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Dark Wizard of Ravenclaw

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joined 2022 September 04 18:50:58 UTC


User ID: 78


Dark Wizard of Ravenclaw

0 followers   follows 0 users   joined 2022 September 04 18:50:58 UTC


No bio...


User ID: 78

EdenicFaithful laughs without comment.

In The Public and its Problems, Dewey argues that government is the outgrowth of people observing each other and noticing the consequences of their actions. Officials arise when people try to indirectly control consequences of behaviour which go beyond the immediate people involved. This is in contrast to "original impulses" claimed to be found in people, like some mystic force which drives us towards an ideal form of government. There's something about this book which makes one pause.

Even yet, however, toleration in matters of judgment and belief is largely a negative matter. We agree to leave one another alone (within limits) more from recognition of evil consequences which have resulted from the opposite course rather than from any profound belief in its positive social beneficence. As long as the latter consequence is not widely perceived, the so-called natural right to private judgment will remain a somewhat precarious rationalization of the moderate amount of toleration which has come into being. Such phenomena as the Ku Klux and legislative activity to regulate science show that the belief in liberty of thought is still superficial.

Now, when I read Kant saying Sapere aude! I wonder how his words might seem if viewed in Dewey's framework. I'm not sure that the world needs more disillusionment, but a more realistic appreciation of principles, or rather the origin of arguments which seem principled, might do us some good in evaluating those who argue that they had no choice but to use heavy-handed means to control people. One must become familiar with his tools if he is to use them effectively. And perhaps the people who we hate are sometimes not so different in all their thought processes from the people who we revere.

The Master and his Emissary continues. In McGilchrist's framework, the left hemisphere is more explicit, the right more implicit, and this sometimes manifests in the terms "verbal" and "non-verbal." However, these words themselves seem inadequate, because metaphor, which is ultimately verbal, is in his account the right hemisphere's domain. McGilchrist might say (I can't remember if he did) that our thinking in these terms is itself a left-brain phenomena. In other words, our very idea of "non-verbal" interaction might be subtly misleading us from something profound.

Being myself, I naturally try to shortcut the investigation of this profundity, and have begun to wonder if the internet needs a passive-aggressive quip system. Imagine a smaller italics label on posts, something like a flair on the bottom, one which says EdenicFaithful did not find it necessary to respond to this commenter.

Do we need more room to praise or display aggression in less direct means? We normally think of this in terms of "body language," but this too might be missing the mark.

Of course my first suggestion seems likely to pour gasoline on the fire, but maybe there's a recognizable format which would allow more implicit expression using the mediums available to the internet, including text. Likes and dislikes are, after all, black-and-white, which is in McGilchrist's account a left hemisphere phenomena. Something obvious may be eluding us.

So, what are you reading?

I'm going through Dewey's The Public and its Problems. Still on McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary. Thoughts below.

I found that it picked up a lot around The Broadcast interlude.

So, what are you reading?

Still on The Master and his Emissary, slow progress. This book has a way of making one reflect on things he's heard or seen in the past.

The right temporal region appears to be essential for the integration of two seemingly unrelated concepts into a meaningful metaphoric expression. Fascinatingly, however, cliched metaphorical or non-literal expressions are dealt with in the left hemisphere...

I recall George Orwell's (I think?) quip that people were forgetting how to make their own metaphors, and were just using ones that don't have any relation in themselves to the topic at hand or to each other.

Edit: There's a good book thread in the Fun Thread.

Checking the index, I found (this is shortened by me):

I believe Jaynes was near to making a breakthrough - did in fact make one - but that, perhaps derailed by the view of schizophrenia outlined above, his conclusion was diametrically opposed to the one he should have drawn. His insight that there was a connection between the voices of the gods and changes in the mental world of those who heard them, that this might have something to do with the brain, and indeed that it concerned the relationship between the hemispheres, remains, in my view, fundamentally correct.

However, I believe he got one important aspect of the story back to front. His contention that the phenomena he describes came about because of a breakdown of the 'bicameral' mind - so that the two hemispheres, previously separate, now merged - is the precise inverse of what happened. The phenomena came about because of a relative separation of the two chambers, the two hemispheres...Where there had been previously no question of whether the workings of the mind were 'mine', since the question would have no meaning - there being no cut off between the mind and the world around...there was now a degree of detachment which...led to the intuitive, less explicit, thought processes being objectified as voices (as they are in schizophrenia), viewed as coming from 'somewhere else'.

Yeah, he cites a story of Nietzsche where the emissary, an ambitious regional bureacurat, usurps the power of the master who ruled his people wisely.

I think the core insight must be the idea of asymmetry. If the hemispheres are more or less equivalent, then there's no such thing as a wise arrangement.

So, what are you reading?

Slowly going through The Master and his Emissary. His basic thesis is that the hemispheres aren't in a symmetrical relationship, hence the title, with the right hemisphere being the Master and the left the Emissary. So far there are only hints about the consequences of this, but it seems to lead away from scientism and postmodernism.

There's something about this book that is hard to pin down. I haven't assimilated much that I've read, but it's beginning to fascinate me.

Did you ever finish Monte Cristo?

Inching through, may take a while at this rate. Not much to add at this point. The prison part is just about over and it seems a lot smaller this time, perhaps because I'm older. Hoping to figure out what makes the Count tick when he resurfaces.

So, what are you reading?

Still on The Master and his Emissary. Not much progress.

So, what are you reading?

