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Dr Mindbender 82
20 March 2016 @ 05:31 pm
Wow Facebook turned into complete jerks.

They randomly started demanding identification like Nazis then locked me out of my account and started deleting messages with my partner, research I had posted, posts I had written and refusing to give me access to my own archives quote and literary which I had hosted on my account.

Like what the fuck?

There’s a really successful business model. Lock people out of their accounts and delete their photos and memories because they don’t yield to your Nazi like requests everyone should submit ID. Why should I submit ID? How do I know my details and ID are actually safe? What legal, moral or constitutional right do they have to demand ID from people? They’re not a legal entity, a government body or deserve any moral right to demand ID.

Further – what of people who wish to remain semi-anonymous or anonymous? Teachers, prison guards, people who are chronically stalked? Police officers who do not wish to have their records and details of their family members open to the public. Victims of crime. People who wish to develop a social life outside of their professions or public face? People who don’t want their bosses spying on them or perspective employers or who just want to have some fun?

What happened to just having fun on the internet man?

The entire blog culture developed from pseudonyms and self-created online identities it’s embodied in the cultural norms and traditions that began in the earliest days of chat rooms and developed into blogs and forums. Now we must identify ourselves with ID to some illegitimate authority or they’ll take away all of our friends, our photos, our blogs and archives and history and our relationships and everything else their greedy cruel small minded CEOs want to use to Bioscan and catalogue our political views and perspectives.

So I opt out.

Fuck ‘em. I refuse to identify online. I refuse to play their game.

I’m going back to live journal. And if they want to data-base and catalogue me with ID on here, I’ll resort to posting stuff on trees and street posts.

I spend too much time online anyway.
Dr Mindbender 82
23 April 2013 @ 12:49 pm

I should to put that somewhere so I don’t lose it.

. . . Man I don’t even want to count the comic books and philosophy stuff.

Hunter S. Thompson: Ancient Gonzo Wisdom

Chuck Palahaniuk: Pygmy

Aleister Crowley: The Goetica

Norman Mailer: An American Dream

Zamyatin: We (unfinished)

Frank Herbert: The Green Brain

Last and First Man: Olaf Stapleton.

Stranger in a strange land: Robert Heinlein

Kurt Vonnegut: The Sirens of Titan

Roger Zelanzy: Lord of Light

Norman Mailer: The Naked and the Dead

Philip K. Dick: The Zap Gun

William Hope Hodgson: House on the borderlands

William S. Burroughs: Nova Express

John Brunner: Stand on Zanzibar

Mark Leyner: My Cousin, my Gastroentrologist.

The Tibetan book of the Dead

Mark Leyner: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack

The Bhagavadgita

- Fyodor Dostoevsky: The Brothers Karamazov

-------------- On the shelf

St Augustine: The City of God

Alfred Bester: The Deceivers

Alfred Bester: The Computer Connection

Nikos Kazantzakis: The Last Temptation of Christ

Theogany: Hesiod

Wuthering Heights: Emily Bronte

Beluzeebub's Tales to his Grandson: G. I. Gurdjieff

Dr Mindbender 82
18 February 2013 @ 10:18 pm

I dunno man. There’s just something wrong with the whole gym scene. It’s one of those things something like maybe 2% of the population has picked up on. It’s like back in high school when they made us all do line dancing, me and you knew there was something wrong with it, but the rest of the school population thought it was fine.

I’ve been down this gym Odyssey before.

Ya know, you always feel self conscious when you go. Am I using the machine just right? Everyone is staring at me. That guy didn’t wipe it down, and I’m not using my towel on it. You can never load the bars up with ridiculously dangerous amounts of weights like you can at home, unsupervised, for fear that you won’t be able to lift them. So you form a clique.

At first the clique seems like a good idea. At least if you’re using the machines wrong, you’re all using them wrong. Hey, it might catch on. But before you know it, the clique has become unmanageable. It’s all about motivating them, getting them to go, to hide your own fears and feeling of defenselessness. So gradually, they begin to sense this like typical humans, they sense your distress and figure out how to make it worse. The clique disintegrates.

Then one day, out of nowhere he appears. The motivation vampire. His eyes shine white like the greasy filmic inside of boiled eggs when you peel away the outer shell. His head moves, but his jaw stays stationary when he talks. His sole mission in life is to do everything you do at the gym, 5km faster, 10 minutes longer, 5kgs heavier, without either of you commenting.

