a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 06, 2020 5:32 pm

Francis Fukuyama & the Perils of Identity
Peter Benson critiques a liberal but nationalistic brand of identity politics.

The American political philosopher Francis Fukuyama is still best known for his 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man. It was written in response to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union. Those events, he contended, constituted the triumph of liberalism, democracy, and capitalism over the alternative social model provided by communist totalitarianism. “For a very large part of the world,” he wrote, “there is now no ideology with pretensions to universality that is in a position to challenge liberal democracy”.


Political identity:

"I am a Communist".
"I am a capitalist".
"I am a liberal".
"I am a conservative".

And, in fact, historically, far, far fewer of us are likely to call ourselves Communists today than capitalists. But who would actually argue that in regard to "liberalism and democracy", ideological commitments are not still thriving? There are millions and millions who insist that only the manner in which they embody both reflects what they call themselves but that which everyone else who wishes to be thought of as a rational human being must choose to call themselves as well.

And, to the extent that their moral and political values might be deemed "totalitarian" and/or "authoritarian", well, you'd have to ask them.

Now, I use a different word. I use the word "objectivism". And, in regard to any particular individual's "political identity", I ask them how convinced they are that right and wrong and true and false and good and evil can be understood by a core, fundamental self able to grasp and to choose behaviors wholly aligned with an objective morality. Either apllicable universally or otherwise.

Next up: Donald Trump.

From today’s perspective, this triumph seems a good deal less definitive. Various forms of totalitarianism remain alive and well: in China, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and elsewhere. And the rise of populist politicians in the West has placed strains on the continuance of recognizable liberal democracy. Fukuyama’s latest book, Identity: Contemporary Identity Politics and the Struggle for Recognition (2018), was written as a reaction to the unexpected election of Donald Trump. Like many people, Fukuyama feels troubled by the fact that a liberal democratic society could elect as its leader a man so notably opposed to liberal values and often openly contemptuous of democratic processes. How could this happen? What does it tell us about our world?


First of all, historically, when the rise of totalitarianism is not rooted in either theocracy or political ideology, it tends to revolve around one or another systemic crisis. Or a series of them. Today, the concern with Trump is the extent to which he intertwines crony capitalists, reactionary evangelicals and racists at a time when the coronavirus, economic travail, and social unrest have created conditions that are basically unprecedented. No one is really sure what will happen next.

On the other hand, none of this was unfolding in 2016. So, how to explain his election victory then. Here my conjectures revolve around that large swath of Americans who see Trump as at least the possibility of providing them with a conservative value voter foundation when men were men, when boys were boys and girls were girls, when the Christian faith flourished, and when everyone around them looked like they did. The need to have a world around them they could more easily anchor "I" to. The world as it should be, must be, can be again.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Artimas » Wed Oct 07, 2020 12:11 am

iambiguous wrote:Kant & The Human Subject
Brian Morris compares the ways Kant’s question “What is the human being?” has been answered by philosophers and anthropologists.

Throughout history, and in all cultures, people have responded to Kant’s fundamental question ‘What is the human being?’ in very diverse ways; even denying that humans have any relation with the material world, as extreme gnostics do. Or Hare Krishna devotees exclaim, ‘You are not your body’. Indeed, there has been a long tradition in Western philosophy that identifies the subject/self with consciousness.


Okay, but where does this actually take us other than back to the point I keep raising: that, in regard to "all things human", what counts is not what you "exclaim" to be true but the extent in which your exclamations are able to be substantiated experientially with respect to a particular context that most in the discussion will be familiar with.

Otherwise, the exchange ends up revolving only around what you believe to be the case about being human. And, down through the ages there have been countless intellectual renditions -- social, political, economic -- of that.

Anthropologists have long emphasized and illustrated the diversity of cultural conceptions of the human subject; but even within the Western intellectual tradition there exists an absolute welter of studies that have attempted to define or conceptualize the human subject in different ways.


And how much more readily that is accomplished when the concepts themselves come to reflect, by and large, how one defines the words in the concepts. That is why, when push comes to shove, anthropologists have been able to depict cultures over time historically and across space culturally that construe "what is the human being" in so many complex and conflicting ways. What does that tell us about the limitations of language itself in capturing these things objectively?

Western responses to Kant’s fundamental question have been extremely diverse and contrasting, and I want to briefly discuss three approaches: the essentialist, the dualist, and the Kantian triadic ontology of the subject.


