a thread for mundane ironists

This is the place to shave off that long white beard and stop being philosophical; a forum for members to just talk like normal human beings.

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:12 pm

Jan Mieszkowski

A Schopenhauer t-shirt sends a message that
a) life is pure suffering
b) time is a tyrant with a whip
c) they were out of Kierkegaard shirts


C right?

Lenin: What is to be done?
Sartre: Nothing
Camus: Less than nothing
Schopenhauer: Infinitely less than nothing
Beckett: You naive optimists!


I wonder what they're all doing now?

Monday To-Do List
1) Pretend that the radical contingency of existence has not left me in the grips of abject terror and despair
2) Buy milk


Or, sure, put it all off until Tuesday.

Philosophy 101: Nietzsche explained everything
Philosophy 201: Derrida explained everything
Philosophy 301: Wikipedia explains everything


Philosophy 401: Know Thyself explains everything to ILP.

Your philosopher name is your name - your name + Spinoza.

He means + Nietzsche of course.

Philosophical Growth
18: I'm the next Nietzsche!
24: I'm the next Deleuze!
30: I'm next in line for the Taylor Swift tickets!


Let's debunk this.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:23 pm

Ernest Hemingway

Last week he tried to commit suicide, one waiter said.
Why?
He was in despair.
What about?
Nothing.
How do you know it was nothing.
He has plenty of money.


There are other reasons though.

For one person who likes Spain there are a dozen who prefer books on her.

Or is that as it should be?

It's this way, see---when a writer first starts out, he gets a big kick from the stuff he does, and the reader doesn't get any; then, after a while, the writer gets a little kick and the reader gets a little kick; and finally, if the writer's any good, he doesn't get any kick at all and the reader gets everything.

Fortunately, I was never a good writer myself. Perhaps even unfortunately.

Creation's probably overrated. After all, God made the world in only six days and rested on the seventh.

Indeed. But you can't help but wonder how the Lord might respond.

Practice any faith you wish. Got a ball field up the island where you can practice. I'll give the Deity a fast one high and inside if he crowds the plate.

Just short of actually beaming Him.

Everything kills everything else in some way.

Or another.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:02 pm

Darren Aronofsky

As filmmakers, we can show where a person's mind goes, as opposed to theater, which is more to sit back and watch it.


Pi for example.

I couldn't sleep one night and I was sitting in my office and I realized that I was an independent filmmaker.

This might even be a true story.

I'm Godless. I've had to make my God, and my God is narrative filmmaking.

Our God then being philosophy. Well, the best of us.

I think video games and that stuff should be as violent as possible, but age-appropriate. It should be realistic. When it's not realistic you run into kids running around shooting people and not realizing the consequences.

Of course it could backfire.

For too long we have been taking, and the Earth has been giving. But that free-for-all, that all-you-can-eat buffet, it's over. The salad bar is closed.

And, by the turn 22nd century, we'll know for sure.

At the end of Requiem all I wanted to do was get a DV camera and just do a small film. But then the hunger comes back.

And then some: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darren_Ar ... ture_films
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 17, 2017 11:18 pm

Neil Gaiman

Are all people like this?
Like what?
So much bigger on the inside.


Surely, she means smaller. Or I surely would.

Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they're scared for the fear to become real. Mo was terrified, and now Nick was too.

But not you, right?

He had gone beyond the world of metaphor & simile into the place of things that are, and it was changing him.

The real world. It's true. It'll do that.

I'm not blessed, or merciful. I'm just me. I've got a job to do, and I do it. Listen: even as we're talking, I'm there for old and young, innocent and guilty, those who die together and those who die alone. I'm in cars and boats and planes; in hospitals and forests and abbatoirs. For some folks death is a release, and for others death is an abomination, a terrible thing. But in the end, I'm there for all of them.

And he means it.

It has been said that civilization is twenty-four hours and two meals away from barbarism.

On the other hand, not much has not been said.

Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere you've never been. Once you've visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

And while we're on the subject, I'd like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it's a bad thing. As if "escapist" fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn't you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.


Let's just say that, as with most things of this sort, you can take it too far.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 18, 2017 6:19 pm

Jonathan Safran Foer

Once upon a time, USDA inspectors had to condemn any bird with such fecal contamination. But about thirty years ago, the poultry industry convinced the USDA to reclassify feces so that it could continue to use these automatic eviscerators. Once a dangerous contaminant, feces are now classified as a "cosmetic blemish.".


I smell crony capitalism, don't you?

