A Hanukkah gift from me and Spinoza.
And if you want to help me continue to become a disturber of religion, you can do so here:
Vampires and Call of Duty were all used as subject matter in a lecture on war drones, but the only myth was that drone operators suffer less than combat soldiers.
Visiting philosophy professor Dr. Nolen Gertz, of Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., addressed common misconceptions of drone operators in his lecture of, “The Myth of Unmanned Warfare: Drone Operators, Cyber Warriors, and Prosthetic Gods” Nov. 14 in Engelman C112.
His lecture focused on how little people realize that although the drones are unmanned, those who operate the drones experience the operation more than a soldier on foot may experience it. Continued...Find out more about the talk here.
|I couldn't think of what to get Nietzsche for his birthday today, so I thought I'd let him hammer away at Freud's ego instead...|
I received the box and am greatly pleased over it, especially the nice linen things and the beautiful music literature. Yesterday we enjoyed a most jolly afternoon. I danced fabulously.
Vita. I was born the 15th of October 1844, on the battlefield of Lützen. The first name I heard was that of Gustav Adolf. My ancestors were Polish noblemen (Niëzky). It seems the type is well preserved despite three German 'mothers.' In foreign countries I usually am considered a Pole; even this winter the roster of foreign visitors in Nice entered me comme Polonais. They tell me that my head may be found in the paintings of Matejko's. My grandmother belonged to the Schiller-Goethe circle in Weimar. Her brother became the successor of Herder in the office of Commissary-general of Weimar. I had the good fortune of having been a pupil at the venerable Schulpforta from where so many have gone forth who are of account in German literature (such as Klopstock, Fichte, Schlegel, Ranke and so on and so forth). [...] I was forced to give up my German citizenship since, as commissioned officer (mounted artillery) I would have been called up too often and disturbed in my academic activities. Nevertheless, I am familiar with two weapons, sabre and cannon, and, perhaps, even with a third one... Then, too, I am according to my instincts a brave animal, yes, a military one. The long resistance has somewhat exasperated my pride.—Am I a philosopher?—But what of it!...
Should philosophy be used to treat PTSD? Hear the debate on the Daily Commute free podcast http://t.co/wTnjnmwC4rI was very fortunate to have the opportunity to discuss my book The Philosophy of War and Exile with Dan Damon on the BBC World Update program. John Higgins, a friend and veteran who helped me immensely while I was writing the book by both sharing his personal experiences and by reading chapters, was also interviewed.
— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) October 6, 2014
Arguing that the suffering of combatants is better understood through philosophy than psychology, as not trauma, but exile, this book investigates the experiences of torturers, drone operators, cyberwarriors, and veterans to reveal not only the exile at the core of becoming a combatant, but the evasion from exile at the core of being a noncombatant. From exploring the phenomenological philosophy of J. Glenn Gray to investigating the existential meaning of Rambo, this book focuses not on our current question of how to return veterans to our everyday way of life, but rather on the question of what it means for our everyday way of life that they call alienating what we call home.You can buy it here, and preview it here.
|The parallels between Descartes and Scooby-Doo are uncanny...|
I will suppose therefore that not God, who is supremely good and the source of truth, but rather some malicious demon of the utmost power and cunning has employed all his energies in order to deceive me. I shall think that the sky, the air, the earth, colours, shapes, sounds and all external things are merely the delusion of dreams which he has devised to ensnare my judgement. I shall consider myself as not having hands or eyes, or flesh, or blood or senses, but as falsely believing that I have all these things. I shall stubbornly and firmly persist in this meditation; and, even if it is not in my power to know any truth, I shall at least do what is in my power, that is, resolutely guard against assenting to any falsehoods, so that the deceiver, however powerful and cunning he may be, will be unable to impose on me in the slightest degree.
|Typical philosophy course chalkboard from the University of Chicago|
The point is that even with the very first concept in introductory physics, there are many things that students must not only understand but master in order to progress. Learning physics isn’t like building a pyramid with introductory concepts at the bottom. No. Learning physics is like an upside down pyramid that gets bigger at the top. All of this mass at the top of the pyramid is being supported by these initial ideas. A small crack in these supporting ideas will bring down the whole thing.
Alas, if this was a 3 credit hour course you probably wouldn’t get to torque. I think torque is cool, but it’s a stretch to do all the cool things in such a short time.
|Physics aims in one direction. Philosophy however is more "Ouroborical"...|
You ever noticed that Idealists philosophize funny? I mean, they all think that we can never through any possible experience become completely certain of the actuality of external objects!
And don't even get me started on those fucking Empiricists! They think they're better than Idealists, but they're just as immodest. Have you been around an Empiricist right after they read Hume? Woo boy do they puff up their chests and start audaciously denying whatever is beyond the sphere of their intuitive cognitions!
|"Knowledge is Power" at the Detroit Public Library...|
Designed by architect Cass Gilbert, and partially funded by a gift from Andrew Carnegie, this stately Italian Renaissance style library of glistening white marble was called the most beautiful building in Detroit. In the 1950s, Detroit's population reached almost 2 million and the library's book collection was over 2.5 million volumes, requiring a major building expansion. On June 23, 1963 the Cass Avenue wings were opened to the public, adding 240,000 square feet to Main, doubling its size.
In 1913, the city of Detroit held a competition for the design of its new public library. Gilbert's design was chosen by a jury of three for its restrained Beaux-Arts design and its plan which arranged three reading rooms around a large central book delivery room. Although the commission was awarded in 1913, financial difficulties delayed construction. The cornerstone was laid in 1917, and the library finally opened in 1921.