I'm picking up McGilchrist's The Master and his Emissary. The documentary was interesting enough, but I'm still not sure what to expect. The open, scholarly tone is welcome, more nuanced than I would have expected from a book about left and right brain hemispheres.

Meanwhile, Dantes is escaping in Monte Cristo.

I played 1 a few years ago. It was smart, consistent and focused, if too easy, and Byakuya was unforgettable. Definitely the better of the first two games by all objective measures.

However 2 was an insane rollercoaster of sublime highs and painful lows, and it managed to make me genuinely upset and exhausted at their suffering. It's main problems were that many things were too abrupt, the surviving cast wasn't nearly as compelling as in 1, and the ending needed much more fleshing out. But while it was all over the place, it was also a lot more articulate than 1, and Nagito...I'll have to play it again sometime. He was profound in a lot of ways.

3 looks a lot more gritty than usual, may not finish it for a while.

So, what are you reading?

Still on Monte Cristo, which has grabbed me this time, perhaps because I'm reading it in smaller portions as if it were serialized.

Some scattered themes are forming but I get the feeling that I've missed a lot already. It's implied that Dantes' basic problem was that he acted as if he was already in heaven. In material life it was deemed improper to speak as if one was already married before the ceremony, but Dantes treated life as if the marriage between Christ and the innocent was already done. It's setting him up for the role of the serpent in the phrase "as wise as serpents, as harmless as doves."

Also, what have you read for the year that interested you? I have to say that the most impactful thing I've read all year is Danganronpa 2.

Happy new year, everyone.

It's on the list now, thanks.

It's the only Kafka I've read, but A Country Doctor is a must-read.

So, what are you reading?

Can't say I'm reading much. Poor Edmond Dantes is in prison. I suppose I'll pick up something Christian soon.

So, what are you reading?

I'm starting a reread of The Count of Monte Cristo after recent mentions here. I don't remember a lot of the details and perhaps it will seem more profound this time around. The political aspect of Danglars' accusation wouldn't have drawn my interest in the past.

Still on Hurewitz' The Struggle for Palestine.

I'm not far enough to tell. It's one of the earliest books on the topic, and seems to have a solid reputation for insight and even-handedness. It's a good read so far, looks heavy on politics. From the introduction:

This book was first intended to be merely a study of the impact of World War II on Arab and Jewish politics in Palestine. But it soon became apparent that political developments in Palestine between 1939 and 1945 were understandable only in relation to the earlier history of the mandate, particularly to the period from 1936 on. Moreover, the political trends in the local Arab and Jewish communities had begun by that time to converge with world-wide currents. This book, then, turned out to be an analysis not only of Arab and Jewish politics in Palestine, but of political repercussions in the Arab and Jewish worlds, their growing involvement in Big-Power politics, and the consequent progressive breakdown of the Palestine Mandate. This is, therefore, a study of the Palestine problem since 1936 against the background of a world distracted by the ordeals of an approaching war, the war itself, and the fumbling for peace.

So, what are you reading?

Still on Hurewitz' The Struggle for Palestine. Slow progress. The topic of education has stuck in my mind. Jews educated young Zionists in schools on the Continent, while Arab Palestinians couldn't help but be influenced by their local peers.

Zurayk made an interesting comment in his book The Meaning of the Disaster that Jews spent their youths being influenced by all kinds of "isms." If we pare down his evident outgroup prejudice (he includes Naziism), there was a point being made there. From an Arab point of view, the Jews were importing a great deal of the rest of the world's thought. But taken literally, it seems that the Arabs lacked the desire to empathize because they were busy berating their own people in a nationalist educational program.

Meanwhile, the "national home" of the Jews became a done deal, and because of the pressure for emigration from Europe and its underlying reasons, Arab maximalist goals, rightly or wrongly, moved further and further away from their grasp.

So, what are you reading?

I'm picking up Hurewitz' The Struggle for Palestine. It's old but influential, and looks like it has a good reputation.

Also inching through von Braun's Project Mars - A Technical Tale, after the fictional Wernher's superb and subsequently disastrous hearing in For All Mankind.

No worries.

You misread me. The articles were by pro-Israel writers who were arguing that the Nakba was related to Arab aggression and didn't just happen by Israel's choice (ie. wasn't just unprovoked).

So, what are you reading?

I'm picking up Zurayk's The Meaning of the Disaster, which established the term Nakba (ie. the disaster) related to the Palestinians. I've seen it mentioned several times in articles by pro-Israel writers, typically to point out that the "disaster" was that Arab countries failed in their war against Israel, and not just the unprovoked displacement of the Palestinians. I wondered how the source text itself would read.

It is refreshing to read a foreign opinion on the topic, however dated. One does wonder if his take on international Jewry, which reads a lot like conspiracy theories of the West, was an indigenous one born from dealing with the West from the outside, or an imported one.

Also picking up Herzl's The Jewish State.

Yeah, it gets sidetracked often in its unabridged form between the prison and the finale. If you cut out the pointless parts, it's a good mix of entertainment, villainy and moral posturing. It's a guilty pleasure which is high-minded enough that it stands out in the crowd.

So, what are you reading?

I'm going through Fedorov's Common Task, which has been a pleasant surprise. It's delightfully eclectic, and something in its sharpness is compelling.

A truly moral being does not need compulsion and repeated orders to perceive what his duty is- he assigns to himself his task and prescribes what must be done for those from whom he has become separated, because separation (whether voluntary or not) cannot be irreversible.