Then on the day he throws his back out you can’t stop laughing. It just bubbles up and erupts, violently, uncontrollably , brutally. You can remember it now, so vividly, it was like it happened yesterday. Even while the man in the purple shirt was yelling ‘get a medic’ you could feel your feet buckling under you. Everything seemed slowed, heavy. You found yourself pointing, moments before your legs give way completely. As you stare at the ceiling, a fat woman suddenly comes into your peripheral, leans over and say ‘what is wrong with you?’ but the words are slowed, it takes a moment, and then suddenly, the laughter is gone. You sit up. The whole gym is staring at you. The motivation vampire is laying on the ground with his back all crooked, and his elbows out like a tea pot. He’s calling for you by name, saying something about his phone and watch. His wallet lay open a few feet away. A picture of his wife and kid stare at you through scratched and scarred cellophane plastic. But you’re paralyzed by the stare of the group. In the distance you can hear the sirens. You pick up your towel and water bottle.

In the car park you stand there, clutching your towel and drink bottle, watchng as the paramedics load him into the back of the van, and it drives off, sirens flashing, knowing deep down that you’re a terrible person and you can never go back. As you get in the car, his face flashes before you, and once more you feel that brutal, violent, terrible, terrible uncontrollable laughter. But this time you’ve learnt. You hold it in.

This scene, in all its horror, will now haunt you for the rest of your adult life.

Dr Mindbender 82
08 January 2013 @ 04:23 am

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Dr Mindbender 82
18 December 2012 @ 09:48 pm

 Here, this is interesting. These are from ‘Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man’ by Wilfrid Sellars. They’re the root of a ‘faculty-dualism’ in a Fodorian sense, that turns up in Western Philosophy in a lot of different, sometimes obscured forms. By ‘faculty dualism’ I don’t mean a dualism between mind and matter or mind and the world, I mean a dualism between two different types of mental phenomena, feeling and conceptual thinking.

Sellars thinks the Cartesian concern, of course, is that once we reduce sensation down into mental states the world of colours, tastes and sensations will disappear. For Sellars, the world we see, touch and feel is the manifest image, and according to science, or the ‘scientific image’ it isn’t actually real. It’s a collection of forces, oscillations and fields between the strong and weak nuclear force &c. Descartes, on Sellars reading, concedes that there are corresponding states for sensations, but not for conceptual thinking. Thus for Sellars, Descartes divides the world into higher and lower faculties. This ‘faculty dualism’ between sensation and conceptual thinking, when you think about, turns up disguised in some form or another in most philosophical problems. 


“Let us consider in more detail the Cartesian attempt to integrate the manifest and the scientific images. Here the interesting thing to note is that Descartes took for granted (in a promissory-note-ish kind of way) that the scientific image would include items which would be the counterparts of the sensations, images, and feelings of the manifest framework. These counterparts would be complex states of the brain which, obeying purely physical laws, would resemble and differ from one another in a way which corresponded to the resemblances and differences between the conscious states with which they were correlated. Yet, as is well-known, he denied that there were brain states which were, in the same sense, the cerebral counterparts of conceptual thinking . . .

Now, if we were to ask Descartes, 'Why can't we say that sensations "really are" complex cerebral processes as, according to you, we can say that physical objects "really are" complex systems of imperceptible particles?' he would have a number of things to reply, some of which were a consequence of his conviction that sensation, images, and feelings belong to the same family as believing, choosing, wondering, in short are low-grade examples of conceptual thinking and share its supposed irreducibility to cerebral states. But when the chips are down there would remain the following argument:

We have pulled perceptible qualities out of the physical environment and put them into sensations. If we now say that all there really is to sensation is a complex interaction of cerebral particles, then we have taken them out of our world picture altogether. We will have made it unintelligible how things could even appear to be coloured.

As for conceptual thinking, Descartes not only refused to identify it with neurophysiological process, he did not see this as a live option, because it seemed obvious to him that no complex neurophysiological process could be sufficiently analogous to conceptual thinking to be a serious candidate for being what conceptual thinking 'really is'. It is not as though Descartes granted that there might well be neurophysiological processes which are strikingly analogous to conceptual thinking, but which it would be philosophically incorrect to identify with conceptual thinking (as he had identified physical objects of the manifest world with systems of imperceptible particles). He did not take seriously the idea that there are such neurophysiological processes.”