The "Kantian triadic ontology"?

That ought to be interesting.


The human being is a/the string of nature that is conscious of itself. Same hands, different puppets and the hands DO get tired.

Losing or consciously controlling identity is choosing nature over mankind, it’s a matter of value attribution, like all is. Which symbiotic relationship one wishes to pursue in terms of awareness, spirit, nourishing, etc.

To escape the trap of “I” one must die, but to be on such a path while living one must be closer to source, to be closer to source one must be individual and know self without background noise. The path of least distraction, least environmental shaping without consciously choosing. If one can become clouded by environment, sensory saturation, being byproduct, then one can also be still and clear in environment, a sensory deprivation and shaped to peak ability, one can be the shaper and not the unconscious/subconscious byproduct. This is the fork in the road that is existence, does one wish to be god or does one wish to remain small as a human? The being human, conscious, is the being god.

My answer is to be both in the right ways.

Even nothing, is something.
If one is to live balanced with expectations, then one must learn to appreciate the negative as well, to respect darkness in its own home.

All smoke fades, as do all delicate mirrors shatter.

"My ancestors are smiling on me, Imperials. Can you say the same?"

"Science Fiction today ~ Science Fact tomorrow"

Change is inevitable, it can only be delayed or sped up. Choose wisely.

Truth is pain, and pain is gain.


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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:21 pm

Artimas wrote:The human being is a/the string of nature that is conscious of itself. Same hands, different puppets and the hands DO get tired.

Losing or consciously controlling identity is choosing nature over mankind, it’s a matter of value attribution, like all is. Which symbiotic relationship one wishes to pursue in terms of awareness, spirit, nourishing, etc.

To escape the trap of “I” one must die, but to be on such a path while living one must be closer to source, to be closer to source one must be individual and know self without background noise. The path of least distraction, least environmental shaping without consciously choosing. If one can become clouded by environment, sensory saturation, being byproduct, then one can also be still and clear in environment, a sensory deprivation and shaped to peak ability, one can be the shaper and not the unconscious/subconscious byproduct. This is the fork in the road that is existence, does one wish to be god or does one wish to remain small as a human? The being human, conscious, is the being god.

My answer is to be both in the right ways.


This is what I call "a general description intellectual contraption". The sort of thing that, in my view, folks like meno and magnus anderson and many others here seem content with in discussing [philosophically or otherwise] things like identity, morality and political power. And, sure, I use them myself.

But, as I noted above:

Okay, but where does this actually take us other than back to the point I keep raising: that, in regard to "all things human", what counts is not what you "exclaim" to be true but the extent in which your exclamations are able to be substantiated experientially with respect to a particular context that most in the discussion will be familiar with.

Otherwise, the exchange ends up revolving only around what you believe to be the case about being human.


So, what we need now is an actual context. A set of circumstances in which we can explore each other's take on both the philosophical and the experiential parameters of "I".

Let's settle on one.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 14, 2020 4:48 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

In Death of the Author (1977), the French philosopher Roland Barthes introduces the idea that for a piece of work to be fully appreciated it must be understood in itself, completely separate from when, where and especially by whom it was created . “Writing is the destruction of every voice, of every point of origin” he says. The reader should not have any knowledge of the author’s identity, including their history, class, race, religion and political preferences, as these lead to preconceptions about the writing, and the reader may be encouraged to believe there is only one ‘correct’ translation of the text.


Fully appreciated. But from whose point of view? Whether you knew Roland Barthes intimately or knew nothing at all about him, you will understand or appreciate a book by him only in the sense that you will take out of the book that which you can put into it: yourself. Or, perhaps, even more telling, given only the manner in which you think you understand yourself.

And, even here, the same distinction that I always make: the author writing something able to be proven as in fact true for all of us, and the author writing something that encompasses only his or her personal opinion in closing the gap between the way the world is, and the behaviors we choose and the way the author thinks the world ought to be instead and the way he or she thinks people ought to behave instead.

If Barthes were to write a book about mathematics or chemistry or meteorology what is there to be understood and appreciated in information and knowledge that, by its very nature, is immune to deconstruction or semiotics or any other post-structuralist intellectual contraptions.

The same with identity. There are parts of the self that are considerably less open to translation or interpretation than other parts.

