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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 12:03 am

satyr wrote:

My awakening was slow. I was a late-bloomer, as I hope all "smart people" are. Sorry for the arrogance.

First of all, you disappoint me by apologizing in the first place. The modern Diogenes apologizes for nothing. He crawls out of his barrel, masturbates in the town square thereby displaying the nature of man, chastises everyone else for their less than honest ways of achieving the same orgasm, and engraves an uncomfortable truth into history. It’s your endearing quality. Don’t abandon it now.

That said, I actually didn’t get it until I was in my 30’s. I was a total fuck-up in high school and have the transcripts to prove it. The only thing saving me at the time was the fact that I was a musician who thought it his manifest destiny to become a rock star. My first encounter with philosophy was Will Durant’s The History of Philosophy and only went on from that to see how (as I had it concocted in my mind) how the Aristotelian mean would affect my music. In this phase, I also experimented with poetry, which I had engaged in to make my song lyrics better, and found out I could do it. But it wasn’t until my 30’s when I went to work for a university and took classes under the employee scholarship that I found out I could actually get A’s. Even then, it took me a while to recognize that there was value in just having the knowledge. But finally, I did.

But it’s like the saying goes: First one must live, then philosophize.

One of the things I noticed when I was taking those classes was that a lot those kids tended to come through there like it was continuation of high school. It was as if, unlike me, they had been raised to understand it was what they were going to do, much like I was raised to understand I was going to graduate from high school. It just wasn’t something you questioned. For them, it seemed almost like washing your hands after you took a piss: it was just something you did.

The problem with this is that I’m not really sure most of them valued the knowledge for itself. They were just doing what they had to get through it. And I’m sure you would agree that would be a waste of a university education.

And I’m sure you would also agree: none of this would be worth doing if you didn’t love doing it. It’s why I love bouncing off of you.

But I’m getting to that point (by the way: love ya, man!). If you’re disappointed in how far I got; it can’t be any more disappointed than I am. There was way too much left unsaid. But hopefully we’ll find the time to get to more of it as we go along.

If we’re only as good as our opposition, then I’m doing damn good.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:00 am

Well, Satryr, think I just got myself permanently kicked off of ILP. I basically told Humean to go fuck himself.

So in the words of a great philosopher in my day and age:

(a situation which reminds me of the scene in reservoir dogs)

Stuck in the middle with you.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:03 am

At least here, when you piss me off,

I'll be able to tell you to go fuck yourself

and not have to worry about being kicked off.

But to give u and joker your oppurtunity to gloat:

You guys were right on this. I was wrong.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:13 am

And like you, satyr, it will be because I refuse to apologize to morons.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 1:25 am

Who'd of thought back then, I'd end up here, with you.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:45 am

By the way, do you listen to music while you're doing this?

I do. I want my thoughts to rock and roll.

I would argue that Nietzsche was the first philosophical rock-n-rolla.


resonance and seduction.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 2:58 am

Dude, you ever listen to The Revolting Cocks?
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:10 am

satyr wrote:

Biological females being blessed or damned with a more dominant feminine attitude always talk about being taken seriously an as something other than sexual objects but without sex they lose all their power.

Yeah. You kind of have to look at IV’s situation. She had to change her pic to something ugly in order to be taken seriously. I get her frustration. At the same time, she did use the sexiest pic she had initially.

Whatever frustration we may have with females, they are still perceiving things dealing with the same world we are.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 3:25 am

And from what I've seen, women tend to go through 3 phases:

young and experimental


practical in that they look for a man that will take care of their needs

and the last phase consists of them either being married, or bitter & cynical, much like some men who aren't married at their age.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 6:54 pm

d63tark wrote:

Actually, I’m not quite the drinker I make myself out to be either. Like you, I have a lot of responsibilities and have to kind of balance those out with what I do for pleasure. My take on it is that while I am an alcoholic (I mean I have all the classic traits and histories –compulsive behavior, come from a family of drinkers, etc.), I am also a workaholic, so I haven’t got time to be a drunk. I like to get things done (it gives me a kind of high), therefore, I have do a lot negotiating between the 2 aspects of myself.

Unfortunately, I tend to leave myself open to a lot of misconceptions and cheap tactics –some of which I think you’ll appreciate.
It's fun.

d63tark wrote:
And I think the reason I do it is because a lot of my heroes were bohemian in nature: Deluez, Hendrix, Van Gogh, The Rolling Stones, Pollock, Sartre, Carver, Williams, etc. etc. –the list is way too long to go into here.
Never had heroes.

d63tark wrote:
The thing is, Satyr, I think you can see the kind of common narratives at work here, the clichés and heuristics that allow people to write you off without actually understanding what it is you’re actually saying. I’m almost certain you’ve dealt with a few of these yourself.
Yeah, yeah...well here's the thing about stereotypes...they exist because they are not totally off.
The exception to the rule usually gets swept within the general rule, but this does not make the general rule false it only makes the exception to it all the more interesting and worth exploring.


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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:07 pm

d63tark wrote:
satyr wrote:

Biological females being blessed or damned with a more dominant feminine attitude always talk about being taken seriously an as something other than sexual objects but without sex they lose all their power.