It’s true, I am afraid of dying. I am afraid of the world moving forward without me, of my absence going unnoticed, or worse, being some natural force propelling life on. Is it selfish? Am I such a bad person for dreaming of a world that ends when I do?

It does though, doesn't it?

I decided then and there never to become someone who told jokes when explanations were impossible.

What the hell does that even mean?

Someone needed to invent a way to be close to people without having to see them, or talk to them on the phone, or write (or read) letters, or e-mails, or texts.

Any particular reason why?

I couldn’t explain my need to myself, and that’s why it was such a beautiful need.

Either that or terrifying.

There is something about eating animals that tends to polarize: never eat them or never sincerely question eating them; become an activist or disdain activists.

Yep, I think he nailed it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:34 pm

Terry Pratchett

People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it's the other way around.


Still, I'll go out on a limb here and suggest the possibility it is a complex intetwining of both.

The stories never said why she was wicked. It was enough to be an old woman, enough to be all alone, enough to look strange because you have no teeth. It was enough to be called a witch. If it came to that, the book never gave you the evidence of anything. It talked about "a handsome prince"... was he really, or was it just because he was a prince that people called handsome? As for "a girl who was as beautiful as the day was long"... well, which day? In midwinter it hardly ever got light! The stories don't want you to think, they just wanted you to believe what you were told...

Cue, among others, the media industrial complex.

I believe you find life such a problem because you think there are good people and bad people. You're wrong, of course. There are, always and only, the bad people, but some of them are on opposite sides.

That can't be good.

People flock in, nevertheless, in search of answers to those questions only librarians are considered to be able to answer, such as "Is this the laundry?" "How do you spell surreptitious?" and, on a regular basis, "Do you have a book I remember reading once? It had a red cover and it turned out they were twins.”

You know, if there are any librarians left.

Lots of people would be as cowardly as me if they were brave enough.

See if you can think that through.

...and the funny thing was that people who weren't entirely certain they were right always argued much louder than other people, as if the main person they were trying to convince were themselves.

Of course sometimes it's not really funny at all.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:22 pm

C.G. Jung

The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.


And then [as often as not] one is the winner, one is the loser.

Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.

Or not.

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.

Right, like the two have nothing in common.

Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.

If you think this may well be bullshit, honk three times.

Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

Go ahead, tell me that this isn't true.

Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.

Or, rather, you go to shrinks and let them do it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:21 pm

Joseph Heller

They couldn't keep Death out, but while she was in she had to act like a lady.


Still, she either takes you with her or she doesn't.

The colonel dwelt in a vortex of specialists who were still specializing in trying to determine what was troubling him. They hurled lights in his eyes to see if he could see, rammed needles into nerves to hear if he could feel. There was a urologist for his urine, a lymphologist for his lymph, an endocrinologist for his endocrines, a psychologist for his psyche, a dermatologist for his derma; there was a pathologist for his pathos, a cystologist for his cysts, and a bald and pendantic cetologist from the zoology department at Harvard who had been shanghaied ruthlessly into the Medical Corps by a faulty anode in an I.B.M. machine and spent his sessions with the dying colonel trying to discuss Moby Dick with him.

Nothing at all like Obamacare. Let alone the shit from Trump.

But Yossarian knew he was right, because, as he explained to Clevinger, to the best of his knowledge he had never been wrong.

To the best of his knowledge. That's the rub, isn't it?

He made so many people uneasy. Everyone was always very friendly toward him, and no one was ever very nice; everyone spoke to him, and no one ever said anything.

Here, that might be you.

People have a right to do anything that's not forbidden by law, and there's no law against lying to you.

Unless of course you are testifying under oath. To, among others, Robert Mueller.

Yossarian - the very sight of the name made Colonel Cathcart shudder. There were so many esses in it. It just had to be subversive. It was like the word "subversive" itself. It was like "seditious" and "insidious" too, and like "socialist," "suspicious," "fascist" and "Communist." It was an odious, alien, distasteful name, a name that just did not inspire confidence.

So, how many subversive esses in your name?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 20, 2017 6:34 pm

Steven D. Levitt

When Al Gore urges the citizenry to sacrifice their plastic shopping bags, their air-conditioning, their extraneous travel, the agnostics grumble that human activity accounts for just 2 percent of global carbon-dioxide emissions, with the remainder generated by natural processes like plant decay.


Let's file this one [here] under, "fucking liberals!"

So it may be that going to the hospital slightly increases your odds of surviving if you’ve got a serious problem but increases your odds of dying if you don’t. Such are the vagaries of life.

