Cut it again

Yeeay-ah Tori. The university area's all cleared out for the holidays which I have to say is a real good thing. But what's not is being around here detoxing from the supermassive caffeine habit from the semester. Can't keep up with the jones' crazy antics if you're not boundinc off the walls youself. Headaches.

In ape news, I'd like to confirm to all of you what a terrible idea it was to kill my gigantic simian twenty-seventh cousin nineteen times removed, Kong. But which america can't cut dark-skinned folks a break, can it? Plus: don't scientologize people. That shit is insane but not in that good way like mad raps (p.s. sorry about the pitchfork review but pretentious people need other pretentious people to tell them who to listen to.).

As a wild animal I am here to tell you y'all are spoiled to the rotten with air conditioning and refrigerators and all that shit. I mean, you can't even handle one little power outage. Sad, really sad humans. Get your act together. Seriously, weather folks, just weather. Damn. It's like you never had to eat a bug or skin a corpse to have clothes, or something.

Your big video game was tonnes of fun too in 2005. It's called the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge. The knowledge is who will live or die. Can you get knowledge from eating a fruit? Hell no, and believe me I eat a shit tonne more fruit than you most days. Fortunately all your cultural advances this year counterbalanced your increased evil with respect to Jebus' birthday.

Welcome to your addiction, humans. Your cocaine is officially stupidity, officially.


Weather Report

Sullen rain blattering down all day followed by dry, cold winds and a chance of freezing drizzle late tomorrow; patches of alcohol poisoning and date rape a 20% likelihood in the greater metro area.


Frictionless concepts.

John McDowell's first lecture in Mind and World attempts to lay out a peculiar sickness to which modern analytic philosophers seem especially prone. This is, essentially, equivocation over the "Given." The Given is a something that mediates between the external world (whatever that is) and one's mental world by somehow producing the basic components of empirical judgment.

Concepts, those Kantian formative devices of intuition, do not themselves deliver content to intuitions. Content, if it is truly "empirical" (i.e. having to do with an external world) in our empirical thought (judgment, "understanding"), must be "rationally grounded" in what is the external world. Of course, modern metaphysical minimalism leads analytic philosophers to deny the various menagerie of justificatory mechanisms that constitute a rational grounding of empirical judgment on empirical content derived in a way that constitutes justification as consitsting in some sort of relation; alternatively, when the empirical concepts contact the Given, the Given consists in the justificatory relation. Either way of looking at the matter is equally useless.

For as it turns out, the problem boils down to one of free will. If you are willing to give up on the idea of "sponteneity" (of the understanding, or anyway what essentially constitutes the faculty involved in free will insofar as it may be said to exist at all) in thought, then fine. You are a behaviorist and to hell with you. But for everyone else there is a difficulty here because as it turns out the perception of appearances (appologies for the explicitly Kantian terminology) requires the involvement of concepts which, as part of the capacity for understanding, require to be in some sense spontaneous or participating in sponteneity. But such sponteneity boils down to this: free creation of the content of our thoughts, which is to say there is no external constraint on our empirical judgments (thoughts). In that case, of course, our supposedly epirical judgments are not in any reliable way about the external world--they could not certainly be about the world on any particular occasion. McDowell's metaphor is "spinning in the void." A frictionless process cut off from that which supposedly grounds it in such a way that it is constituted by nothing but fantasy.

The Given is supposed to provide the rational constraint, that is a way to justify the belief that the content of intuition is about anything in particular at all beyond whatever one's concepts just made up at any given moment. It mediates between the supposed bare presence of the external (in the reading of Kant or at least in metaphysics influenced by him that claims that there is no content to the external that can be talked about with our language wihtout importing concepts always already) and intuitions that have content. But what is the Given? It can't itself be a concept, or constituted by concepts pressud up against the external (as it were), for if these concepts are to provide external restrain they cannot be spontaneous and so we are back to spinning again: nothing guarantees that that Given provides content to intuitions. (The problem also extends to inner sense, as opposed to the "outer sense" of empirical investigation through the six senses.)

In fact, if the given is available only subjectively, it turns out that Wittgenstein's "so-called Private Language Argument" (cf. Saul Kripke) on McDowell's account is essentially an effective destruction of the notion that there could be such a privately available thing as the given. That it is not a nothing does not mean that it is a something... But in any case what we find is that even though we want the given in order to ensure that something grounds our judgments about whatever it is that is external, we can't figure out what in the heck it is that we posited in order to provide such service.