To know the author is to know the source of the text and therefore expect a single definitive interpretation : “To give a text an Author is to impose a limit on that text, to furnish it with a final signified, to close the writing”. The Western mind-set requires clarification of one ultimate and ‘correct’ meaning, for the sake of believability. But without preconceptions on the writing’s birth, the audience is left to their own devices and imagination to create meaning entirely. For Barthes, the meaning of a work depends on how it is received rather than how it is intended. The view of a text’s unity “lies not in its origin but in its destination”. This would imply that the reader is in complete control.


Clearly, if a book is written about race or gender or sexual preference, knowing the race, gender and sexual preference of the author is hardly irrelevant. But there are still facts that can be confirmed as true or confronted as falsehoods. There are simply too many components of human interactions in the either/or world in which ultimately there is only one "correct" meaning.

My own particular self is embedded in any number of biological and demographic descriptions and others can believe them because I am able to demonstrate that in fact these things that I depict about myself are true. Just as you can. Received or intended facts are facts.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:24 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

A postmodern perversion of reality has culminated on the net, where anyone can generate a fictional persona in terms of race, sexuality, music taste, fashion and connections: a MySpace account is simply fabricated pages of images and words. As Sherry Turkle says in Identity Crisis (1996), p.258, “One’s identity emerges from whom one knows, one’s associations and connections. People link their home page to pages about such things as music, paintings, television, shows, cities, books, photographs, comics, and fashion models.” The user/reader believes an on-screen identity to be ‘true’ when it fulfils these conventions.


Of course you don't need the internet to pretend to be other than you are in your interactions with others. Even with those who think they know you inside out -- family, friends, lovers, work colleagues -- you can "in reality" be anything but. Call it, say, the Ted Bundy syndrome. Or think of all the grifters out there hell bent on stealing you blind by pretending to be only what you want them to be. Or only what they think you want them to be. And I'm sure this sort of thing is not only a manifestation of our post-modern world. Think for example Niccolò Machiavelli.

Instead, what always fascinates me far more are those who are utterly convinced that who they think they are is who they really are. That their sense of identity is not just an "existential contraption rooted in dasein". And, thus, ever and always subject to change given new experiences, relationships and access to ideas.

It is the "fractured and fragmented" identity that most are disturbed by. Imagine not believing in the deep-down-inside-me Self able to see the world as it really is. Isn't that the most unnerving frame of mind?

"I" have certainly come to think that.

Here at ILP we can adopt any persona we chose. Exchanging philosophy can become just another sort of video game. Still, the words that we choose to convey opinions about this or that --- we are either able to demonstrate their actual truthfulness or we can't. It all comes down to the context.

For example:

So the first issue is an issue of trust: users do not know what information to believe and what data to discard. For example, the user-generated encyclopedia Wikipedia has been heavily criticized for its attitude favouring ‘consensus over credentials’. The encyclopedia’s articles can be edited by anyone with access to the internet, allowing highly-qualified professionals and bored teenagers alike to make alterations to the material. But this anti-elitist accessibility leaves the site open to information vandalism. When the accuracy of the data is scrutinized by experts, inaccuracies are frequently found. However it’s still one of the most popular user-content sites online, with many poor imitations following its formula.


What else: What particular information about what particular Wikipedia article? Edited or not what in the article can in fact be confirmed as true by anyone regardless of of the persona that they choose to adopt in bringing it to the attention of others.

Consensus or credentials there is still the part where the information and the facts and the opinions and the evidence that are imparted is or is not able to be demonstrated as true for all rational men and women. At least to the best of our ability in a No God world.

Here though we don't have "experts" to scrutinize our posts and fact check them. Besides, my point is that with regard to moral and political value judgments there are no actual experts -- deontologists -- among us able to resolve any disputed claims. Or, rather, if there are, they haven't convinced me of their prowess.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Nov 01, 2020 6:51 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

The website mouchette.org -- http://www.mouchette.org/ -- is a prime example of web artists toying with notions of identity. Appearing to be the homepage of an innocent thirteen-year-old Dutch girl, with some exploration it becomes evidently darker and sexually provocative – for example with an image of her tongue licking the screen.


Of course art and identity will often encompass a particularly problematic relationship. After all, art itself is often anything but a linear or literal exploration of either the "human condition" or of "reality" itself.

Now, I'm not sure the extent to which "I" becomes "fractured and fragmented" in art but it is intertwined in all of the many different aspects of what it means to be a human being out in a particular world understood in a particular way. All of the mind-boggling complex ways in which genes and memes can become entangled. Only expressed at times in "abstract art" or "surreal art" or "pop art" or "impressionistic art" or "post impressionistic art." And on and on and on.

