Wednesday, May 28, 2014


             Wakes me up in the morning.

I do what I can to mock, tweak,  ridicule , scold and
scorn SACS aims-goals-rubric-constrained measurable
outcomes.  not because I don’t recognize their VALUES
but because they are essentially the only values in town,
dominant: the sound of one hand  slapping.  Values of
Finished Product.   Patriarchal call them.

Sphinx enthralling SACS  omni-presence eclipses if not
occludes the appropriately  antagonistic  hostile &
diabolically opposed antithetical and generative Mothers
of Invention: the Values of Process.  Matriarchal, say.

2 Economies.  (Ask Gary)

Clarity. Coherence. Consistency. Done deal perfected.
(The Patriarchy)                           
Confusion. Incoherence. Mess & Guess,  Margins of Error,
Rooms  for Play in medias res Emergent Phenomena
(The Matriarchy)

In The Act of Creation, Arthur Koestler, biologist and
novelist,   writes that it is  the collision of 2  matrices
(ways of knowing, domains, cultures,  conventions, value
systems)  and the discombobulation at the  cross roads
can generate, humor, science, and art.   Ha! Aha! Ah!

The Crux of the Matter:  GOODIES are wanna-be-good so bad
they can’t afford the bad it takes.    You remember Hawthorne’s
“Young Goodman Brown” from your 11th grade course in American

Wasn’t he a good boy?

Refused to take the devil’s baptism and was miserable: a “Goodman”
for the rest of his days.  Oh what a mess it is when first we
practice to compose.

xxxooo, Oedipus


  1. Your picture is too big for the post.--Let's talk about what Socrates and Plato were after.

  2. Go ahead: point out what they "were after." Clay pigeons, you and your shotgun poised.

  3. I read The Republic recently, all the way through and slowly (as I had no time; took me a month). Therefore, I have my own opinions. In looking at the internet, one comes across the ideas of Karl Popper, who traces Plato to Hegel and Marx (the open society...) and makes them responsible for the totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. Having been born in the aftermath of those in a divide Europe, I have views on that sort of thing. Popper even divides Plato and Socrates and calls Plato: Socrates' Judas, a traitor to Socrates. Then others critique Popper over his statements on Hegel and ridicule him roundly... Here is your elephant and your whirl.

    Even with all this, it seems to me that dialectic and the analogies need to be seen on some sort of context. Again, I do have my own interpretation, as far as I have read, and I have posted them (I do not know whether or not you read my posts.).

    Perhaps the post- modern way would dismiss all of that, cherry-picking simply what it finds good, neglecting contexts, expert opinions... And perhaps that's what I do, too, but it seems unsatisfactory. I am asking you,at this point, what you link the larger objectives were.


  5. I remember puffing up in pride when I realized in college that Plato and Aristotle stood as the fundamental distinction in the stream of human thinking:--the idea--ist on the one hand: empiricist on the other.--variant:: the spirit and the letter of the law. Dialectic is the term Plato used in his Cave Analogy--a practice of putting opposition in play (rather than celebrating one, denigrating the other--aka "loving the enemy") so as to anticipate emerging truth or position that does no injustice to either: aka "beyond humaniac good and evil") This practice represented Plato's version of "salvation," say--escaping the world: out of it if not in it. The problem is the return into a cave of unenlightened. Dialectic doesn't address that. Obedience might--if one is obedient. Cherry picking is a new term. I naturally select what serves our understanding an agenda--whether reading a book or article or walking thru a field or mall. Ripping off from the whole.Moving violators. Original spin. Me: cherry picker.

  6. I read the cave as a very concrete criticism of the society of the times. Plato advocated major changes in society, in relation to education, government, warfare. I also read it as a critique of the state religion and state gods who were the very picture of the dumb and selfish politicians.

  7. Plato is also very much "letter of the law", even to an extreme with his ideas on censorship and breeding of the elite. It is not difficult to see Popper pick up the interpretation of Plato as the enemy of liberal democracy. He easily can come to be seen as a top down control freak with all sorts of rules and regulations, wanting to be a "captain" in a very literal sense, for the benefit of the State, of course.

    But the inconsistencies pointed out, I think let us view a good deal as tentative brain-storming. Overall, I see a dissatisfaction with the coarseness of society and the panthenon. There must be something better.