Yeah. You kind of have to look at IV’s situation. She had to change her pic to something ugly in order to be taken seriously. I get her frustration. At the same time, she did use the sexiest pic she had initially.

Whatever frustration we may have with females, they are still perceiving things dealing with the same world we are.
Too bad not even that worked.

Here is that naivete again
d63tark wrote:
And from what I've seen, women tend to go through 3 phases:

young and experimental
Nope. When young a women is hr most honest.
She hasn't faced reality; hasn't seen how far her own looks will take her,; has not faced the social and cultural restrictions, in fact she is rebellious towards them.
When young a female is her most honest when it comes to sexual behavior. That's why she always goes for the pretty jock who does not really care about her but looks good, even if he might be a bit dense.

Later when she grows older and has had a few wounds she compromises; she begins thinking more practically; she settles for what is more logical rather than what is more appealing.
d63tark wrote:
practical in that they look for a man that will take care of their needs.
Nope. at that age her material needs are pretty much taken care of and she still hasn't faced the brutalities of work and paying bills.
Her sexual needs, yes.
d63tark wrote:

and the last phase consists of them either being married, or bitter & cynical, much like some men who aren't married at their age.
You'll have to read my The Feminization of Mankind essay.

Women get bitter or cynical for two reasons: one, if they've never reproduced, either because they are too ugly or two because they were too picky and were expecting too much.
Angry women in a marriage are always the product of their own compromises.
Having settled, as I noted above, in opposition to their youthful dreams and expectations, and having been forced into monogamy in opposition to their more promiscuous natural state, and having lost all tolerance for the "nice" guy they settled for but were not really that attracted to, and after one or two kids, they have no reason to put up appearances, except to their friends and neighbors or their sisters and mother.

This builds up stresses and they inevitably take it out on the poor sap who has no clue and is just happy to have a female beside him.

In natural conditions 80%-90% of males never procreate and never, or rarely, copulate.
Most offspring in a group is born from the seed of the alpha male.

Paternalism, the great evil for females, is so because it contains female power...which is always via sex.
Without it civilization, at least in its earlier stages, would be impossible.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:28 am

Actually, I have read your essay and took it with me again yesterday, and skimmed over it at "the library". And, still, as I get a better grasp of your central theme, the role the female plays in modern culture through genetic filtering, the more impressive it seems. I see an essay coming out of it. But given the vast networks of deferred meaning and associations I'm seeing with it, it seems too daunting and intimidating to start on now. It could almost turn into a small book, and it would require some side research -such as I just did with Diogenes. Plus that, there are a lot of particulars that in themselves could warrant pages of commentary.

I almost thought about setting aside the 2 page experiments, and going strait to work on it as it was the only thing churning through my mind last night. But then I lost heart, and thought I should finish what I started, and come back to it with fresh reserves and after I've had time to live with it.

But once again, it was impressive. And I will be looking it over and thinking about it until I hopefully find myself up to the task.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:56 pm

Can it be a two page short story? and does it have to take up the whole second page?
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:22 pm

Abstract wrote:
Can it be a two page short story? and does it have to take up the whole second page?

Sure. It can be fictional or a kind of poetic rambling. The main thing is that it starts with Word defaults and stays within 2 pages. It's mainly about compression and getting the most out of the given space. So if it ends up shorter, all the better.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:23 pm

Full Thrust

I think of you now: tweaked on drugs, booze, and phenomenology. Your legs, forward and back, straddle some imaginary abyss, while your hands waver at your sides in an uneasy balance. Your head teeters as your eyes narrow and your mouth twists into a strained expression of ecstasy.
“Full thrust”, you mutter, “speed smear!”
*
Depth, intensity, and lightness of touch.
*
Russell says that philosophy lies in that no-man’s land between science and theology. I, however, not being a religious man, would revise that to say that it lies in that no-man’s land between science and art, and that it is the different points we can inhabit on this spectrum that makes the distinction between the analytic and the continental. The analytic, of course, always sticks closer to the scientific and, in that capacity, has value. At the same time, it would be wrong to over exaggerate its import to the point of dismissing the continental as the muddle-headed ramblings of poets and story tellers. This is because the analytic, as ordained as it would seem by the scientific method, is handicapped by this virtue in that it must limit its inquiries to what can be demonstrated. It tends to tell us more about what we cannot say than what we can:
1+1=2
If I let go of this pencil, it will drop the ground.
And even a relativistic hippy knows better than to step in front of a moving bus.