Dada anyone?

Proletarians and politicians alike demanded the ban of mouchette, and for the artists responsible to identify themselves. But without knowing the origin of the text, what can we trust in the hyper-real internet world?


Then [of course]: to censor or not to censor. And not only in the "hyper-real internet world" either. In fact to the extent that any particular individual finds his or her own "self" maligned in a work of art the fusillades can come from any number of directions. Art is hardly exempt from the culture wars. Though many artists wouldn't have it any other way.

Still, the internet, with its broader unanimity tends to mass-produce especially obnoxious reactions to art. The "real me" objectivists in particular. After all, they've got the most to lose, 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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 09, 2020 6:29 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

How did this situation of identity uncertainty come about?

With the deterioration of traditional family values and cultural heritage, there is a greater sense of selfishness and personal identity: the ego increasingly dominates the super-ego, resulting in a more dominating sense of ‘I’. “Blame globalization and its accompanying fear of insignificance,” Laura Pappano says in The Connection Gap (2001), p.133.


The "post-modern" persona is clearly all the rage in many parts of the globe. Capitalism has in fact hastened the disintegration of a world in which the social bonds revolving around a far more homogeneous community -- the village -- has given way to the "me, myself and I" mentality more in sync with a "lifestyle" than a communal ethos.

In a world where countries are of less significance than companies, communication has been made so easy that there is much less need for physical interaction, and this decentralization has fragmented society.


More to the point, capitalism has created a vast surplus labor pool that revolves around so many outlets not directly involved with subsistence itself. There are endless distractions to choose from. Sports, film, music, pop culture. The focus on consumption and acquiring all of the things that advertisers are able to convince "the masses" they cannot live without.

And along with a the increasingly decentralized social agenda comes a shallower and shallower sense of identity itself. There are simply less and less people intent on diving into the deep end of the pool --- intellectually, politically, culturally. We have a large swath of citizens who are barely literate regarding any number of things that don't pertain to their own small world.

It's not for nothing that philosophy itself attracts fewer and fewer young people. And, for many who do pursue it, the philosophy itself becomes further and further removed from the lives that we actually live. A sterile technical approach that almost never comes down out of the analytic clouds. Technically as it were.

During the age of Modernism, in the earlier parts of the Twentieth Century, people were brought together by the utopian thought of developing their environment with the help of technology and science. But “it was easier decades ago to forge common ground with neighbours and community members, in part because so many people shared the same backgrounds, experiences, and values” (The Connection Gap, p.197). Now it instead seems that people’s knowledge and awareness of technology and science has improved so much that we are separated by our own bloated sense of self-importance, and have the overwhelming desire to be someone of significance. We need to be unique.


Who knows how close to or far away from the actual reality of the human condition [over the past 100 years] this intellectual assessment is. But it seems to be clearly the case that all of the factors that once did enable communities to sustain whatever actual existential consensus held them together politically, socially and culturally, is being frayed by all of the factors that reconfigured modernism into postmodernism. My own assessment is just one more attempt to make sense of it.

On the other hand, the objectivists among us, atop their very own soap boxes, will still insist that they and only they can slay the dragon that is "identity uncertainty" and tell us all who we "really" are.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 20, 2020 6:53 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

Consumer culture persuades us to purchase by promising uniqueness through mass-produced high street labels. “We are Goth music fans, food co-op members, Volvo owners, or the Macintosh faithful. Even haters like skinheads and white supremacists or those drawn to violence through gang membership yearn for a collective identity – though it may not be desirable.”


Yes, and what does this encompass but the extent to which "I" in our postmodern world revolves more and more around lifestyles. Rather than more substantive, historical demographics. Lifestyles that by and large become part of one or another market. It's not just a matter of attaching your identity to "one of us", but of all the things out there that you can then purchase to demonstrate that you really are "one of us".

And, given this pop culture/mass consumption mentality, some of the most absurd confrontations can unfold. For example, in the film Twentieth Century Women there a scene where a character is confused when she walks to her car and notes that someone had spray painted ART FAG on one side of her car and BLACK FLAG on the other?

Why? Because her son happened to be listened to the Talking Heads, the Art Fag band, instead of Black Flag, the hardcore punk rock band. "I" reduced down to something as idiotic as this.

We have a desperate thirst to be original and different, while simultaneously and contradictorily wanting to feel like we belong.