Dr Mindbender 82

Fragments on Sartre, Heidegger and Continental Philosophy


See, what happened in Continental philosophy - the thumb nail sketch - is Kant developed a sort of proto-phenomenology in the critique with the transcendental aesthetic - try and imagine a shape without any space either around it or making up it's body. Those sorts of arguments, and he develops the a priori structures for the possibility of experience, that is, the limits of what it is possible to experience. The structures that preface experience, structures in our perceptual faculties without which we wouldn't be able to have our experiences of the world, like time, space, causation &c.


Husserl then builds on this and develops the epoche, which is where you bring consciousness before itself in a systematic series of exercises to learn something about it, like the relation between a part to the whole, psychologistic notions of number and space. Bergson who's contemporary with Husserl is doing much of the same sorts of things in Time and Freewill.


Heidegger then kills phenomenology. He thinks our mode of being in the world is more 'organic' I suppose. We're not interested in formal properties of shapes or colours to universals but projects and endeavors. Husserl's neo-Kantian method reveals a world made up of blocks and shapes, Heidegger thinks the world's a bit more like a rat's warren.


I'm some of his lectures and papers like his lectures on boredom in The Fundamental Metaphysic of Morals he's doing bits of Husserlian phenomenology with a 'worldly' edge to them, but in other stuff like his lectures on Human Freedom and Being and Time he's gone over to what the Semioticians might call a diachronic and synchronic analyses, the English would call 'etymology' - it's the German philology influence from Nietzsche and something new, a sort of search for the idealized meaning of words to describe existence



What Sartre does is sort of comes back and looks at ways we can deal with 'domestic space' rather than the idealized space of the conditions for possible experience, which he thinks is a mistake inherited from Kant and


phenomenology of the everyday world, the space we live in and apprehend objects. That's the real world for Sartre, that's the


interesting is in the Anglo-philosophical world, most people are just discovering Heidegger, or haven't quite got past him. Serious scholarship into Husserl is



parallels between what happened in Anglo-Analytic literature with the Ordinary Language movement and Sartre with phenomenology, is philosophers suddenly became interested with the type of world people live in and the domestic conditions of the human condition. The



transcendental apperception of the I. The residual experience after exploring the structures that holt together the unity of our perceptions of time and space, behind the apperception of the I is one of those things that has always disorientated me. When I come out of the meditative trance induced by exploring Kant's phenomenological structures I always


Dr Mindbender 82
10 December 2012 @ 03:02 pm

This is the first stanza out of an abstract poem I’m working on around editing. It’s part of a series I’m working on composed entirely of punctuation.


It’s called “ . . . ,


The bit I’m having problems with goes


, . . . , “,”. .

? . . . , “”, ?

…, ‘ ‘ :  -  . .  

., . . . ,

but I can’t think of anything that rhymes with “”, ? for the last line.

Dr Mindbender 82
10 December 2012 @ 07:20 am

Sartre in under a page

Heidegger thinks we can still find meaning in life, that is, Heidegger thinks once Dasein is confronted with his own biological death he can undertake to achieve an authentic project of existence. Death is the cultivation of this project the final resounding note in Dasein’s symphony.  

Sartre thinks life’s more pointless than that but we can only understand the nature and the reason it is pointless once we have grasped the structure of our consciousness in the world. To grasp his meaning, you need to see that there are two basic levels to consciousness. This is the intro you should have got back in the 60s, but the bloke everyone else was copying their notes from (Arthur C. Danto) didn’t actually read Sartre. Thus, just about everything that’s been written on him since then is pretty much rubbish.


The first level of consciousness is the consciousness where we’re running around trying to pick the kids up for soccer, buying groceries, working, handing in assignments, backing down the drive. This is the ‘unreflective level’ where we are plunged into the world. It is only after understanding the unreflective level that we can see how an attempt to rise above it ends in either the realization it’s pointless or the delusion of an existential project to manufacture meaning in the world. Even if someone can understand the structure of Sartre’s mental exercise, and they rise above the confusion of being in the world, and enter the reflective level, then they’re still faced with the fact that there’s no meaning there. The house on the mountain top is empty. There are no books inside only empty sheets of paper for you to take back down into the world.


"(T)here is no I on the unreflective level. When I run after a tram, when I look at the time, when I become absorbed in the contemplation of a portrait; there is no I. There is (only) a consciousness of the tram-needing-to-be-caught, etc."