Enough said. Surely this can’t be enough. When it comes to 1+1 fact status, reality gives us little that can even come close. And there is way too much of import that is way beyond all reasonable hope of adequate demonstration. Only the continental, and its poetic speculations, can fill this gap. Picasso argues that taste is the enemy of art, that expectation stifles the creative act. Likewise, it is only by sacrificing certainty that one can hope for understanding, for inspiration, and the beauty of a vision.
*
We all know that the Simulacrum doesn’t exist, that the Gulf War did happen, that Baudrillard is more of a Sci-fi writer who happens to be a philosopher, that there is no object such as a being-for-or-in-itself, and that Foucault’s situational ethics and reason of power cannot be established with certainty. It’s no surprise to us that Sartre won his Pulitzer for literature, that Being and Nothing is an articulation on the theme of Nausea and that the experience described seems strangely like a mescaline trip. It poses no problem for us. Why should it you? We know it’s only perspectives, mental constructs constructed in our mental labs and held before the world to see how they stand. We know the method. We know what works, what doesn’t, and all points in between. And we know the difference between fact and speculation. The only question left is: do you?
*
Whenever confronted with the issue of reason, I have to ask 2 questions:
By what criteria is a statement deemed to be reasonable?
And by what power will that criterion be enforced?

*
We have art so that we do not die of truth, Nietzsche proclaims as he breaks into his Dionysian dance. And for the first time, philosophy acknowledges the value of resonance and seduction.
*
Despite Lacan’s apparent success as an intellectual and womanizer and at somehow mixing the two (though we must be suspicious as we’re never sure where his loyalties lie), my experience has been that philosophy isn’t the kind of thing you try to pick up chicks with.
*
Admit it you prudes, you systematizers of bad faith: it’s resonance and seduction. The mathematical precision, the order, resonates with your fierce repulsion to chaos, and seduces you like a warm body in a cold, confusing world. How can you lie like that (even to yourselves) while claiming some intimate and exclusive access to Truth? What’s to be ashamed of? It all has value. It’s all fuel for the fire. Why be so anal? While some of us need it to stand at attention, others want it to rock and roll?
*
There is only one truth: no truth, only understanding.
There is only one rule: perspective: you either get it or you don’t.
And there is only one law (the golden one): DON’T BE AN A-HOLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!
*
My father, born in Arkansas and migrant to California, type-A personality, aggressive driver, and 40 year veteran of the L.A. roads, use to advise me on staying out of wrecks:
Drive like a fucking madman, son;
Make those other cocksuckers stay out of your way!



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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Fri Oct 28, 2011 11:56 am

The Man with the Mustache
Yesterday he said he was going to invite two of his friends over, soldiers of course. He’s not my husband, but I know he wants to be. He’s so eager to please his military brethren. He even wears the mustache. I almost hate him but he loves me… no he wants me; he wants a trophy with the hair and eyes he thinks his beloved kind should have. It’s amazing that he can think I could ever love him (perhaps he really doesn’t care) when it is his ‘friends’ that took my boyfriend away: for it is unbecoming for my kind to consort with a Jew, he wants me to believe that. He thinks he saved me. Maybe he really believes me when I act as if it was a mistake.
He came today with his friends. I don’t even remember them walking in. I remember sitting there at the table with my baby in my arms. I had the table set with the nice china the food was cooking to the right of the rectangular table, right from where I was sitting. It was a soup, at least I think so; I remember there being bowls on the table, seems like there were plates too, maybe I was cooking a sausage of some sort, maybe that is just what I would suspect. One of the soldiers stood at the other far end of the table, leaning on his arm grasping the back of the chair, beside the china cabinet, watching the man that wanted to call me wife. The other soldier was standing almost directly behind me, the door to his right, leaning on the wall, his arms probably crossed. The desiring-to-be-husband told me I couldn’t keep the baby. It was “a Jew, it should be with its kind, it would be happier that way.” I told him surely we could at least keep him until he was older he needed to know his mom, he was not a complete Jew. “Feed him he is hungry,” he said. I was reluctant, looked around, looked at the soldiers, “Feed him, it may be the last time.” I fed him. A tear fell but I held, I didn’t touch it, maybe it would go unnoticed. I thought of the butter knife on the table, maybe I looked at it. But it was useless I couldn’t risk the baby. He sat down, the other soldiers still waiting there. I had forgotten about dinner. If I was cooking meat I hadn’t put it on yet; there was nothing burning. Even they had forgotten it seemed. It was apparent that wasn’t what this was about. They were there to take my baby.
I tried to talk to him. I tried to argue and yet agree enough so he wouldn’t get mad, to seem reasonable to him. It seemed like forever, maybe it was only an hour though. He had never hit me and didn’t even then, though I pressed the limits. He listened to me as if he respected me. But there was no hope, [it was against the law.] Even if the power of his rank could be used he couldn’t be known as the man with a Jewish baby. He had to fit right with his crowd; that was how he was. I was probably being silly to even think he could do anything about it at that point.
I looked down; somehow I knew this was all coming. I Knew I was in the fire long ago; the first moment he really latched on to me I felt the uncomfortable heat. I was only surviving for my child, what did I care about a life as the trophy to a self-centered, closed minded, hater; after the loss of my dearest friend. (The truth of the posers; those who seek to fit in falling even to the worst for fear of not being accepted by the many, the many that must be right.)
I looked down beginning to cry but holding it in enough to talk, slowly coming to peace with my decision. “If you take my child from me I will take myself from you.”
“What?” He was shocked at first. Then he told me that I was stupid, that it was just a Jew; that only made me cry. I could barely sit in my seat with the desire to grab the knife and launch at him, but I couldn’t with the child.
I was already done feeding. I stood up and turned to the soldier behind me and held out my child. “Here, take him.” The soldier took the child. The soldier was not grinning but I could see the happiness on his face, happy that his boss was getting the girl. I could see it as he looked at the desiring-to-be-husband. I turned around and quickly reached for the knife. I thought maybe I would be shot by the other soldier but I managed to get it and launch at the man with the mustache, that same mustache; as if he respected Hitler even more. But he grabbed me; my right arm, with its knife, and pulled me in. He held me tight, not letting me go, hugging me, as I struggled to be free. He kissed me on the top of my head, in my hair; I could hear him smelling it. I guess the other soldier new there was little to fear of a butter knife from me; weak me. The man with the mustache threw me to the floor. My elbows hit hard. I could do nothing, I didn’t move. He told the other soldier to hand him the child and told them to take care of me. He handed the mustache man my child and grabbed my arm pulled me up and began to lead me outside. The other soldier followed. They took me behind one of the other buildings on the estate. It was still wet from the rain that morning. The soldier pulling me stopped and waited in front of me unholstering the gun at his side. For some reason I noticed the tree behind him empty of leaves. The other soldier came from behind, said something, and pressed on my shoulders; I fell down to my knees. My knees were in the cold mud. I saw the movement of the first soldier’s body within his fat side-poofed pants, and felt the barrel go to my head. I looked at the black luger.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:28 pm