And here the lowest common denominator mentality is writ large across the entire globe for literally millions of us. We attach our ego to the dumbest fucking things to at least to be counted as "one of us" and not "one of them".

Again, it's not what you believe but that you believe. Something, anything.

Unfortunately, that mentality can also be attached to far more serious things like politics. Here the consequences of being or becoming "one of them" can be literally a matter of life and death.

The internet helps to quench this thirst for significance. It gives us limitless alternative worlds in which to experiment with multiple online personalities: “Our emancipation has become a no-holds-barred quest for self-expression, self-definition and self-gratification.”.


Yes, but that doesn't make "I" here any less virtual. And even the virtual identity that we choose is no less anchored to dasein. As for "me myself and I" that's clearly rooted out in our own particular world.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 7:41 pm

iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that doesn't make "I" here any less virtual. And even the virtual identity that we choose is no less anchored to dasein. As for "me myself and I" that's clearly rooted out in our own particular world.


But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:00 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:Yes, but that doesn't make "I" here any less virtual. And even the virtual identity that we choose is no less anchored to dasein. As for "me myself and I" that's clearly rooted out in our own particular world.


But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?


How are our virtual personas even possible unless they are derived from the genes that constitute our biological existence?

As for memes, which ones? Our virtual personas can discuss social, political and economic interactions online that can in fact be bursting at the seams with particular memes.

These things:

"A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that becomes a fad and spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme."

But: an idea, behavior or style in regard to what? And in what particular set of circumstances viewed from what particular point of view? Why your memes and not mine? Why my understanding of them and not yours?

We'll need a context 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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:04 pm

iambiguous wrote:How are our virtual personas even possible unless they are derived from the genes that constitute our biological existence?


That's not the question, is it? I know their objectivist theories seem objectively true to objectivists (in reality the gene meme paradigm is a scientific theory and pretends no truth value).

The question is:

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:16 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
iambiguous wrote:How are our virtual personas even possible unless they are derived from the genes that constitute our biological existence?


That's not the question, is it? I know their objectivist theories seem objectively true to objectivists (in reality the gene meme paradigm is a scientific theory and pretends no truth value).


All I can do here is to appeal to others:

What point do I keep missing here? And, if you think you understand it, how would you respond to it?

Pedro I Rengel wrote:The question is:

But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?


How are our virtual personas even possible unless they are derived from the genes that constitute our biological existence?

As for memes, which ones? Our virtual personas can discuss social, political and economic interactions online that can in fact be bursting at the seams with particular memes.

These things:

"A meme is an idea, behavior, or style that becomes a fad and spreads by means of imitation from person to person within a culture and often carries symbolic meaning representing a particular phenomenon or theme."

But: an idea, behavior or style in regard to what? And in what particular set of circumstances viewed from what particular point of view? Why your memes and not mine? Why my understanding of them and not yours?

We'll need a context 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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:17 pm

I know, I know, you just want to keep telling me what they are and how they are objectively true. My question is:

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:22 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:I know, I know, you just want to keep telling me what they are and how they are objectively true. My question is:

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?


Anyone else? 8)
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:24 pm

iambiguous wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:I know, I know, you just want to keep telling me what they are and how they are objectively true. My question is:

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?


Anyone else? 8)


How about you, son?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:25 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:I know, I know, you just want to keep telling me what they are and how they are objectively true. My question is:

Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Mon Nov 30, 2020 7:15 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

The ideas of Death of the Author almost promote the web’s experimentation with identity, since “Writing is that neutral, composite, oblique space, where our subject slips away, the negative where all identity is lost, starting with the very identity of the body of writing.”


Okay, but what doesn't change are all of those aspects of your existing self that the most imaginative writing in the world won't, don't, can't make go away. The either/or world self is there "for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health" until [of course] death do we all part..

Still...

And the present attitudes of consumer society on what constitute an identity make it easy for anyone with an online computer to blur the boundaries. In comparison to our past, when we were defined by our social class, our gender, age, ethnicity etc, the formulation of our identities is now more fluid and indefinite.


Yes, as long as your interactions what others remain virtual by and large. My point though is that in regard to the manner in which others judge us by our "social class, our gender, age, ethnicity etc." is the extent to which the self embodies precisely the manner in which I construe "I" as a existential contraption rooted historically, culturally and circumstantially in dasein.