Transcendence of the Ego Pg 13


"In fact, I am then plunged into the world of objects, it is they which constitute the unity of my consciousnesses, which present themselves with values, attractive and repulsive, but as for me, I have disappeared, I have annihilated myself. There is no place for me at this level, and this is not the result of some chance, some momentary failure of attention; it stems from the very structure of consciousness."


Transcendence of the Ego Pg 18


This space we inhabit is Hodological space and the manner we inhabit it is in the Circuit of the Self.


(1)              Unreflective Consciousness Hodological Space: the space of the world


"What is important here is only to show that activity, as spontaneous, unreflecting consciousness, constitutes a certain existential stratum in the world, and that in order to act, there is no need to be conscious of oneself as acting – quite the contrary. In a word, unreflective conduct is not unconscious conduct. It is non-thetically conscious of self; and its way of being conscious of self is to transcend and apprehend itself out in the world as a quality of things. In this way we can understand all those exigencies and those tensions of the world around us; in this way we can draw up a ‘hodological’ chart of our Umwelt, a chart that will vary in function with our actions and our needs. . . From this point of view, the world around us – that which the Germans call the Umwelt – the world of our desires, our needs and of our activities appears to be all furrowed with straight and narrow paths leading to such and such a determinate end, that is the appearance of a created object. Naturally here and there, and to some extent everywhere, there are pitfalls and traps. One might compare this world to one of those pin-tables where for a penny in the slot you can set the little balls rolling: there are pathways traced between hedges of pins, and holes pierced where the pathways cross one another. The ball is required to complete a predetermined course, making use of the required paths and without dropping into the holes. This world is difficult. The notion of difficulty here is not a reflexive notion which would imply a relation to oneself. It is out there, in the world, it is a quality of the world given to perception."



Sketch for a Theory of the Emotions Pg  38 – 39


(2)              Losing one’s self in the world.


"For human reality, being in the world means radically to lose oneself in the world through the very revelation that causes there to be a world – that is, to be referred to without respite, without even the possibility of “a purpose for which” from instrument to instrument with no recourse save the reflective revolution. . . To be sure these work clothes are for the worker. But they are for the worker so he can fix the roof without getting dirty. And why shouldn’t he get dirty? In order not to spend most of his salary on clothes. This salary is the minimum quantity of money that will enable him to support himself; and he ‘supports’ himself so as to be able to apply his capacities for work at repairing roofs."


(3)            Being as the ground of the world and the instrumental complexes


"(B)eing is revealed to the for-its-self on the ground of the world as an instrument-thing, and the world rises as the undifferentiated ground of the indicative complexities of instrumentality. The ensemble of these references is void of meaning, but in this sense – the possibility of positing meaning on this level does not exist. We work to live, and we live to work.

(4) The reflective level


The question of the meaning of the totality “life-work” – “Why do I work? I who am living? Why live if it is in order to work?” This can only be posited on the reflective level since it implies a self discovery of on the part of the for-itself."


Being and Nothingness Pg 228

Dr Mindbender 82
07 December 2012 @ 03:05 am

Yeah, I don’t like these new E-journals.


Boxes of old academic journals are one of the rare treasures of the earth. They’re limited, hard to get, some of them you needed letters after your name to apply for back when they were in print, others have limited circulation and application processes you have to go through to even be eligible for a reading copy – and they nearly always contain really interesting stuff.  They’re those rare academic goods the public never gets to see under the light of day. Tolkien’s non-fiction and essays were published in a couple of them – Crowley started his own little esoteric journal; The Equinox. Some of the medical and science ones are a bit out dated I s’pose – but the old psychology, literary, mathematical, philosophical – all that gear goes off if you can find it.  


Sometime in the past humans started building towers. Ya know, - they were doing it in Europe, China, the Middle East – particularly Persia, they got right into it, and they started keeping rare manuscripts in them. Bit of papyrus, or strange languages, old translation guides, riddles and puzzles. Getting your hands on a couple of old academic journals is a bit like stumbling into one of these towers.


If they stop printing them then they’ll be lost on old hard drives or scattered throughout cyber-space, or cleared off old databases and stuff. It’s all the obscure ones, the ones with the odd and strange stuff, the odd ones, the ones that turn up on the radical fringe of the academic mainstream, we’ll loose them.