I thought I had posted this, abstract, but I guess I'll have to post it again:

This is impressive. It feels literary. It reminds me of why I need to plain down my own prose.

You should post it on the other board as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Sat Oct 29, 2011 8:10 pm

i guess I'll do that...
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:24 am

Abstract, love ya man!

Satyr, happy Halloween!

Did you take your son tricker-treating?
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:25 am

Satyr, you must really love this holiday.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Tue Nov 01, 2011 12:29 am

Luv ya man!
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Tue Nov 01, 2011 7:39 pm

d63tark wrote:
Abstract, love ya man!

Satyr, happy Halloween!

Did you take your son trickery-treating?
I took him in my building. He got a bucket full of chocolates. He was dressed as Bay Man.

My son is entering an existential phase.
He's four years old of November six.

Last week I tell him there is no God and he asks:
"Then where does everything come from?"

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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Tue Nov 01, 2011 10:30 pm

What did you say in response?
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:40 am

Satyr wrote:
d63tark wrote:
Abstract, love ya man!

Satyr, happy Halloween!

Did you take your son trickery-treating?
I took him in my building. He got a bucket full of chocolates. He was dressed as Bay Man.

My son is entering an existential phase.
He's four years old of November six.

Last week I tell him there is no God and he asks:
"Then where does everything come from?"

Yes, the sooner you get that across to him, the sooner you rid yourself of having to pay for Santa Clause's supposed existence. I had to go through that when I explained to my kids it was getting too expensive to buy presents for them and that Christmas would further consist of me giving them a 100$ so they could buy what they want. It seems cruel. But it's actually about dealing with reality.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:41 am

Oh and his birthday is the same day as my mom's. Wierd world.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 12:42 am

Efficiency

As typical as it seems, in market based societies, it’s never enough to talk about more and less. We cannot, for instance, rest on the old adage that workers want more compensation for less work, while their employers pose, against these demands, their own requirement for minimal investment at maximum return. It might seem common sense. But on closer investigation, we might see that the two positions are not so deeply entrenched. If they were, the workplace would hardly be worth any amount of compensation, a perpetual battle with management while struggling to stay afoot in the mass competition toward better paying and easier jobs. And from there, the evidence goes all over the place. How can one be so happy at 10 an hour and another so miserable at 20? The janitor whistles, easily, while mopping his floor. He seems entranced, content, as if in meditation. Another man, sleek and muscular from hauling furniture, makes enough to go to the bar, nightly, and wakes each morning to sweat it off. At quitting time, the cycle repeats. And no random piss tests, thank God. Vagrants, drifters, and welfare recipients continue to scrimp through their hand to mouth lives. Meanwhile, a white collar manager slumps over his computer, grumbles often, and when he can, steals a moment on Monster.com. He’s hardly afraid he’ll get caught and, sometimes, even hopes. And then there’s us: the intellectually and creatively curious, strange creatures that, in our ass-backwardness, approach the hierarchy of needs from the top down. We neglect basic creature comforts while clinging, often self destructively, to the drug-like addiction of self actualization. And what are we working toward? That is when so many of our heroes, the successful and famous, live public lives of misery, and sometimes kill themselves? Clearly, we need to break it down to individual needs, demands, and desires. We need to penetrate the multiplicity and interrogate the interactions. Furthermore, we need to recognize that it is primarily about expectations and their satisfaction, and that satisfaction (for our purposes) is not binary and digital by nature, but analogue, subjective, and a matter of degree. We need to consider efficiencies.