The library has been characterized as "a symbol of cultural life in Detroit." The building has symmetrical facades of white Vermont marble rising from terraces. At the second level, an arcaded loggia with fluted Ionic pilasters indicates the location of the major service areas on the interior. The barrel-vaulted hall has white marble walls adorned with murals by Edwin H. Blashfield. Arches in the east wall of the former delivery room, now Adam Strohm Hall, contain murals by Gari Melchers. The painted glass windows in this room were designed by Frederick J. Wiley. The fireplace in the former children's reading room has Pewabic tiles illustrating storybook characters.
|The interior of the library isn't bad either, but that requires a post of its own...|
|You know a book is a satire when the author claims someone else wrote it...|
|Is there anything that isn't funnier in German?|
|"Diedrich Knickerbocker Philosophizing"|
It is a mortifying circumstance, which greatly perplexes many a pains taking philosopher, that nature often refuses to second his most profound and elaborate efforts; so that often after having invented one of the most ingenious and natural theories imaginable, she will have the perverseness to act directly in the teeth of his system, and flatly contradict his most favorite positions. This is a manifest and unmerited grievance, since it throws the censure of the vulgar and unlearned entirely upon the philosopher; whereas the fault is not to be ascribed to this theory, which is unquestionably correct, but to the waywardness of dame nature, who with the proverbial fickleness of her sex, is continually indulging in coquetries and caprices, and seems really to take pleasure in violating all philosophic rules, and jilting the most learned and indefatigable of her adorers. Thus it happened with respect to the foregoing satisfactory explanation of the motion of our planet; it appears that the centrifugal force has long ceased to operate, while its antagonist remains in undiminished potency: the world therefore, according to the theory as it originally stood, ought in strict propriety to tumble into the sun—Philosophers were convinced that it would do so, and awaited in anxious impatience, the fulfillment of their prognostications. But the untoward planet, pertinaciously continued her course, notwithstanding that she had reason, philosophy, and a whole university of learned professors opposed to her conduct. The philo's were all at a non plus, and it is apprehended they would never have fairly recovered from the slight and affront which they conceived offered to them by the world, had not a good natured professor kindly officiated as mediator between the parties, and effected a reconciliation.
Finding the world would not accommodate itself to the theory, he wisely determined to accommodate the theory to the world: he therefore informed his brother philosophers, that the circular motion of the earth round the sun was no sooner endangered by the conflicting impulses above described, than it became a regular revolution, independent of the causes which gave it origin—in short, that madam earth having once taken it into her head to whirl round, like a young lady of spirit in a high dutch waltz, the duivel himself could not stop her. The whole board of professors of the university of Leyden joined in the opinion, being heartily glad of any explanation that would decently extricate them from their embarrassment—and immediately decreed the penalty of expulsion against all who should presume to question its correctness: the philosophers of all other nations gave an unqualified assent, and ever since that memorable era the world has been left to take her own course, and to revolve around the sun in such orbit as she thinks proper.
...I am about to plunge for a chapter or two, into as complete a labyrinth as ever historian was perplexed withal; therefore I advise them to take fast hold of my skirts, and keep close at my heels, venturing neither to the right hand nor to the left, least they get bemired in a slough of unintelligible learning, or have their brains knocked out, by some of those hard Greek names which will be flying about in all directions. But should any of them be too indolent or chicken-hearted to accompany me in this perilous undertaking, they had bester take a short cut round, and wait for me at the beginning of some smoother chapter.
|Arlington West Santa Monica - February 17, 2013|
Beside and beneath the fun and folly of the Santa Monica Pier lies a graveyard with no graves. While Arlington National Cemetery is a place of mourning, a place where Americans go to pay their respects, it is most importantly a place set off from the rest of America. “Arlington West” is not-so-conveniently out of the way, requiring a Metro trip and a long walk through hallowed grounds, but is instead on the beach, requiring that one at the very least walk around it while trying to enjoy what the Santa Monica Pier has to offer.
The shadows of the fallen are in the shadows of frivolity. A visitor to the Santa Monica Pier on a Sunday can try to ignore the veterans both present and represented, but to do so requires that one has already become aware of it, that a day of fun for the family has already become tinged with a reminder of all the days lost for the fallen. It would come as no surprise therefore if those who happen upon “Arlington West” would not only try to ignore it, but would resent it, wishing that it was somewhere else, somewhere where it belonged, somewhere like a Metro stop in Arlington, VA.
To take up responsibility is consequently to take up our humanity, just as to avoid responsibility is to avoid our humanity. A man cannot simultaneously claim to be responsible to #YesAllWomen while claiming on #NotAllMen to not be responsible for #YesAllWomen.
Misogyny is not the result of any one action by any one man. Misogyny is the atmosphere in which we live, an atmosphere of violence that is ever-pervasive for women as what is “normal,” and that is ever-invisible to men as what is “normal.” It is the normalcy of misogyny that allows the Elliot Rodger’s of the world to feel entitled to sex and to blame women for not living up to his expectations. And it is the normalcy of misogyny that is only worsened when our response to the Elliot Rodger’s of the world is to run to #NotAllMen to make clear how little we are like him, rather than running to #YesAllWomen to realize how much we can, should, and must identify with him. There is some of Elliot Rodger in all men—even if for no other reason than because we are also men—and it is only by recognizing the Elliot Rodger inside of us that we can begin to be responsible to #YesAllWomen.
|For Nietzsche, the idea that we are Cartesian subjects, or the creators of our own thoughts—or, likewise, the creators of our own drawings—is "simply a formulation of our grammatical custom that adds a doer to every deed"...|
|Nietzsche would have made a great guardian angel, or so I like to imagine...|
|If anyone would have deconstructed their own portraits, it would have been these two...|