That and the politics of health care.

The data don’t lie: a Chicago street prostitute is more likely to have sex with a cop than to be arrested by one.

If not both.

The gulf between the information we proclaim & the information we know to be true is vast. In other words: we say one thing & do another.

On the other hand, that's every American's right.

Most people are too busy to rethink the way they think—or to even spend much time thinking at all.

On the other hand, that's every American's right.

Figure out what people really care about, not what they say they care about.

Starting with yourself perhaps.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 20, 2017 8:29 pm

Existential Comics

I don't get people who aren't interested in philosophy. You are just gonna live life without knowing about synthetic a priori knowledge?!


Hell, we don't even discuss that [much] here.

The Ancient Greeks had the right idea. One outfit and one haircut for like 600 years straight: Togas. Bangs. Beards.

Let's revive it!

Raccoons are my favorite animal. I can't say I 100% trust them, but I've been lucky enough so far to not be in a position where I have to.

It doesn't get better than that, does it?

Question: what is the meaning of life?
Answer: a malformed question.


Works for me.

Despair in the year:
400: I have lost my honor
800: God has forsaken me
1600: there is no God
2017: I forgot to charge my phone last night


And, no, you can't borrow mine.

Friedrich Nietzsche seems like the kind of guy who would quote himself in daily conversation.

Indeed, and deservedly so.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:21 pm

Stephanie Danler

You’re all terrified of young people. We remind you of what it was like to have ideals, faith, freedom. We remind you of the losses you’ve taken as you’ve grown cynical, numb, disenchanted, compromising the life you imagined.


We meaning me in particular.

That was the morning I committed the first sin of love, which was to confuse beauty and a good sound track with knowledge.

That'll do it.

You knew what was playing at Film Forum, and you corrected anyone who lumped Godard and Truffaut together.

Me? I just know what I like.

It was Simone who used to say, on her better days, "Don't worry, little one, none of this will leave a scratch".

Of course at the time it's a cut all the way down to the bone.

No, cool is fine, he said. Yes, it's a cool place. It was much cooler seven years ago, and it was actually cool ten years ago, before I even got to the city. You see, what those kids over there"—he pointed at the empty booth—"don't realize is that cool is always past tense. The people who lived it, who set the standards they emulate, there was no cool for them. There was just the present tense: there were bills, friendships, messy fucking, fucking boredom, a million trite decisions on how to pass the time. Self-awareness destroys it. You call something cool and you brand it. Then—poof—it's gone.

Cool? I've always hated -- loathed -- that word myself. But point taken.

It’s an epidemic with women your age. A gross disparity between the way that they speak and the quality of thoughts that they’re having about the world.

Worse still: men of your age.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 21, 2017 7:19 pm

Malcolm Gladwell

Testers for 7-Up consistently found consumers would report more lemon flavor in their product if they added 15% more yellow coloring to the package.


You're shocked, aren't you?

It is a strange thing, isn’t it, to have an educational philosophy that thinks of the other students in the classroom with your child as competitors for the attention of the teacher and not allies in the adventure of learning?

Cue Boris and Peggy. Among others.

What Hartshorne and May concluded, then, is that something like honesty isn't a fundamental trait, or what they called a "unified" trait. A trait like honesty, they concluded, is considerably influenced by the situation.

In particular when money is involved.

A vervet, in other words, is very good at processing certain kinds of vervetish information, but not so good at processing other kinds of information.

Of course lots of others species are like that too. If not all of them.

Gifted children and child prodigies seem most likely to emerge in highly supportive family conditions. In contrast, geniuses have a perverse tendency of growing up in more adverse conditions.

Let's pin this down: genes or memes?

In the general American population, 3.9 percent of adult men are six foot two or taller. Among my CEO sample, almost a third were six foot two or taller.

Let's pin this down: genes or memes?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:43 pm

tiny nietzsche

a group of postmodernists is called an unsure


Nope, not in dictionary yet.

a group of goths is called a funeral

For the day as it were.

nihilism gives me a rash

What does it give you?

This feels like a good time to fake my own death

Besides, he thought, who would know?

One nice thing about being numb is I can't tell if it's me

Nope, never been that numb.

a deadly flu virus would really round out this year

Hard to trump that, right?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:28 pm

André Gide

No encounter occured that day, and I was glad of it; I took out of my pocket a little Homer I had not opened since leaving Marseilles, reread three lines of the Odyssey, learned them by heart; then, finding sufficient sustenance in their rhythm and reveling in them at leisure, I closed the book and remained, trembling, more alive than I had thought possible, my mind numb with happiness.


