Depth perception, color, peripheral vision change drastically when drivers drive at night.

This we can recite until rabbits get polka dots.

The wonderful strolling, striding beautiful people—I love them all. Drivers forget…pedestrians forget that depth perception, color, peripheral vision change drastically when drivers drive at night. To the beautiful people of the night, there is such a thing as headlights curve, if only I could find the equation for it, to say that headlights do not reach you enough to save your invisible figure from one-and-a-half-tons of love tap: the soul possibly leaves your body in 3 seconds after impact. Please. Objects are much, much closer than they appear at night.

Are you ok?

Like… did you get seriously injured? Or perhaps… someone you were with?

I also find the tone of this post potentially alarming. But perhaps not. Hope everything is ok. :confused:


OG and James,

Thanks for the concern. Not for me, though.

Not too long ago, a friend went for a ride with his girlfriend at around seven or eight at night. He hit a man strolling along a not-so-busy street in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Didn’t see him, only after he heard the loud thump, and the man’s body landed on his hood did he realize what had happened. The following day, he received the news: the man died at the hospital. From the police officer to my friend: Don’t leave the country.

I got a phone call from him in the afternoon: Come quick, please help. I drove as fast as I could to his place. Found him on the bedroom floor, sobbing like a little kid. I’ve never seen a grown man crying incontrollably, in a fetal position on the floor, wanting to be held. I couldn’t find anything in the medicine cabinet------pills, sleeping pills, valium maybe, to calm him down. He just wanted to be held.

At the close of the investigation, he was absolved of any wrongdoing. He had an impeccable driving record. Never did drink-and-drive. On the paper, the man he had killed was a beloved father, but made a mistake that night while taking a stroll.

Thanks for filling us in. I bet there are a million other stories just like this…


Not to Arendt…

No, not for Arendt, as it is immediate for her in a way which the others are not. Yet I would hardly take you to be saying that all other like instances are therefore non-existent due to this fact. So there is an obvious sense in which there are, in fact, millions of other stories just like this. Each one has its own ‘Arendt’, for whom it is presumably just as immediate and etc etc… This is one of the things I think about whenever I hear these kind of stories. What I feel is the tension between how one responds to anonymous suffering, and how one responds to the ‘closer-to-you-personally’ variety - my point being that you have misunderstood me if you think I was making a valuative comparison between the ‘worth’ of each - one way or the other. (i.e. this being the road that leads to, amongst other things, ethical relativism or subjectivism.)

The sense of your reply tells me that you may have thought what I said was either tactless or callous - the difference being in the intentional character of the latter. If what I said came across to either of you as dismissive or insensitive, then I apologize. If, on the other hand, you were implying that this was deliberate on my part, then this is incorrect.

This is hardly the time or the place for this discussion, though.



Ah James, you’re funny.

No, I didn’t take it to be a ‘Sarcastic/dismissive’ - "yeah -thanks- for filling us in… :unamused: " type stance, but more of a 'Man… I bet there are a million stories like that out there…:confused:

No, not non-existent, but I had a sort of moral deference type scenario in my head when I was typing that. Arendt’s case is special in that she experienced it, and it will never happen again like that to anyone (let’s not get into that argument for the sake of this) so, although it is very comparitable for a statistic front, not so much from the philosophical. I could very well have a friend who’s significant other killed a guy, but it wouldn’t be in any way comparitable.

This is key because we are on the net. Although Arendt may have bore witness to her friend’s telling of the event, and thus gained the macro level potential for application of events such as this in terms of ethical philosophies and such, the experience as a thought, really can’t go much further than Arendt without totally deteriorating its already partially maintained ‘completeness’.

And so my statement, ‘Not for Arendt’. It’s different when you’ve never been involved in anything like what she’s talking about. But once you have, be it yourself, or bearing true witness to your friend’s (or someone else that has enough trust to tell the story through a veil of ignorance) account of it, everything gets compared to that, it all changes from conceptual, to experienced based.

Com’n now straightedge, you’re smarter than that.

Yes I figured so, which is why I babbled on about ‘valuative comparison’.

Perhaps you mean on an ‘existential’ front? There are a couple of different things one might argue. Here are two;

(1) Arendt’s experience of an anonymous event will be different than for the people involved in that event.

(2) Arendt’s experience of her own event is incomparable with another’s personal experience of a similar event.

I get the feeling you are tempted to argue for (2). So you might say; “we can describe two ‘different’ events in exactly the same fashion (and be ‘accurate’ in a sense), yet the people involved will always have necessarily different experiences of those events.” (Perhaps this is your concept/experience distinction?) I am inclined to disagree with this thesis, because it appears to bias or privilege difference over simulitude, yet remain within the dichotomy. (Which would have the logical form of, I don’t know, dressing up as a dog so as to better facilitate the capture of your tail…)

What do you use to understand experience?

Hahaha… Nah… I’m a caveman in a Greek tunic. :slight_smile: Care to clarify the ambiguity in this statement?


Welll… it does sort of cheat in a logical way, but you can’t really fall back on logic when it comes to personal experience. Anyways… the actual differences in the perception of the event are not usually all that dramatic, but when someone simply retells the story from behind their socio curtain… rather than having someone bear witness to it (they are very different) is where the real distortment lies, in the retelling. It’s just social philosophy… it’s sorta ‘blah’ anyways.

Conceptions, I know. But you can use a conception in your mind, and have no real first hand experience to go with it.

Arendt’s a smart gal… I’m sure she wouldn’t have posted this, if she didn’t feel like discussing it. But… looks around I’m starting to doubt that conclusion…

I say great discussion to both of ya. I never thought of putting this experience in the way you guys understand it philosophically. So, thanks for that.

Yeah, I’m inclined towards the same thought—the retelling breeds distortment, and not the same as physically being there experiencing the event as it happens. The retelling must rely on memory, and concepts, and statements that must conform to shared understanding—shared as in, I am telling the story as best as I could, with the understanding that what I’m saying is intelligible to you guys.

:slight_smile: Actually, the way you guys discuss this thread is interesting, and now I feel more like discussing it—at least, the experience part.

Well I would say that there is a certain ‘logic’ that is immanent in experience itself - and it is this looser meaning of ‘logic’ which I usually intend when using this term. Other words which convey similar meanings include; ‘sense’, ‘significance’, etc, and also the related notions of ‘structure’, ‘presupposition’, and whathaveyou. What I disagree with is not necessarily that there is some more rigid notion of ‘logic’ which does not belong in our understanding of experience, but that there is such a thing as ‘raw’ experience in the usual sense of this expression at all.

One example of where I might take this discussion is this; The man who has had the most experience, or the most relevant experience, is the one most able to have new experiences - hence we call him ‘experienced’ in this or that. Experience has significance to the extent that it is facilitated and articulated in relation to ‘past’ experience. We describe this ‘mediation’ with the concepts of simulitude and difference, and the way we understand the latter especially will determine whether we resemble a Derrida or a Hegel, for instance (or a number of others). And if there is a sense in which ‘logic’ is immanent in ‘experience’, then we will resemble one or other of these understandings regardless of whether we realize this fact.

It is an interesting subject, though I feel like its subject matter is rather evasive and hard to bring into view.