Efficiency, a mechanical term used for equipment such as pumps, boilers, HVACs, etc., concerns the actual output of a system as compared to its theoretical rating and is a product of the differential between what the designer’s mathematics tell them, what something should be able to do, and what actually occurs in practice. But at a more fundamental level, it can also be the differential between the energy or resources put in to a thing (the input) and energy or resource gotten out (the output). And it is in this sense that we use the term. Only, for our purposes, we will define it in the more abstract sense of that which seeks to maximize itself by minimizing the differential between input and output. But before we go on, there is more we can learn from the boiler room. First of all, we need to understand that there can never be 100% efficiency. Along the way, there is always a loss (heat loss) that can never return to an active or potential form. As any plant-op knows, you can never expect a 100% return on condensate on any boiler system. And like perpetual motion, everywhere we look, we find it equally elusive. Secondly, we must remain mindful that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed, eventually ending in its always final form: heat. Therefore, any motion or energy must be taken from something else. The pump must be driven by electricity. The electricity must created by the turbine that, in turn, derives its energy from steam. And steam is the product of heat (remember heat loss?) taken from coal, its BTUs, that sees its efficiency reduced to ash. And finally, it must be remembered that our boiler room is a complex and dynamic interaction of efficiencies, a coexistence in which any one efficiency making too large a demand can steal energy from other efficiencies, thereby minimizing them and causing a breakdown in the supra-efficiency of coexistence. Furthermore, sub-efficiencies can be supra-efficiencies to their own relevant sub-efficiencies while also being sub efficiency to their own supra efficiencies. The pump, an efficiency in itself, is the product of a lot of sub efficiencies (the windings, the armature, etc.). It, in turn, is a sub-efficiency to the supra-efficiency of the boiler room (the plant) that, in turn, serves the supra-efficiency of the building by either heating or cooling it, thereby maximizing the tenant’s sub-efficiency of being comfortable that, in turn, serves the supra-efficiency of how they function in the building.

And thus we leave the boiler room with new tools to analyze our initial questions. We now see why the janitor can whistle while he meditates on the movement of the mop: time passes quickly in thought, and he has managed to keep his life within his means. For him, it is not matter of more; it is a question of efficiency. Likewise, the furniture hauler maximizes the efficiencies of his desire to drink and smoke pot without interference from the efficiency of job security. Plus he likes the exercise. Even the vagrants, drifters, and welfare recipients make more sense. They’ve balanced their efficiencies by lowering their demands. Meanwhile, the white collar worker struggles daily with the minimized efficiencies of job security, a sense of meaning, and family life due to long hours at the office that do nothing to increase financial efficiency in his salaried position. We further see the minimization of the supra-efficiency of co-existence that can occur when either the workers or employers make higher demands, and maximize efficiency by compromising others. If the employer demands higher profit, that efficiency can only be maximized, that is since energy and resources cannot be created out of nothing, by stealing from the efficiencies of the employees and their sub-efficiencies. And should the worker demand more, this can only take from the supra-efficiency of the company and further the economy by raising prices. Consequently, we now see that the occupy Wall Street movement may not be a demand for more, but a demand for efficiency. It’s not about hating the rich. It’s about hating wealth at the expense of everyone else: the maximization of the large scale efficiencies of the few at the expense of others, and the consequent minimization of their sub-efficiencies. We can also see, finally, how our desire for self actualization can interact with other sub-efficiencies, and how the minimization of those others can lead one to misery, or even suicide. The applications seem infinite, and may well go beyond the issue of economics. The coexistence between the environment and civilization immediately comes to mind. But given our present focus, we might consider the possibility of a new ethical theory that says (complimenting the utilitarian) that those acts are good that maximize the supra-efficiency of coexistence. We might consider our happiest moments and ask: was it a matter of having more? Or was it, rather, a matter of having all needs, demands, and desires, ours and those of others, come together in a state of harmonious co-existence: the coexistence of efficiencies?


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Gender : Male Pisces Posts : 14466
Join date : 2009-08-24
Age : 51
Location : Flux

PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:33 am

Abstract wrote:
What did you say in response?
Keeping in mind his age and the impact any information might have I told him to remember what I said about where trees come from and how a tree springs from a seed and then produces seeds in turn.
I told him all is nature.
I also told him to not speak of these things openly because most people are stupid and would get angry.
I told him it was our little secret.

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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:49 pm

Satyr wrote:
Abstract wrote:
What did you say in response?
Keeping in mind his age and the impact any information might have I told him to remember what I said about where trees come from and how a tree springs from a seed and then produces seeds in turn.
I told him all is nature.
I also told him to not speak of these things openly because most people are stupid and would get angry.
I told him it was our little secret.
reasonable
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:50 pm

"the Occupy Wall Street movement [is not] a demand for more, but a demand for efficiency"

I like the sound of that...
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:04 pm

Satyr wrote:
Abstract wrote:
What did you say in response?
Keeping in mind his age and the impact any information might have I told him to remember what I said about where trees come from and how a tree springs from a seed and then produces seeds in turn.
I told him all is nature.
I also told him to not speak of these things openly because most people are stupid and would get angry.
I told him it was our little secret.

Can't blame you there. Camoflauge is perhaps the only defense we have left.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:04 pm

Sound Bites

The problem with intellectuals is that they tend to talk in sound bites….
See what I mean?