This uncertainty about how our empirical judgments gain content produces an "oscillation" in McDowell's terminology--motivation to move to believe there is a Given, and then when the mythical Given is shown to be a metaphysical millstone a quick shift to denying such a thing could be, which in turn produces insecurity about the possibility of content to empirical intuition. So what is the problem, as there laid out? Hard to tell, sometimes. McDowell is knitting together some of the most difficult material in modern philosophy, but also to show that people's confusions are the source of many such "problems." He connects the problem of free will with the basic epistemic question of empirical knowledge which turns out itself to be at bottom a metaphysical question that involves (a) philosophy of language and (b) Kant (reconstructed so as to not suck) as investigatory mechanisms. The aim is to establish a way to ground our empirical intuitions in something that does not turn out itself to be unbridgably separated from our creative thought process. Threading that needle is the initial problem.

[We are happy to discuss via email, especially with those who are familiar with this book its subsequent discussion in the literature.]


dun over 3nd pt.

yeh so thoth bin fuxin' w/dis prose-poem experimental narrative (??? likely) that i findz particullerly offensive cuz he's not really gittin 2 tha pt. i'z red a draft uv tha 3rd pt n i gotta say itz not up 2 snuff. thisz tha sorta shite 'e gits up 2 f u no whut i meean just a sorta exercise 2 see f it kin b dun. not a lotta long range vision f u aks me wich uv corpse you din't. still ill mention my interpretashin o' tha story so far fur alla u whose aksin whatz tha story. mostly allz i can see itz an exploration either uv the unconscious in a sort uv dreamstate uv vivid detail or else a look @tha afterlive 4 want uv a better woid. therez a couple recurrin thematic elaments like isolation and confusion that reappear indiffrent guisez thru out both th' pts so far. prolla that tension in that ideaz presented 4 me boils down ta if therez a real notion o' separatemens that doesn't like involve necessarilly tha existenz uv a multitude w/wich 2 interact. like that soul in heaven or paradize it seems like tha lonely existince uv the wanderer kn only be made meaningful with respect to an interaction with a fixed frame o' reference. (thats an allusion 2 relativity theory butt stil apt i bet.) that frame has to origin-8 fr. a point held fixed. in tha 2nd pt there was no pt except as defined for purposes as that which stands behind the self-naming pronoun 'I'; in contrast the first one was an identity point in which information instead uv freely available came thru interaction only w/utherz n tha 'vironmint. in that 1st case there izza search 4 knowledge 2 fill in missing information, tha palpable lack o' histree extant in th POV "character'z" very bein'. in that 2nd case knowledge'z infinite butt reduced 2 mere shoutin' in lingua 'n tha action shifts between tha soul (tha POV established by fiat) n tha body 2 wich itz 2 b attached. tha tension iz 'bout connection w/other n separation fr. other butt "other" takes a variety o' forms 'cludin' the self adressin' isself. therez more 2 gowan inta butt ill leave it b 4 tha reader 2 make o''t wut she will. th qxn turns outta b f tha 3rd 'nstallmint cn reach a rezolushun or willit b a new angle on tha prollem? dunno 's 2 erly 2 tell. so stay tuned 4 a mildly entertainin time i bet.

congrats f u red dis far.


Dim fire-gold and mourning-red swirl through and are those voices. Cannot stay, away they say swirling counterclockwise and up and away I'm falling
up the wishing well into this weighted shapely realm of edges influid, all stones piled up
in myriads. Godhead is left me and I am alone here again, viewing out from this noplace the body. Soon sleep
overtakes slipping under leaden sheets of blubber steaming over and blocking like eyeslids to the sun that realm of infinity called
one, all , one. O Mother keep me well until I return into darkeness as now I lie back, exhausted under one trillion protons'
forces pushmepullyou together babbling in my ears fain sloshing,
now rhythmic distant lullabye
how well
you'll be,
how well
you'l be
Is this my prison to be? No, I will learn to love it
and instead I must first forget; this soul, Tabula Rasa.


Words expressed divide the voices from one another, into one another they, separated, are coherent or not as much as can be for
voices without speakers. But we have added speakers to none, from none, on a whim riding high in a cloud above this nothing in which being
is is being and is word being, words being what they are no more and no less unseparate and uttered not
. Enough of this chaos, pure
existence and simulteneity unintelligible except as the impurity of complete adulteration of all by all. Give the word by creation for
perspective: what does this one say with its new understanding. It says in being at all, its essence is "I."

I think my words sentences strung-together from within
me from where I know not but that it is from myself, from I, from me.
I can say that which I wish to say: I am not this voice or that voice,
those are no my thoughts. "I, I, I, I, I, I am tired."
All of this is energy exchanged between utterances floating only upon themselves and I am solid matter, heavy and falling now into place among those solid things so unknown from before.

There is the body,
ready to enter the body,
ready the body,
fit this self into nothing and ready the body as it
splits and multiplies the trillions of its
cells separate and succeeding one and another
holding together the multitude of
separated existences knit by mere force
matter opened
the body is ready for I.

I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I, I... I am so tired. Let this body rest and grow with all of the power my heavy solid matter allows.

Hibernation? No.

And..... we're back.