Thought Dump

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    Duff...
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:41 pm

    Ҩ wrote:(Duff, what the hell do you do and where do you live?)

    Graphic design. The Chi.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:44 pm

    This came up on SOMB a million years ago during what eventually became called "Death Week". There are at least a handful of SOMBies that we know passed.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by WP64 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:59 pm

    I don't even remember SOMB anymore. I was too busy being fourteen years old and listening to Pantera.

    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/03/23/frankfurt-school-headquarters-neo-marxism/
    Not to suggest that the best way to understand the world is to add Negative Dialectics to your Amazon wishlist, but I like that piece a lot. I've never really engaged with the Frankfurt School work as I should have. There are two reasons for this: it is challenging and I am not smart enough and it is very much a cliché nowadays.

    Recent developments suggest, however, that the Frankfurt School’s critique may have a new timeliness. The recent presidential election used authoritarian tactics of misrepresentation and manipulation of belief addressed to people who were particularly susceptible to such methods; it resulted in the near-complete victory of a political party that now combines a libertarian program of the privatization (if not elimination) of many public functions and dominance by concentrated capitalist wealth; and it put into office a president who is deliberately divisive and has authoritarian inclinations, no apparent respect for truth or for democratic institutions, and little comprehension of or concern for the public good. However distant the Frankfurt School’s indictment of capitalism’s alliance with authoritarianism once seemed, its criticisms are not irrelevant now as we face increasing nativism, unthinking trust in a demagogue and in economic power, as well as antipathy to science and reasoned argument, and eagerness to embrace a regime of disinformation and manipulation.

    That makes me want to sit down and read Dialectics of Enlightenment really badly. Or Neumann's Behemoth. Gonna do some serious chin stroking this summer.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Ned Braden on Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:34 pm

    I'm probably too old to ever play professional sports. And I don't believe in god or the afterlife, so...

    On the plus side, I think Jose Saramago was like 60 when he published his first novel, so maybe there's still a chance for me.

    Almost posted this in the "Going Through some shit" thread, but I figured this stupid existential crisis would look stupid next to people's real world troubles.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:54 pm

    I think Gauguin was in his thirties or forties when he even started painting and died in Tahiti surrounded my much younger women so we all have a shot still.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Thu Apr 13, 2017 11:53 pm

    Ned Braden I could post a lot about that shit if I ever decided to do so.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Sat Jan 13, 2018 11:28 pm

    https://mobile.nytimes.com/2018/01/06/opinion/sunday/alt-right-asian-fetish.html?referer=https://www.google.com/

    I have never read Baudelaire and only have a vague idea of who he was and what he wrote about. To be honest, as curious as I may be about these matters I am privately intimidated by most philosophy I try to read.

    Now I find out it’s stuff that unmotivated middle school slackers just read and shit out simply to fit in?
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Sun Jan 14, 2018 12:53 am

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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by WP64 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:28 am

    undo wrote:Now I find out it’s stuff that unmotivated middle school slackers just read and shit out simply to fit in?
    Isn't this kind of a common trope? I know my first exposure to "philosophy" was reading Camus at fourteen. My interest evolved organically from there and it was really just an outlet for pretty standard teenage rebellion. It's embarrassing and funny to reflect upon now.

    That said, Baudelaire and Camus aren't "pure" philosophers. There is a distinction between a Descartes or Kant who worked very systematically on a specific issue of consciousness or knowledge. That's obviously very turgid and unenjoyable to read through. Without veering into an unnecessary tangent, it is kind of curious that in America we don't seem to grasp the difference between philosophy as a distinct discipline that is separate from critical theory, which is a more diffuse approach or mode. It's something that gets conflated all the time here and it's probably just because our public schools fucking suck and we don't teach our children anything of value.

    Anyway, you shouldn't feel intimidated. eh
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:47 am

    How did you find out about Camus at 14?
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:48 am

    When I was 14 I was playing a lot of Super Metroid and listening to REM
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by WP64 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:51 am

    undo wrote:How did you find out about Camus at 14?
    Older cousin gave me a copy of The Stranger and I read that. I also started boarding on SOMB at like 13 or 14.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:05 am

    There's certainly a cliché about the teenager trying to be seen reading Nausea at a café but I definitely fit the brooding pseudointellectual mold at that age and never fucking heard of existentialism till college. Whether it's a class thing, a generation thing, or a failure of my school system, I dunno.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by reuben on Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:56 am

    Nobody reads Baudelaire for his philosophy. You bunch of philistines. He's a poet.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:07 pm

    Yeah, I'm shocked to find that Baudelaire is being looked to for philosophy. But I'm probably just old and set in my ways. As for me, I was reading and being largely, though not at all entirely, disappointed by Camus around the same age because of The Cure. Wasn't really into REM.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by C-poots on Mon Jan 15, 2018 3:25 pm

    Duff... wrote:There's certainly a cliché about the teenager trying to be seen reading Nausea at a café but I definitely fit the brooding pseudointellectual mold at that age and never fucking heard of existentialism till college. Whether it's a class thing, a generation thing, or a failure of my school system, I dunno.

    I've consumed most of my philosophical ideas from novels and in conversations with others educated in philosophy instead of through reading treatises (with the exception of maybe Hume and Camus) and I wouldn't ever claim to be highly knowledgable about the different schools of philosophical thought. But I do know that Nausea got me through a very difficult time in my adult life and I have a strong emotional connection to his works and ideas and the way he presents them in fiction. Perhaps it is an experience tied to emotional age, but the notion of Freedom of action and thought being an overwhelming force resonates hard with me.