On a recent episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, public record was made of Cornel West, black philosopher and activist, standing up and ready to throw down with Ron Christie who had made a negative (and in my opinion, snide) comment concerning West’s use of sound bites. “A brother don’t go to jail twice for sound bites”, he snarled as he settled and sat back down. This was, first of all, intriguing and a surprise as West, though a bit excitable, is a consistently buoyant and joyful man. At the same time, it was pathetic in that Christie, a black conservative, had made the criticism after backing his position with a long string of platitudes. Be that as it may, both men had clearly fallen into a popular, yet, questionable understanding of the term. We’ve heard the condemnations: sloganeering, jingoism, cheap commercialization of higher thought. Wanting to stand above the common fray, we snub our nose at the sound bite and fail to even distinguish it from the platitude, which is something quite different and, while usually harmless and somewhat useful, can ultimately prove more manipulative. However, I would argue that the sound bite serves two vital functions, one of which is rooted in the primary functions of language. For one, it is, for better or worse, the primary means by which any philosophy gets to common people and, while leaving them with gaps and misconceptions, at least gives the discipline validity among those for which it would otherwise hold no value. From Descartes’ “Ergo Cogito Sum” to Sartre’s “Existence precedes Essence” to Nietzsche’s, ironically, beaten to death “What doesn’t kill me makes me strong”, the sound bite is the fire brought by Sisphysus to the people and gives access to those who lack the patience, time, or willingness to confront the opaque prose and ideas of philosophy. And though some among us would like to punish the perpetrators in the same manner as the myth, there is still the possibility that, for some, these bite-size nuggets may be enough to encourage further exploration. But more important is how the sound bite can function for the intellectual themselves. I would argue that the sound bite is the poetry of the intellectually curious, or as Frost describes the poem: a momentary stay against confusion. We rise out disorder into order, he further says, I would sooner play tennis with the net down than write free verse. But what he failed to see was that free verse, being a concession to the messiness of reality and the plainness of general discourse, takes on the same ordering function as the more willful structuring of fixed forms. And it is only a short step to recognize that this utility is not exclusive to higher forms of communication, but ubiquitous throughout language itself, and that the sound bite serves as a tentative anchor, a brief reprieve from a turbulent flux of thought, language, and meaning.

But it’s a reprieve that cannot be permanent. And it is imperative upon us, as those who take this common function to a higher level, to encourage ourselves and others to let go, to surrender ourselves to the flux, the creative destruction that, if we let it, can take us to the next reprieve with more experience, better perspective, and greater safety. As Layotard warns, in The Postmodern Condition, there is a human gravitation toward the accessible and easily communicated -the place where sound bites and platitudes can take on a brownshirted arrogance and run amok, oppress, and destroy. Furthermore, we could say as much of language as Deluez and Guattarri does of the book: it doesn’t mirror the world but forms a rhizome with it. And when we fail to make this distinction, confuse language for reality and try to fix meaning, we run into trouble. Tempted by the ease of heuristics, we turn from thought and settle into superficiality. We fixate on appearances and develop an apparent inability or lack of willingness to look beneath the surface. We refuse to leave the cave. We categorize and leave it at that, resort to tags and readymade concepts. Racial slurs fall casually from our lips. The Mexicans are stealing our jobs . Cain admonishes his own race to quit feeling sorry for themselves and go to work. White boys cheer him on. He's better than Obama. Liberal! Conservative! Right-wing! Left-wing! Fascist! You can’t do that, that’s socialism. REEK! REEK! REEK! Death to Capitalism the sign at the rally reads. Heuristic narratives abound. A man works a job for years, is prompt and dependable, and every night goes home to smoke a joint. The company initiates random drug testing, hangs signs that boast Proud to Be Drug Free as if the accomplishment were anything more than an executive decision. After the man tests dirty and is given the choice of rehab or losing his job, the counselor scolds him gently: See what drugs will get you? A professor inquires, What went on in those buildings before 9/11? and is fired for questioning the narrative of America, land of the free, love it or leave it, always number 1, and now the noble victim. How they flourished then, the platitudes and sound bites. And when times get tough, the tough turn simple. Meanwhile, tepid scholars shut it all out on their semantic gerbil wheels, take pride in their mathematical precision, and scoff, smugly, at speculation. That of which we cannot speak, we must not say. There are other ways to shut a discourse down.

We now see how the ordering function of language can turn on language as creation, how sound bites, and even platitudes, once innocuous, can turn to whips, or stones that could crack a skull if hurled just right. And we have to wonder, given the abuse, if we have the right to a mutter a word, much less a sentence. And yet we talk and write. I’m tired of being pissed. I’m tired of myself being pissed. I must look beyond my own clichés; it’s always more complex than “stupid” or “evil”. And still, the narrative beckons me. It will surely get me when I’m weak or drunk. Meanwhile, a child listens to strange sounds passing over their head, plays, mimics, and learns to speak. Later, we evolve in conversation, repeat the lines that express us best, and wanting more, engage in random variations and juxtapositions. Sooner or later, we find a better way. For myself, my mind’s a flux. ( How would I know what I thought if I did not write? The writer says.) But soon enough the sounds will emerge. Mere utterances will gather into a kind of psychic mother-nese, a dancing la langue that sprouts in all directions, and fills my head like vines. They’ll wait for words to bud like so much foliage that, thick and unruly, must be trimmed and shaped and brought to order. A poem is like a good bra,says Donald Justice, and finishes with,There comes a time when reader and poem are equally beautiful. And with that in mind, a goal, and a little effort, the sound bite as such takes form.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:17 pm