  8. I have always used the Cave Metaphor as a description of the species: in the Cave but not knowing it. Like Joe Fish--all soaking we with theories of damp and dry (absolut)--Or H. G.Wells --the one-eyed who thought he' d be King in the Valley of the Blind, yet turned out to be a fool to the blind (not knowing they were blind, of course). The Republic was meant to me an extended metaphor on the nature of Virtue--but people have always taken it as a political treatise Cherry Picking - finding what might be adequate, if not sufficient.. .Shabby & shoddy-the injustice done - goes without saying

  9. I don't like it. Shabby and shoddy possibly. G.K. Chesterton has a whole chapter on H.G. Wells in "heretics". Something to do with hypocrisy.

    No, I don't think The Republic is an extended metaphor. I grew up translating ancient literature. It is quite literally about war and conquest much of the time. Socrates himself had gone to fight as a soldier. Hannibal over the mountains, Carthage should be destroyed, and was, Agamemnon off to Troy, and none of it figuratively. I think you are mistaken.

    We are not talking Bunyan, here, and the heavenly Jerusalem.

    Wells depends on Plato. There is an elitism and social Darwinism running through this. In the story of the blind (I just read it) one can discern this, too, seeing how the inferior had genetically declined. (What did they call the inferior races at the time? Vermin.)

    Jesus said it so elegantly: because you think you see you are the blind. -- something for each one of us to worry about.

  10. Quote: At the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, H. G. Wells began to envision an elite and utopic world governed by “New Republicans.” He envisioned these political elites as having the power to subdue the underclass. When he traveled to the United States, he found a receptive audience for his worldview.

  11. On virtue: Plato's Republic. I like Chesterton: when you say he had a whole chapter on Wells in Heretics--something to do with hypocrisy--do you want to elaborate? Was he calling Wells a heretic? A hypocrite? Epiminides the Cretan said "all Cretans are liars." Who said we are talking Bunyan here? Fred Flatlander lectures on Sphericity and it's all 0 0 0 0 0 . Joe Fish preaches on the distinction between damp and dry (absolut) and not only is he all wet, he couldn't conceive of wet if you put a gun to his head. Folks in the Cave don't think they are in the cave and if some enlightened prophet told them they were, they'd kill him. This is the idea that fascinates--however many versions of it can be told, no matter their politics or personal lives. Looking for good description here, not moral judgment.

  12. “Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions… are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” — Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor

  13. Chesterton is being smart and circuitous in that chapter. I just reread it. I am not sure I get it, but maybe I do. You should read it. Probably it's a masterpiece. He also points out the difference between Plato, Wells and the superman.

  14. I have enjoyed much Chesterton in the past, Training wheels.The difference between Plato, Wells, Superman, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Barth, de Chardin, Emerson,
    Thoreau, T.S. Eliot and Justin Bieber etc isn't crucial to me in my old age. I attempt to distinguish between description and judgment, aesthetics and ethics, connotation and denotation day after day in classes where these distinctions are as invisible to them as wet is to Joe Fish. Round and round and round we go.

  15. There are some philosophical points in it that should matter to you, personally, in this regard.

    He starts out by saying that we should be charitable and see less and less "hypocrisy" in the world; i. e. Let's not say that Wells is not a hypocrite. He also seems to call him humble and not humble and the thing seems to be a parody. There are some excellently described attitudes of "real scientists", unlike Wells who is the "humblest"... I am pretty sure I am not quit in on the joke, though I read about Wells and his works. Most importantly, he makes a point about the nature of philosophy vs. ambiguity, the latter not being what Plato aimed at. Something like that. Chesterton's works are free on I-books.

  16. Interesting also: sensibility vs. hardness. If a superman is just harder he is a freak of nature and not an improvement. If he is better, we could just call him a saint.

  17. I am humble and not humble--a baddie and a goodie and not a baddie and a goodie: ambiguity and ambivalence are both virtue and vice for me, depending on my agenda. I speak with tons of angles and clanging brass and probably have confessed this to you before. I'ts the denial and cover up that raises my bozone layer. Am I mocking here? Or genuine? Hypocrite or sincere? Duty is in the eyes of the beholder.

  18. Yes, but Chesterton is trying to make a point and show him a "heretic", if only in a philosophical point.

  19. I'm sure he is. And Hawkins and Dawkins their points. And Swedenborg: his. My ancestors were all heretics--including my father who had to face a board questioning various church biases before he was ordained. (Spent some time in England with the Oxford Movement in the 20's) I've heard "heresy" appreciated as how the overall church expands. We don't seem to be on the same page here.

  20. "We ought to see far enough into a hypocrite to see even his sincerity." Is haw he begins. I think he I saying that Well is hypocritical but sincerely, in way that one can labor to discern. Chesterton is at heart a charitable kind of guy. "No one does wrong knowingly", says Sam, probably quoting someone. That still makes wrong, wrong and Wells a hypocrite.