He wondered: does this ever actually happen?

There's no better cure for the fear of taking after one's father, than not to know who he is.

Of course some do but still don't.

The things one feels are different about oneself are the things that are rare, that give each person their value - and these are the things they try to repress. They imitate and make out they love life!

Though, sure, we're always the ones who decide who they are.

Long only for what you have.

That'll never catch on.

Existing is occupation enough.

Right, like that and only that will pay the bills.

...Gradation; gradation; and then a sudden leap...

Oh, and don't ever expect to get used to it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 22, 2017 7:53 pm

Roland Barthes

In wrestling, nothing exists unless it exists totally, there is no symbol, no allusion, everything is given exhaustively; leaving nothing in shadow, the gesture severs every parasitical meaning and ceremonially presents the public with a pure and full signification, three dimensional, like Nature. Such emphasis is nothing but the popular and ancestral image of the perfect intelligibility of reality. What is enacted by wrestling, then, is an ideal intelligence of things, a euphoria of humanity, raised for a while out of the constitutive ambiguity of everyday situations and installed in a panoramic vision of a univocal Nature, in which signs finally correspond to causes without obstacle, without evasion, and without contradiction.


Does Vince McMahon know that?

Above all, do not attempt to be exhaustive.

No, above all, do not let others be.

Today there is no symbolic compensation for old age, no recognition of a specific value: wisdom, perceptiveness, experience, vision.

In other words, just dump them somewhere.

Grim evening at Gabès (windy, black clouds, hideous bungalows, “folklore” performance in the Hotel Chems bar): I can no longer take refuge in my thoughts: neither in Paris nor traveling. No escape.

It works much the same way in Baltimore too.

Gradually I abandon the conversation (suffering because the others might suppose I am doing so for reasons of contempt.) FMB (supported by Youssef) embodies a strong (and ingenious) system of values, codes, seductions, styles; but even as the system gains in consistency, I feel excluded from it. And little by little I cease struggling, I withdraw, without concern for how I appear to the others. Thus it begins by an initially slight disaffection for sociability which becomes quite radical. As it develops, it gradually combines with a nostalgia for what remains living for me: maman. And ultimately I fall into an abyss of suffering.

Not many languages this can't be translated into.

I waver—in the dark—between the observation...that I’m unhappy only by moments, by jerks and surges, sporadically, even if such spasms are close together—and the conviction that deep down, in actual fact, I am continually, all the time, unhappy since maman’s death.

Death'll do that, no doubt about it.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Sun Oct 22, 2017 11:22 pm

Charles Seife

With news and data that is tailored to our prejudices, we deprive ourselves of true information. We wind up wallowing in our own false ideas, reflected back at us by the media. The news is ceasing to be a window unto the world; it is becoming a mirror that allows us to gaze only upon our own beliefs.


Ah, the Fox News Syndrome. Just ask Rachel Maddow.

A bad idea, a wrong piece of information, a digital brain-altering virus can spread at the speed of light through the internet and quickly find a home among a dispersed but digitally interconnected group of true believers. This group acts as a reservoir for the bad idea, allowing it to gather strength and reinfect people; as the group grows, the belief, no matter how crazy, becomes more and more solidly established among the faithful.

Ah, the Know Thyself Syndrome. Just ask iambiguous.

Skinnerian conditioning, crossed with social pressure, is now an ever-present invisibly hand that tries to manipulate all of your actions on the internet. This is the hand that is making you act against your own self-interest. Once you recognize it, you see it everywhere, hovering over you, trying to make you click your mouse or press buttons on your smartphone, giving up your valuable time, money, or information in return for little or nothing at all.

Too cynical? Or not cynical enough?

The justice system can't be totally free of lies and distortion; after all, courts are chock-full of lawyers.

The Supremes for example.

As mathematicians were uncovering the connection between zero and infinity, physicists began to encounter zeros in the natural world; zero crossed over from mathematics to physics. In thermodynamics a zero became an uncrossable barrier: the coldest temperature possible. In Einstein's theory of general relativity, a zero became a black hole, a monstrous star that swallows entire suns. In quantum mechanics, a zero is responsible for a bizarre source of energy-infinite and ubiquitous, present even in the deepest vacuum-and a phantom force exerted by nothing at all.

Zero in philosophy. Any thoughts?