Loose Ends

40 days in the desert…. Well, actually, 40 hrs and 5 stepping stones later I return to the conversation not a more enlightened man, but empty as air. I’m not Christ for God’s sake! I’m just a guy who wanted see what would happen. I’m even doing it now as I don’t know what to say or what I’m going to say. I have no idea how to fill this space and get to the money shot. Was it worth it? Yeah…. Sure…. Why not? Am I satisfied? Well, no, not entirely. There’s always a better way to say a thing. And satisfaction was never the only purpose. As with everything I do, it was more about process, the act of becoming, and of seeing what becomes. But to make the becoming worth it, I have to approach it from every angle. It’s the only way I can hope to break through the elastic barrier, the creative hymen that gets me to a further point. And as I once read about art, one of the greatest myths is the notion of creativity as a mystical act. We must approach it as an activity like any other activity –a mere act. And as disappointing as this may seem, as much as it may suck the magic out of the effort, you come to find it’s true. To make it conditional on inspiration, as I did when young, is to paralyze oneself and deny an opportunity to develop craft and sureness of hand. And while there’s nothing mystical in this, there can be moments when craft and imagination come together and the magic actually happens. Inspiration is a little like luck; and it’s like the saying goes: luck is when opportunity meets with preparation. (Fucking platitudes! Not even enough mojo to create a decent sound bite.)

And everyone has an act. The cabinet maker has one: making cabinets. The carpenter has his: building what must be built. The actor has an act in more ways than one. And my act is the act of acting. The rest is up to whim. One must be thankful there are only three ways to approach a thing (swoop, bash, or bleed), that is when there are so many things to be approached. Perhaps too many. Perhaps it’s the source of my ADD, my forward flights of mind. I’m haunted by a kind of postmodern malaise, and find myself the victim of having too many options. Perhaps I was wrong in becoming a generalist. All the anxiety of trying to figure out what to do, that is with a full wish list and, at most, 20 to 25 productive years. Perhaps I should narrow it down. But then I think about that to which I might choose to commit, and what I would have to give up, and, soon enough, I’m back to the old conclusion: never mind.

It’s in my blood, I guess. But at least I still have these: 5 boxes that collected random thoughts and stray ideas. It was as if all the bits and pieces needed to gather, to huddle against the flux in my brain. Even the flux, sensing the safety in numbers, seemed to coalesce into new ideas and pass themselves off as respectable members and colleagues. Perhaps with time, having survived the natural selection of ideas, they’ll make themselves part of the “in crowd”. It’s as much in the same way that sleep produces dreams and that something about the mind that likes juxtapositioning one thing on the other, the random fusing of mental chatter, monad to monad, atom to atom, until the complex and subtle interplay of pleasure and pain, the irrefutable directorship of jouissance finds a pattern. Our dreams repeat it like good sex when found. Beyond that it’s like abstract art: the only meaning to be gotten comes from the discourse that emerges around it. No truth, only interpretation.

And what have I gained from my 5 little dreams? My visions in the desert? Well, for one, I need a vasectomy and Viagra. For another, while I’m good at stringing ideas together, my writing needs work, that I need to plain it down and take Strunk and White’s suggestion that I make strong active sentences the backbone of my work, that the poet in me may be the death of the writer, and that sometimes I’m a little too artsy for my own good –damn that mothernese, that dancing la langue. I’ve also learned that form can condition content, that the form I’ve chosen limits me to three discrete blocks of information, and that it feels good to break things down into smaller paragraphs. It just moves more fluidly. And lastly, I now realize the true influence of Nicole Blackman on my sensibility –all these shifts of mind: a room of moving shadows. Perhaps this is the source of the underlying anger when I wanted to write with the resigned sigh of conclusion. And I cannot say it enough, I’m tired of being pissed. I’m tired of myself being pissed. I’m tired of listening to myself, the rants, the raves. I’m tired of the stupidity. I’m tired of hating people I cannot truly hate. Is this the hazard of making it rock and roll? Or is it just the drink? As Seinfeld jokes: the problem with drunks is that they either really love you or really hate you. Enough said. Luv ya, man! Is my middle the speed smear of these rapid fluctuations? These shifting extremes? Still: I am what I am what I am what I am. It’s a mixed package.

But look at us now! Started with no plan, no idea of what would be included, and here we are. I look to the board like a distant shining city emerging from a haze, and feel the anxiety of wondering what I’ll be when I get there. Much as it was when I took out, I have no plans. I feel different now. But maybe not. Still, I look to it in same way one might look to slipping into wet clothes. I fear the letting go. And I have tried to piece the fragments of myself together for you, but feel I haven’t explained myself. I’ve said a lot about nothing and even have pics. But perhaps it’s not enough. The only thing I can offer now is the money shot, the very assumptions by which I live and breathe:

1. Everything takes its natural course. Even when we intervene it is simply part of that course.
2. Everything must be questioned, including and most importantly ourselves.
3. Assumptions are like promises; they’re made to be broken. (Refer to 1.)

