Category Archives: Uncategorized

A Plea to Qualify what we Quantify

Quantification rules the media waves. The more psychology is reduced to experiment the less we are called to try to understand the other. In the end the only ones remaining free are people like ourselves. We are exempt of explanatory reduction. They are determined by the darkness of their unsophisticated and as yet unenlightened creeds.

Bergson in his Time and Free Will offers a scathing rebuttal to these modern ways before they took over the news headlines (‘Scientists find cause of X in brain area Y’). Following him not only invites us to qualify this but to qualify all quantitative science. This, in fact, was also Bohr’s conclusion. Let me have at it.

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From doings to sayings (& back again)

‘Without blinking an eye’, is a saying referring to how normal it is to blink your eyes. It is something we all do. It’s a doing with which we say something even if it’s something we’d rather have left unsaid.

As the saying goes, not doing it is remarkable. It either shows concealment or an absence of something we thought was being concealed. The saying is proverbially related to truth and trickery, to concealment and unconcealment. If people would never blink an eye this would amount to a perpetual staring match, the type of thing horror shows are made of.

Doings do this. They escape us. They defy willful control. They signal our emotions. They talk where sometimes we’ve been made to feel a need to remain silent. This is what we’re made to think: that emotions are “them” and controlling them is “us”. These doings are so made into sayings, such that we can control them rather than performing them.

In this way your body gets split from your soul and the I is split from its environment. It’s only the brain that connects them. If the connection is bad, it’s because your brain is bad. Because that’s what the brain is supposed to do: effectively disconnect me from you. This, in a nutshell, is growing up: the nut is your brain and the shell is your skull. And so we’ll bite our lips and count to 10 and hope we meanwhile don’t blink our eyes. A sorry state if ever there was. Is there an escape?

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Internal Struggles

When there are things you can only talk about with yourself, how to end that discussion? Who to end it? What if you just want it to end?  This last question was one she decided to keep to herself. It was a conversation stopper that invariably started up a therapy session of sorts. Therapy and conversation were mutually incompatible. Therapeutically she was someone’s project, some thing to be reformed into not asking herself that question.

“Damn!”, she thought, “Here I go again.” The weather was nice. The company not entirely mind-numbing. She was a success. Quite the life of the party but – or could it be because -somewhat dead inside. It was exhausting to live life as if she was not asking herself ‘that’ question. She did, in myriad versions, like: am I not harsh enough on myself or am I too harsh? She was funny that way, so harsh on herself it bordered on self-mutilation.

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Pain and Guilt

I didn’t do what I set out to do. It left me feeling guilty. The reason was pain. I slept badly because of pain. I woke up in pain. I tried to ignore the pain and wrote some mails which gave me and others some pleasure. Then I tried to rewrite my paper on neurogradualism as I set out to do but the pain got the better of me. So instead I just crawled up in bed and managed an hour of half sleep that was entirely unrefreshing. I only half woke up feeling full on guilt because I caved in. As penance I did my physical exercises. Painful as that is, I know that, whilst it does not keep the pain away, it increases my chances of doing what I set out to do another day.

“Hold your head up.”, people say, not realizing that is what I – literally – spend most of my days doing. Hearing “Chin up!” is what really gets me down. Sometimes it knocks me out. Shouldn’t I just try harder? Am I too easy on myself? Do I really have enough pain for me to escape that many responsibilities? All these fighting metaphors really wear me out, it’s a chronic illness many healthy people do not realize they carry.

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Homeros was autistic (well, I say Derrida would say so)

“In the chain of supplements, it was difficult to separate writing from masturbation.” De la grammatologie, Derrida, p. 235.

Some people say it is ludicrous to diagnose historic figures with autism. They, consciously or not, rely on deconstruction to make their point. The word autism only exists from the 20th century and imputing it to historic figures is trying to accord a reality to it which it cannot have. This is bollocks. Instead of deconstructing (i.e. unmasking) a naïve view of things, it reconstructs some kind of innocent naïveté in which nothing goes wrong except by oppression. As if everything we supplement in this society is foreign to the true nature of it. As if words like autism are intrinsically violent and we need to put on our “original” masks of aboriginal innocence. Bollocks – nothing is further removed from the actual text Derrida has written. It is back to the ideas of Rousseau – as if Derrida had not written his supplement on that supplement. It is a reactionary idea common in progressive thought that got scared from its own conclusions and hides in a window-dressed conservatism.

Let me take one of those wild associations of Derrida – masturbation and writing – and do the right thing to show via hyperbole how autism can be literally traced to Homeros – the first (blind!) writer and how the idea of supplement is unavoidably also that of autism as a kind of mental masturbation.

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The 15th of May, 2018. D minus X days.

“What is X?”, I wondered and wondered why I would not just go and define X. Well, there is at least one good reason: I cannot define it. There are no equations to resolve it. It ends but when is not a matter for mere mortals to decide which shows that, secular as hell, we are still ruled by the immortal after all.

It is the mystery of life that we have to make choices all the time but can’t make the one that is about life itself. It is something sacred and desecrating it by contemplating it to be over at a certain predefined date spoils the party. Because, oh what fun we have, merrily, merrily on our way.

Well, I’m tired. I’m so bloody tired. Not, mind you, pissed off or desperate or depressed. I am just tired, too tired to make a point but not tired enough to go to sleep. Let me explain how that feels.

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Till Death gives us a Part

I’m feeling rusty & restless. Even the words bounce around now as if they have their own little kids will and just don’t want to be quieted down.

Cool, I’m not.

I know how I’m supposed to be. Not quite cool but not quite uncool either, a golden middle of sorts. Fuck Horace for that by the way. Fuck him with a stick. Probably he’ll like it. Most probably the stick won’t mind either. Sure beats lying around waiting to be given a beating with.

What I wanted to do was talk about death.

I’ll give her a capital even. Come on, Death, leave these other fuckers alone. They seem so busy and all bouncing around like they have nothing more than their little kids will to lead them around. What do I hear them whispering about? Pension, pension, pension. Oddball concept that. I looked into it, Mrs. D., it is healthy time you invest now in order to get a lot of unhealthy time back later. You don’t get it, D.? Me neither, but let’s explore it given you got time with everybody pushing you out indefinitely. Has to be hard on you as well; but, oh no, nobody thinks about the D-man’s point of view. Well I do, D., I do think about your point of view all the time even if those suckers tell me it’s a mad-hat thing to do.

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