Here being "fluid and indefinite" can only be assessed in a particular context given the moral and political prejudices. of others. What is in fact true in regard to these subjunctive judgments is no less "fluid and indefinite" for a reason.

My own, for example.

Our identities are now dictated by our lifestyle and consumer choices. This is summed up by Barbara Kruger’s famous poster-style pastiche on consumerism which declares “I shop therefore I am.” We are judged predominantly on our appearance. Furthermore, in a recent interview an American teen said “if you’re not on MySpace, you don’t exist” – implying, “I surf therefore I am.” Over the internet our ‘unique identifiers’ are easy to exhibit, through a myriad of audio and video clips.


But all of this is true about us only to the extent that individuals allow this to happen to them. If someone succumbs to pop culture, mass consumption and the lure of celebrity [our 15 minutes in the spotlight] then yes, their identity becomes just another manifestation of the lowest common denominator.

In fact there are any number of individuals right here who wish to reconfigured the identity of ILP into just another outlet for chit-chat.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:30 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

The internet opens up worlds where the user can be a celebrated character, popular and well-known, in contrast to a real world that constantly reminds us that we are no one. To a limited extent it may be healthy to experiment with alternative personalities online, if they do not take precedence over real life: “It is potentially most liberating to become acquainted with our dark side” (Identity Crisis, p.259). An increasing amount of people are spending more and more time in MUDs (multiple user dimensions) such as Second Life. Members are able to earn real money in this virtual world. But in these online games, the authors/readers risk becoming far too integrated with the text, and thus losing their real selves altogether. They can become more comfortable being a fiction online than being a real person.


Sure, this sort of thing is fascinating to some. Online you can become any "character" your imagination is able to think up. And clearly there any number of individuals who take this option and go all the way out into the deep end with it. They can spend hours and hours and hours in one or another virtual reality. There are now even psychological afflictions being thought up and discussed in regard to it: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23374170/

But this aspect of identity is of little interest to me. Why? Well, in regard to who in fact you really are or in regard to any virtual or pretend identity that you invent on or offline, the points I raise about "I" in my signature threads don't go away.

And that, in my view, is the part that disturbs the objectivists. Whether "in reality" or in a "make believe" world they cling to the comforting and consoling assumption that they truly do know themselves, And that they can make an objective distinction between "I did the right thing" and "I did the wrong thing"

The immeasurable variety available on the internet opens up vast possibilities. However the linking together of websites, the intertextuality of online existence, also entails that online there is little genuine individual expression. One’s identity is constructed out of links to consumer choices shared by millions of other surfers, such as music, food and fashion. Then again, identity has always been a social construct, therefore true or absolute individualism has always been impossible.


Here in turn is as aspect of identity that I construe to be more a manifestation of political economy than dasein. Mindless consumption can precipitate moral and political contexts. For example "commodity fetishism". Here people are so "programed" by our sub-mental materialist culture to define their lives in terms of things that advertisers lead them to, that the actual social, political and economic relationships that that go into bringing these things to the market are completely blocked out. And not just sweat shops and blood diamonds. And not just kids thinking that Santa and his elves are especially busy this time of the year creating all their presents.

But it's still not my main interest in exploring the nature of identity given the components of my own moral philosophy.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Sun Dec 06, 2020 7:40 pm

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Tue Dec 15, 2020 5:55 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

Power To The People?

Online, ‘truth’, ‘identity’ and ‘power’ are all transient verbs, forever changing in their definition, rather than fixed nouns whose form and function are permanent, representing objects capable of possession.


Talk about a godawful "intellectual contraption"!

No, seriously, in regard to your "truth", "identity" and "power", how would you translate that into a description of your own interactions with others?

And wouldn't it still come down to challenges from others? They don't accept or respect your definition of those things so how do you go about demonstrating to them that as rational people they are obligated to? The part about being online just makes it more difficult because here by and large we are only exchanging words. Or, occasionally, videos or links that are better able to get our point across.

The information superhighway involves power relations in a number of different ways. In our (post)modern society, as Michel Foucault has informed us, power comes through a system of knowledge – power determines truth, and determining truth equals power.


Yes, but, "in reality" what still counts is our capacity to translate our world of words knowledge into actual rules of behavior able to be enforced legally and politically. Thus, you may subscribe to a particular assessment of your "identity", but the knowledge you convey about it to others may or may not be accepted by them. And, here, even to the extent you are able to demonstrate that this knowledge does in fact comport with the objective truth, you still need to be able to act it out without others preventing it. "I" here is no less embedded out in a particular world where the powerful prevail, no matter the truth.