Dr Mindbender 82
07 December 2012 @ 12:01 am

part that's interesting is why Bennett thinks the Ramsey test doesn't apply to counterfactuals, the subjunctive conditional structure of possible world's talk, you'd think, would contain counterfactual cases of world quantified over by a comparative similarity and

Grice's position. Imagine language as a sort of skeleton of logic, that's enclosed in conversational practices. So for example (A v B) is an disjunction read 'either A or B' that's the skeleton. Now there are a list of 'conversational implicature principles' call it an etiquette. Etiquette 1 is 'be appropriately informative' Et 2 is 'be relevant' Et 3 is 'be truthful' Et 4 is 'be brief' and
so on...

In normal conversation, if I asked you who won the game? And you knew the Parramatta Eels had won, you wouldn't say, 'it was either the Parramatta Eels or the Bulldogs' because it would be a violation of etiquettes 1, 2 and 4. When someone uses a (A v B) disjunction to answer a question it is (by conversational implication) because they don't know which one. The

Ramsey test when I was still an atheist, so I sat down and tried to work out what would happen if I supposed Gods existence, and realized there's not a lot of difference. I might go confess that I had fooled around and go to Church once a year around Easter, and I might say a few words at night before I go to sleep - and similarly supposing the non-existence of God doesn't actually change a lot of my beliefs or practices. Maybe if I was living in a mediaeval monastery in the 12th century I'd

I dunno, Bennett's formulation is interesting. He seems to think the Ramsay test has been misunderstood, and marks an boundary between truth value conditionals and belief structures.

For example

If my partner was cheating on me, then, I would never find out.

It has an if A then B structure. So if A is true, then B is true.

However when we apply the Ramsay test, we get different results, we take the supposition for the antecedent A, but the result isn't that we never find out, the result of believing A is "I am aware s/he is cheating on me."

Belief structures function differently to truth structures is what I think he is getting at. The

The Ramsey test is one of those philosophical novelties - been around since the 30s maybe? Came out of an obscure footnote originally. Basically you take stock of your beliefs, add A (belief) and see what changes, which stock of beliefs changes. So just say you take stock, then suppose that your partner is cheating on you, and suddenly all those beliefs you had he was working late, or he was visiting his sick father, etcetera suddenly become

That Jonathen Bennett is really interesting. I downloaded the first two chapters of his guide to philosophical conditionals. - I was reading the first one, and The Jackson and Grice articles he was talking about. Got up to the bit about the Ramsey test - have to go back and finish it tomorrow.

That's Jackson's view. Conventional implicature. The 'natural language' part can't be captured by principles like those in an English Compositional manual, rather than general principles of exposition they are embodied in a set of linguistic conventions that bottom out in the difference between words like 'and' and 'but', 'however' and 'unless'.

Jackson's view is a bit more like a style guide and a symbolic logic.

That's Grice.

These old graduate manuals on English composition used to be worth their weight in gold. They instill principles through examples and excersizes that the rich educated elite are able to spot a mile off in a cover letter for a job applica
tion say. No one uses them any more, but they worked cheifly by sets of principles in the body of composition itself.

This is analogous to Grice's view of conversational implicature.

A Compositional manual + a symbolic logic will give you the structure of what's expressible in a language.

See there's a bit of a class history here between style guides and composition manuals. The English have two sets of grammar. One set is reserved for the civil servants and written in serviceable subject/object casing, the other for the ruling and educated elite and written in Continental grammar. It's got all that genitive, accusative, nominative casing. The prejudice probably goes back to the Norman conquest, but also too, it's easier to learn another European language from the continental grammar. The civil service stuff was put together towards the end of the 1700s when the English realized they needed more and more low paid clerks in colonial and government systems and particularly educational reforms in the 1800s. The style guide is what the civil servants used to make their writing tolerable to the upper classes, ya know they're usually commissioned like Sir Ernest Gowers Complete Plain Words or Fowlers Guide to Modern English. The Compositional Manuals on the other hand are part of the graduate and university system for the upper classes. That's part of what you learn when you do an English degree. The guides are usually in the back of the English text book. So there is something a bit odd going on between Grice and Jackson, and it's half got me wondering. I dunno - what's bothering me is that linguistic conventions aren't stable, yet language systems seem communicable. That suggests principles have a higher value than conventions, principles probably dictate conventions. I see Jackson's argument but Grice, in theory, should be correct.

That's the itch I can't scratch. Why's Grice wrong when in theory his account of principles should be correct?