the subject, how would I even know what thinkers I want to read?

Why are people afraid to appear stupid or ignorant?

I don’t personally feel that arrested blissful ignorance with no intention of changing is probably a good or healthy mindset, but admitting you are ignorant and wanting to learn seems to be noble admission in my eyes. Too many people I know seem to be all too sure of everything they ‘know’. Parroting facts, figures, and formulas is NOT knowledge.

And, so, it begins.

Hail Eris.