Foucault even uses a net analogy to describe power as a system of relations spread throughout society. He says in Power/Knowledge that “power comes as a strategy.” Regarding power as a verb rather than a noun, something that is executed, may clarify how power comes through the ability to communicate information and define ‘truth’.


Yes, power as an action word rather than as a thing is an important distinction. But either way the components of my own moral philosophy don't go away. The existential ramifications of dasein are no less marbled throughout the actual rules of behavior that are able to be enforced.

In just this way, the internet uses the manipulation of signs to dictate truth and control the public’s knowledge. This mastery of signs employs the post-structuralist idea of producing meaning by organizing data into systems: “Power operates in that processing of information which results in something being labeled as a ‘fact’” says Foucault. This is where the power lies – in the procedure in which meaning is made. It happens constantly on the net.


Yes, if the "public" is ignorant and naive and gullible enough to be duped by all of this, it generally means that they have allowed others to create and then to sustain a "sense of self" able to be deceived and hoodwinked and used for the benefit of the others.

At the same time though, are those able to lure many -- millions sometimes -- into accepting one or another objectivist account of the world around us. Theological, philosophical and/or political in nature. Some can be particularly sophisticated. And persuasive. And, in fact, dots are able to be connected between the words and the world.

We see that here time and time again.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby Pedro I Rengel » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:29 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?
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Re: a man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:48 am

Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:
Pedro I Rengel wrote:But genes and memes aren't virtual, are they iam? Not rooted in dasein?


Really, what would possess someone to post banalities like this over and over and over and over again?

Let's ask him. :lol:
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Wed Dec 23, 2020 5:46 pm

Death of the Author and the web identity crisis
Zachary Colbert spins a story of power and deceit brought to you via your computer.

The internet manipulates signs to define truth, and it has power through the ability to communicate immense amounts of information.


No, the "internet" doesn't do these things. Only particular individuals using the internet to communicate points of view able either to be or not to be established as in fact true. Or, in regard to conflicting goods, true given one set of assumptions only. Communication breakdowns occur precisely my understanding of this or that "sign" is not in alignment with yours. I merely suggest that with some "signs" it can come down to "your right from your side and I'm right from mine".

Rooted in dasein.

As Saussure suggests, language is a code. Through video, animation, words and images, the web employs signs to communicate information and deliver meaning.


What signs, in reference to what situation? Communicating what information and delivering what meaning? Yet assessments like this can go on paragraph after paragraph and not bring this into the "analysis" at all.

Thus, through the various organized systems of codes which web-users employ, meaning is conveyed; but meaning depends on several factors. Two participants conversing over the internet have to do it in a language understood by both. The context in which the signs are used is also important.


Yes, someone imparting information and meaning in Japanese is not going to be very successful in communicating to someone who does not speak Japanese.

But when the context configures into information and meaning relating to interactions between daseins attempting to communicate conflicting value judgments, those who all speak the same language can go to the dictionary to look up the meaning of words in order to communicate their points. But, time and time again, sharing the same language doesn't make the disputes go away. Instead, the arguments I make seem more reasonable in explaining that.

In an online chatroom, the abbreviation ‘LOL’ means ‘laughing out loud’: but there would be no sense in saying “L.O.L.” in the real world instead of actually laughing out loud. Also, non-verbal codes such as body language, eye movement, tone, pitch and voice intonation are missing on the net. Sarcasm, for example, is a notoriously tricky sentiment to indicate in instant messaging or email. But the internet also has audio and video messaging, via which this last, non-verbal, system of codes can be conveyed. However, it is not as simple as the idea that all meaning is created by the reader, since in our current surveillance society of pseudo-individualism and online schizophrenia, no-one trusts a stranger. Sources of information must be thought honest and reliable to be persuasive. And Web 2.0 is the quintessence of post-Structuralist ideology. We live with simulacra and simulation: reality has been replaced by imagery and symbols, signs, codes and metaphors have been substituted for direct meaning. It becomes hard to know what you can trust.


LOL? Non verbal codes? All of the above may be technically true when differentiating communication between on and offline exchanges. But there is still the reality of any given situation and the extent to which how any of us construe our identity matters when it comes down to the nitty gritty reality of those who have the actual power to reward or punish this or that behavior.