    There are plenty of pull quotes from the existentialists I still find pretty powerful as well: Kierkegaard said "...A person’s unhappiness never lies in his lack of control over external conditions, since this would only make him completely unhappy" and I find it to be a pretty strong rebuttal for those moments when things can feel extremely bleak.

    But I don't know, sometimes I'm just a dude trying to get through life without worrying about living all the damn time.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:24 pm

    I've never read Nausea. I'll soon take care of that.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by chrondog on Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:00 pm

    Ҩ wrote:There is a distinction between a Descartes or Kant who worked very systematically on a specific issue of consciousness or knowledge. That's obviously very turgid and unenjoyable to read through.

    this is very true. i had to read some Kant in college and it completely turned me off to metaphysics. so much time building the system and then "demonstrating" things rather than exploring.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by undo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 5:19 pm

    C-poots wrote:Kierkegaard said "...A person’s unhappiness never lies in his lack of control over external conditions, since this would only make him completely unhappy"

    I'm not trying to be a smartass here but what is he implying?

    Go read the whole text and find out for yourself is probably the answer I deserve but
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:13 pm

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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by C-poots on Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:00 pm

    undo wrote:
    C-poots wrote:Kierkegaard said "...A person’s unhappiness never lies in his lack of control over external conditions, since this would only make him completely unhappy"

    I'm not trying to be a smartass here but what is he implying?

    Go read the whole text and find out for yourself is probably the answer I deserve but

    You have the means to control your internal thoughts and actions, and in doing so you can navigate towards your own happiness by living "authentically", despite the fact that so much of what we experience on a day-to-day is outside our influence. There are, in the grand scheme of things, almost no external forces we can control, so happiness (or at least non-unhappiness) is something that you must find by living a life of purpose, and that purpose is defined by you alone. Its the one thing you will always have the means to control.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by WP64 on Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:27 pm

    zappo wrote:Yeah, I'm shocked to find that Baudelaire is being looked to for philosophy.  But I'm probably just old and set in my ways.  As for me, I was reading and being largely, though not at all entirely, disappointed by Camus around the same age because of The Cure.  Wasn't really into REM.
    Actually, I think this is the best introduction to phenomenology that exists. What Sartre is doing with Baudelaire isn't exegetical though. Baudelaire is just a useful cultural touchstone because his work is canonical in France. Anyways, if any of you ever tried to read Being & Nothingness and understandably quit after the first chapter (because, seriously, who the fuck has time to figure out what a being-in-itself-for-itself is supposed to mean, you asshole) I would strongly recommend this book.

    How many of you were exposed to philosophy and/or the classics in high school? If any of the British boarders are reading this, what about you? Was your curriculum focused in someway around teaching Britishness? And not just the history of the British Empire, but actually reinforcing through literature and narrative history what it means to be a British subject.

    Because I think that is a common experience in European schools. It's problematic and in some ways deeply conservative as well. In Italy, their high school curriculum is still modeled after the educational reforms under Mussolini with all the consequent emphasis being on the supremacy and vital importance of Italian culture and history. In America.... we just don't have that. I'm not sure why I think this is such an important difference (and why shorthand like Euro-American and the conflation of western Europe with America is deeply flawed), but it gets to the root of why it can be so difficult to even understand sometimes what goes on in the minds of my fellow countrymen. I have literally no fucking idea because we weren't socialized to think of ourselves as sharing some essential common identity and national culture.... (maybe?)
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:21 am

    What I meant to say and should've said is, "I'm surprised that people think of Baudelaire as a philosopher."  I didn't mean to suggest that he or his work are somehow incompatible with being thought of in some kind of philosophical sense.  Like Reub, I simply think of Baudelaire as a poet first and a poet second and...that's about it.  I've never read that, though.  But I read Being and Time!  flyinghigh
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by zappo on Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:22 am

    And I, for one, had no exposure to philosophy or the classics in high school.  Had to seek it all out on my own, and I did very little of that with philosophy until university.
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    Re: Thought Dump

    Post by Duff... on Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:05 am

    C-poots wrote:
    You have the means to control your internal thoughts and actions, and in doing so you can navigate towards your own happiness by living "authentically", despite the fact that so much of what we experience on a day-to-day is outside our influence. There are, in the grand scheme of things, almost no external forces we can control, so happiness (or at least non-unhappiness) is something that you must find by living a life of purpose, and that purpose is defined by you alone. Its the one thing you will always have the means to control.

    I think it was de Beauvoir who said he* was full of shit.

    Ҩ wrote:
    Because I think that is a common experience in European schools. It's problematic and in some ways deeply conservative as well. In Italy, their high school curriculum is still modeled after the educational reforms under Mussolini with all the consequent emphasis being on the supremacy and vital importance of Italian culture and history. In America.... we just don't have that. I'm not sure why I think this is such an important difference (and why shorthand like Euro-American and the conflation of western Europe with America is deeply flawed), but it gets to the root of why it can be so difficult to even understand sometimes what goes on in the minds of my fellow countrymen. I have literally no fucking idea because we weren't socialized to think of ourselves as sharing some essential common identity and national culture.... (maybe?)

    I.... don't at all agree with this? Between history classes and civics and mandatory constitution tests and a selection of american novels we're supposed to get through in english and saying the pledge of every morning, in addition of observances of military veterans and our independence day etc. there's decidedly a shared national identity we're supposed to have, and school is a place we get a lot of it. Of course, I don't know much about how this works in Europe, and I certainly felt unique in that I was actually paying attention to all this crap and felt an obligation to be a good citizen, but it was certainly there.

    But philosophy? Nope. Not much of that at all was put in front of us, not at our school.


    *Maybe not him specifically.

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