Digital information has an unbelievably high R0 [basic reproductive rate], and this means that it's hard to stop once it emerges. It spreads from person to person - even those at a great distance - incredibly quickly, thanks to its high transmissibility and the high interconnectedness of digital society. Once it escapes into the wild, it's all but impossible to stop its spread. This is wonderful, so long as the information is correct and useful. But if it's wrong, if it alters our brains for the worse, if it makes us make mistakes and think incorrect things, it's a scourge.

Not to worry. He means them not us.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 23, 2017 3:24 am

so sad today

need a new crush to distract me from the old crush that distracted me from death


I'll volunteer.

if you won't reject me i'll do it for you

Not to mention the other way around.

anxiety comes to those who wait

Count on it.

my most endearing quality is not talking to anyone

Give or take 27,500 tweets.

i'm aware of what i'm doing but not enough to stop

Let's all work together to change that.

confusing sexual attraction with love and it's fine

Not counting the baby of course.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:39 pm

Jeanette Winterson

Romantic love has been diluted into paperback form and has sold thousands and millions of copies. Somewhere it is still in the original, written on tablets of stone.


Among other things, fuck that.

Physics, mathematics, music, painting, my politics, my love for you, my work, the star-dust of my body, the spirit that impels it, clocks diurnal, time perpetual, the roll, rough, tender, swamping, liberating, breathing, moving, thinking nature, human nature and the cosmos are patterned together.

Or, sure, not.

Her suffering was her armour. Gradually it became her skin. Then she could not take it off.

How sick is that?

Whelks are strange and comforting.
They have no notion of community life and they breed very quietly.
But they have a strong sense of personal dignity.
Even lying face down in a tray of vinegar there is something noble about a whelk.
Which cannot be said for everybody.


Do they know that?

When you are born--what you are born into, the place, the history of the place, how that history mates with your own--stamps who you are, whatever the pundits of globalization have to say.

Just short of racism one hopes. Or some do.

The important things happen by chance. Only the rest gets planned.

In other words, just vague enough to be plausible.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:25 pm

Existential Comics

When the news trots out a dude to explain why having huge corporations pay less is actually good – remember, the news IS a huge corporation.


And haven't I been pointing this out now for years?

Sorry I'm late. I was causally predetermined to be, by a prior chain of events leading back to the big bang.

The all-pupose excuse!

It's counter intuitive, but it's important to remember that important people aren't actually more important than unimportant people.

Tell that to their bankers.

Philosophy is asking "why" until you can't answer anymore, and then asking "why not?"

Either way the answer is "because".

The way I figure it, you've only got one life, so you might as well be as melodramatic as possible.

In other words, not just the Kids.

Business proposal: we will walk hand in hand in solidarity---for the cause of humanity, and wash away oppression from the Earth.

You know, after Trump drains the swamp.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:27 pm

Mary Roach

The V-2’s directional system was notoriously erratic. In May 1947, a V-2 launched from White Sands Proving Ground headed south instead of north, missing downtown Juarez, Mexico, by 3 miles. The Mexican government’s response to the American bombing was admirably laid back. General Enrique Diaz Gonzales and Consul General Raul Michel met with United States officials, who issued apologies and an invitation to come to “the next rocket shoot” at White Sands. The Mexican citizenry was similarly nonchalant. “Bomb Blast Fails to Halt Spring Fiesta,” said the El Paso Times headline, noting that “many thought the explosion was a cannon fired for the opening of the fiesta.


Actually, I didn't know that.

The M16 has a scope with a small red arrow in the center of the sight. You align the arrow with what or (jeez) whom you wish to shoot and squeeze the trigger. Both “squeeze” and “pull” are exaggerations of the motion applied to this trigger. It’s a trivial, tiny movement, the twitch of a dreaming child. So quick and so effortless is it that it’s hard for me to associate it with any but the most inconsequential of acts. Flipping a page. Typing an M. Scratching an itch. Ending a life wants a little more muscle.

I was an expert marksman with my own M16. It's right there on my DD 214.

It tastes like water spiked with strange.

Like Squirt for example.

Kinsey wanted Dellenback to film his own staff. There are three ways to read that sentence, all of them true.

Two ways, sure. But what's the third?

Sometimes courage is nothing more than a willingness to think differently than those around you. In a culture of conformity, that’s braver than it sounds.

She means me of course. Groots and all.

US government button specifications run to twenty-two pages. This fact on its own yields a sense of what it is like to design garments for the Army.

Not counting the table of contents or the index.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:12 pm

Alan Guth

The Big Bang theory says nothing about what banged, why it banged, or what happened before it banged.