PS: You’re not even there, are you?
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments Sat Nov 05, 2011 1:27 pm

Satyr, now that I'm done with this, and before I get back to reading, I'm going to try to get to some of your posts and points on that essay.
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PostSubject: Rewrite: Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:45 pm

Efficiency

At a superficial level, the recent protests would seem to be a simple conflict of quantifiable demands posed against other quantifiable demands: more jobs, more pay, less struggle, and more benefits posed rigidly against lower taxes and higher profits. And as typical as it seems of market based societies, on deeper inspection, we find it’s not enough to talk about more and less. We cannot, for instance, rest on the old adage that workers want more compensation for less work, while their employers pose, against these demands, their own requirement for minimal investment at maximum return. It might seem common sense. But on closer investigation, we see that the two positions are not so deeply entrenched. If they were, the workplace would hardly be worth any amount of compensation, a perpetual battle with management while struggling to stay afoot in the mass competition toward better paying and easier jobs. And how can one be so happy at 10 an hour and another so miserable at 20? Clearly, we need to break it down to individual needs, demands, and desires and interrogate the interactions. Furthermore, we need to recognize that it is primarily about expectations and their satisfaction, and that satisfaction is not binary and digital by nature (it’s not either/or), but analogue, subjective, and a matter of degree. And lastly, we need to consider the possibility that the protests are not simply about quantifiable matters, but qualities the quantifiable should be a means to. We might consider Efficiency.

We start in the boiler plant and recognize, first, that Efficiency is a technical concept and comparison of the energy put in and that gotten out. It’s a measurement of performance. However, for our purposes, we will define it in the more abstract sense of that which seeks to maximize itself by minimizing the differential between input and output. That said, we get to the point using the same principals used in the plant. We first need to understand that there can never be 100% efficiency. Along the way, there is always a loss (heat loss) that can never return to potential form. As any plant-op knows, you can never expect a 100% return on condensate in any boiler system. And everywhere we look, we find it equally elusive. In fact, it’s physical law. Consequently, we must remain mindful that energy can never be created or destroyed, only transformed, eventually ending in its always final form: heat. Therefore, any motion or energy must be taken from something else. The pump must be driven by electricity. The electricity must created by the turbine that, in turn, derives its energy from steam. And steam is the product of heat taken from coal (taken from the earth) that sees its efficiency reduced to ash. And finally, it must be remembered that our boiler room is a complex and dynamic interaction of efficiencies. Sub-efficiencies can be supra-efficiencies to their own relevant sub-efficiencies while also being sub efficiency to their own supra efficiencies. The pump, an efficiency in itself, is the product of a lot of sub efficiencies (the windings, the armature, etc.). It, in turn, is a sub-efficiency to the supra-efficiency of the boiler plant that, in turn, serves the supra-efficiency of the building by either heating or cooling it, thereby, maximizing the sub-efficiency of comfort that, in turn, serves the supra-efficiency of how one functions in the building. However, there is one efficiency that must always be supra to the sub-efficiencies of any system: the always supra efficiency of coexistence. This is because its optimization maximizes the efficiency of the system along with the various sub-efficiencies. Consequently, it is inversely true that its minimization, through the overly high demand of any component (sub or supra), can only result in a general inefficiency and possible breakdown.

Now we leave the boiler room with new tools to analyze our situation. We now see ourselves as individual efficiencies with multiple sub-efficiencies, all of which must be balanced into a harmonious co-existence. We can look at our happiest moments and recognize that it was never about more, but rather about bringing all our needs, demands, and desires into a state of harmonious balance, and that achieving this often involved lowering some demands to maximize their efficiency by making the differential manageable and thereby leave more resources for higher level desires. We must also note that while demands and desires are often matters of choice, needs are needs and can only be minimized so much. Furthermore, we now see how someone, if they have found themselves in a situation where the demands being made on them, by themselves or others, are easily met, could be happy at 10 an hr., while someone at 20, with higher demands, could be miserable. We can also see that we are sub-efficiencies to our communities and workplace that are, in turn, sub-efficiencies to a system and economy to which all of us are sub-efficiencies –poor and rich alike. And, finally, we can now assess the source of our resentment: the minimization of our efficiencies for the sake of maximizing the high level demands of the 1%, the increasing demands made upon us with decreasing resources to meet them. We can now see it is not about the quantifiable, but rather a quality of life that is no longer tolerable, that can no longer be fixed by lowering our own demands and desires. And why should we? Clearly, more is at stake than “more”. Freedom perhaps? The happiness that comes from security and stability, or the meaning they free us to give our lives? But these don’t come from more, nor should we need or demand it. They come, rather, from that which can benefit all: the harmonious coexistence of needs, demands, and desires –ours and those of others. And beyond more, we can only desire efficiency.
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PostSubject: Re: The 2 Page Experiments

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The 2 Page Experiments
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