Yes, it is easier to trick and to con others online. Our "identity" becomes anything we are able to convince someone that it is. But even if, when we leave virtual reality, we lived in a world where it was not possible to disguise our true identity, what would our true identity be in regard to our moral and political value judgments? Would the true identity of liberals be more authentic than the true identities of conservatives in regard to, say, the role of government?
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Thu Dec 31, 2020 5:40 pm

Shaping The Self
Sally Latham examines the construction of identity through memory.

I’ve kept a diary in one form or another since about the age of twelve. Sometimes a few words, sometimes pages and pages, but either way every day of my life is documented – apart, that is, from the ages of fifteen and sixteen. As with all teenagers, these were my angst years, and in a grand gesture of would-be liberation, symbolic of new beginnings, I burned them.


Me too. I kept a diary/journal for nearly 15 years. But: those years encompassed a time in my life when one way or another I was a hardcore objectivist. I honestly believed that if I kept track of my life carefully enough I would finally be able to finally pin myself down. Until, instead, it finally dawned on me that, like human existence itself, my own "personal life" was essentially meaningless and absurd. And that one day I too would be dead and gone. Obliterated for all time to come.

So, I took dozens of duotang folders that contained hundreds of pages and walked out behind the apartment complex where I was living at the time [only a couple of miles from where I live now] and just threw them all into the dumpster. And not on an impulse. I thought it through, recognized the futility of my own particular world of words, and did what I did. And I never regretted it.

So, this has never been an option for me:

Recently I spent some time looking through my old diaries. Sometimes forgotten memories were brought to the surface, but at other times I was reading about things I believe actually happened, because I wrote them, but of which I nevertheless had no recollection. At times, these recorded events reshaped my current self-perception: on some occasions they made me consider myself to be a better person than I otherwise currently thought, and at other times a worse one.


This is basically gibberish to me. It clearly means something to the author, but my own thinking had changed so radically it would never occur to me ever again to "capture" myself in that way. The good me? The bad me? The important things? The unimportant things? That all became [and still is] largely hogwash to me. Now this fractured and fragmented personality is down for the final count, waiting for godot, and diving into and out of the distractions that mark my day to day existence.

On the other hand, here I am still in pursuit of any possible antidotes that might be found in what's left of this particular philosophy forum. Go figure in other words.
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 man amidst mankind: back again to dasein

Postby iambiguous » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:44 pm

Shaping The Self
Sally Latham examines the construction of identity through memory.

What constitutes our personal identity over time has long been the subject of debate, but how much influence can we have over our own identity and self-perception?


What makes this nothing less than profoundly problematic are all of the variables in our lives that we don't even come close to having either a complete understanding of or control over. In particular, in regard to how, for years, others shaped and molded our understanding of ourselves in order to replicate themselves through us.

Yeah, some of us will own up to that and acknowledge just how wide the gap is between who we think we are and how that was shaped by forces beyond our control. Some will accept in turn that much of their moral and political "self" is derived adventitiously from when they are born historically, or where they were brought up culturally.

But that still does not stop them from just shrugging these crucial factors off and insisting that they really and truly do know who they are. Anyway.

Just ask those who stormed the Capitol Building. None of what I note here has any real bearing at all on the behaviors they choose. They simply think themselves into believing that what they did they did because they were obligated to in order to be true to themselves.

Really, just ask some of the hardcore fulminating fanatics here.

The ‘memory criterion’ of identity is usually attributed to English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704). This interpretation of Locke is the subject of debate, but nevertheless it is the most popular interpretation, and the one that will be adopted here. Locke distinguishes a ‘person’ from a ‘man’. The ‘man’ means the organism, an animal like any other, whose identity over time consists in its continuity of biological life. This means that although parts can be gained and lost (we grow and shed skin cells, for example) there must be continuity within this change for us to be talking about the same man.


The biological imperatives. The problem here though is that we all share the same biological scaffolding while interacting in a world in which the same physical, chemical, neurological etc., laws result in human interactions in which there are endless disputes over that which is said to constitute the most rational and ethical behaviors. Then come those who in embracing one or another alleged ontological and teleological font insist that even our value judgments can be oriented to an objective truth which binds together all, say, civilized human beings.

Memories are just another manifestation of this. We all have the innate capacity to form memories. We all have the innate capacity to communicate to others what those memories are of and what they mean to us. But then come the inevitable conflicts regarding our reactions to them when those reactions precipitate moral and political agendas at odds.
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

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
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