Let alone the banging of dasein.

It is said that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. But the universe is the ultimate free lunch.

You know, for 70 odd years.

It turns out that the energy of a gravitational field—any gravitational field—is negative. During inflation, as the universe gets bigger and bigger and more and more matter is created, the total energy of matter goes upward by an enormous amount. Meanwhile, however, the energy of gravity becomes more and more negative. The negative gravitational energy cancels the energy in matter, so the total energy of the system remains whatever it was when inflation started—presumably something very small. ...This capability for producing matter in the universe is one crucial difference between the inflationary model and the previous model.

Of course that's just common sense.

We should not act like we know that the universe began with the Big Bang...we'll see that there are strong suggestions that the Big Bang was perhaps not really the beginning of existence, but really just the beginning of our local universe, often called a pocket universe.

I know: What was God thinking?!

The conventional Big Bang theory says nothing about where all the matter came from. The theory really assumes that for every particle that we see in the universe today, there was, at the very beginning, at least some precursor particle, if not the same particle, with no explanation of where all those particles came from.

Obviously: the Christian God.

A very plausible choice for when inflation might have happened would be when the energy scales of the universe were at the scale of grand unified theories...which unify the weak, strong and electromagnetic interactions into a single unified interaction. We're talking about energies which are about 1016 times the equivalent energy of a proton mass. The initial patch would only have to be the ridiculously small size of about 10-28 cm across to be able to lead ultimately to the creation of everything that we see on the vast scale of which we see it.

Let's get out our slide rules.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:22 pm

Philosophy Tweets

“It is not he who reviles or strikes you who insults you, but your opinion that these things are insulting.” Epictetus


It is best perhaps not to dwell on this too long.

“Give a man everything he wants and at that moment everything is not everything” Immanuel Kant

It is best perhaps not to dwell on this too long.

“You only know me as you see me, not as I actually am.” Immanuel Kant

Categorically and imperatively as it were.

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” Napoléon Bonaparte

At the time, his in particular.

“Of what use is a philosopher who doesn't hurt anybody's feelings?” Diogenes of Sinope

Right up to the point that you get banned.

“Aristotle dines when it seems good to King Philip, but Diogenes when he himself pleases.” Plutarch.

Ought Aristotle to then be ashamed?
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:15 pm

Ernesto Che Guevara

If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine.


Not nearly as many around like that today.

We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it.

Nope, I haven't found that yet.

At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.

Hate, on the other hand, is right up there. Or it certainly was for me.
Back then in other words.


Be realistic, demand the impossible!

Come on, how reasonable is that? But point taken.

Silence is argument carried out by other means.

But only if you stick around to hear it.

And then many things became very clear...we learned perfectly that the life of a single human being is worth millions of times more than all the property of the richest man on earth.

No, really, that was once thought to be true.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:06 pm

Ernest Hemingway

There is no such thing as great writing - there is only great re-writing!


You rewrite mine, I'll rewrite yours.

Every true story ends in death.

If it ends at all.

The priest was good but dull. The officers were not good but dull. The King was good but dull. The wine was bad but not dull.

Of course that's only natural.

The setting of the sun is a difficult time for all fish

Unless, of course, there's a full moon.

I don't know, I said. There isn't always an explanation for everything.
Oh, isn't there? I was brought up to think there was.
That's awfully nice.


Comforting, he means.

He could beat anything, he thought, because no thing could hurt him if he did not care.

Let's just say this is easier said than done.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: a thread for mundane ironists

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:25 pm

Neil Gaiman

I'm going to go home. Everything is going to be normal again. Boring again. Wonderful again.


Of course that might not work.

I would feel infinitely more comfortable in your presence if you would agree to treat gravity as a law, rather than one of a number of suggested options.

Not that it makes any difference to gravity.

Shadow had heard too many people telling each other not to repress their feelings, to let their emotions out, let the pain go. Shadow thought there was a lot to be said for bottling up emotions. If you did it long enough and deep enough, he suspected, pretty soon you wouldn't feel anything at all.

Here you might as well just flip a coin.

Are we human because we gaze at the stars, or do we gaze at the stars because we are human?

And not just the ones in Hollywood.

I really don't know what "I love you" means.
I think it means "Don't leave me here alone.”


And that certainly comes close enough for some.

Belinda stared into the fire for some time, thinking about what she had in her life, and what she had given up; and whether it would be worse to love someone who was no longer there, or not to love someone who was.

That's obvious isn't it? Though, sure, maybe not.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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