  21. Yes, from a higher or systemic perspective--I do wrong all the time (damaged and damaging if I do or don't" damned, in other words). The fact that I never do wrong knowingly does not deny the "higher wrongs" I do nor is it less a fact that I don't know any better. Hypocrite means actor--playing a role, a part, answering after the other. It also means 2 faced--acting one way, with intents and desire going another way It describes me: my interior agenda, my exterior agenda--rarely match. (Socrates said "no one does wrong knowingly") I talk one way, walk another way.

  22. It has become a common insult to say that someone is "sincere". It implies that they are wrong. St. Paul says: they are full of zeal, but their zeal is misplaced.

  23. About your father and Oxford and heresy: you have mentioned it before, but what are the details. What are you talking about? Or you just want to illustrate the nonsense or futility of holding doctrinal positions?

  24. News to me. Literally: "without wac" - meaning a statute so well crafted that it needs no wax to fill in the cracks and flaws. I'm sure my zeal is as likely to be misplaced as it is placed. As Emerson says with conviction: if my impulse comes from the devil, than I am the devils child. Misplaced in one context is probably well-placed in another. Obedience: to listen, to hear.

  25. I just want to illustrate that :heresy has positive as well as the typical negative connotations. Holding doctrinal positions may or may not be futile and foolish I continue to delight in Bror's description of Calvinism as "abominable"--which I sure was sincere to him, foolish to me.

  26. Emerson is a fool, as you have proved here. We need to stand apart from our zeal and sincerity, somewhat, subject even that to scrutiny.

  27. If we can't talk about doctrinal points, I don't know why you keep bringing it up. Wasted time.

  28. "WE" is you. your self, your choir and Lutheran amen corner. Stand apart:-subjecting your self to excruciating scrutiny. I Yes, Good advice and I agree. " I remember an answer which when quite young I was prompted to make to a valued adviser, who was wont to importune me with the dear old doctrines of the church. On my saying, What have I to do with the sacredness of traditions, if I live wholly from within? my friend suggested, — "But these impulses may be from below, not from above." I replied, "They do not seem to me to be such; but if I am the Devil's child, I will live then from the Devil."

  29. Tell me again what it is i keep bringing up?

  30. "To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
    To the last syllable of recorded time;
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
    And then is heard no more. It is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing."

  31. G. K. Chesterton: "But to have avoided [all heresies] has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect." (Orthodoxy, 1908)

  32. Heresy is any provocative belief or theory that is strongly at variance with established beliefs or customs. A heretic is a proponent of such claims or beliefs.[1] Heresy is distinct from both apostasy, which is the explicit renunciation of one's religion, principles or cause,[2] and blasphemy, which is irreverence toward religion.[3 wiki]

  33. I hand it to the English. Beautiful stuff. Chesterton talks about the inexperienced who is first intoxicated by an Idea. He is like a tea-to taller on his first drink. But the experienced person goes among ideas like a lion tamer. That is a great picture. I love it. I can see him in his rotund Santa Claus manner with a whip telling every lion where to sit. I love him as much as Luther.

  34. Petty pace, last syllable, dusty death... Finishing with Nothing. I would halt there a rely breathe it out. It is the singer in me. Gorgeous. -- but you hate people quoting Shakespeare. It is the hallmark of your own amen corner hypocritical, elite religiosity to have a rule or liberty for yourself but inconsistently not for others. I think some time ago we had Anne Coulter say that this is the hallmark of so-called liberals these days, that there are different rules for different people. A good doctrine should not be like that and maybe it needs some enforcing by those who can tame ideas.

  35. "Barely breathe" (stupid I pad).

  36. A doctrinal review is not a bad thing in itself.

  37. Yes--as usual with your lucid adversarial and accusatory talent you nail me once again. Hurts so good.. I don't deny it. Hypocritical and elite, I agree. Religiosity--maybe in the compulsife and obsessive if not in the "gospel" sense. A lion tame,no doubt.--whip and chairi

  38. You are always asking for it.

    My garden is a little paradise you should see it. I have to sit on one end so the swallows don't dive bomb me. There is a green chair in which I read The Mischief in the sun, in the middle of the construction rubble. (Or what's it called: A good man is hard to find.)

  39. The robot checking is becoming a nuisance. I should get things done while the weather permits...


  40. Ropot checking? I;ve had mocking birds dive bomb.