the only easy day was yesterday

Monday, October 20, 2008


This is a question i have been pondering on and off. Let me know your opinion.

How much does an individual owe to that which he/she owes his/her existance?

How far does the chain extend? (Mother, Father, Family, State, Economic System, Earth etc.)

My personal feeling is that there are somethings that I owe/am responcible more than others dispite the equally important role they/it played in the formation of my existance. More details in the oncoming discussion...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

This is why no one cares.

in the shitstorm of stupid questions and responses one is subjected to after announcing their college major is philosophy, the exceedingly annoying subject of eastern philosophy comes up - it is often asked why it isnt studied or whether im interested in it or what i think. when philosophers are done bikering, what ends up coming out of it all is a resultant theory of ethics for those who actually want their bickering to mean something. china is why no one gives a shit about eastern philosophy; its moronic, just look what's come of it...

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Simple Interest

i was watching law and order and an interesting question came to mind. one that can be argued from 1's and 0's all the way to general right and wrong.

Artificial intelligence, i though - it would solve many questions about environmental causes for behavior; sexual abused children becoming abusers...but upon sucessful creation of ai (which is likely impossible) must we treat the "thing" we create that lives and thinks ethically? could we recreate the experiment in order to conduct tests like the molested/molester test? or is it just as wrong? (hint: this gets at your criteria for human dignity - compare it to cloaning humans for the same experiments)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hip Hop Blog Dude Calls out TI :
"But again, I digress. My issue is not so much why it is that T.I. is free to walk the streets - it’s that he plans to use his court-ordered community service to give lectures to today’s youth, what with their fragile, egg-shell minds. This strikes me as a bad idea for a few reasons.
First of all, the guy’s a fucking idiot, and I’m not sure if I’d want someone that dumb talking to my kids. The shit might rub off on them.
I mean, look at the shit he got busted for in the first place. What kind of dumbass, let alone a dumbass with multiple felony convictions on his record, agrees over the phone - to some bodyguard he’s only known for a brief period of time - to accept a cache of weapons in exchange for money, in a parking lot outside the motherfucking BET Awards? That just shows a lack of critical thinking."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Rarely So Affected

When I ordered "I Am Legend" earlier today, I thought I'd signed up for another ill 2 hours of Will Smith kicking some serious ass. Instead I experienced the saddest moment I've ever seen in a film (though that really only concerns to dog lovers), and a good ending - by which I mean not a happy ending. The movie is by all means sincerely depressing. The scene where he has to kill his dog - his only living companion - literally hurts to watch. Maybe Will Smith can only play one roll, but he plays it damn convincingly. The plot has holes in places, and of course it's far fetched, but it eminates a surprisingly strong notion of genuine human heroism. As an averagely raised American child, I am subject to the same lack of belief that anyone can truly change anything for mankind - and not that it would even necessarily have a greater meaning, but more that we are essentially futile in all of our actions. Unfortunately the American ethical mantra gives itself to this - if everyone is entirely autonomous and does not infringe on anyone else's rights, where can anyone really be effective to another? Not anywhere significant, because we all want to be independent; so this leads to that and we're all up in arms about politics and whatnot, and its the necessary state of affairs given our governmental system - which, albeit the possibility [probability] of biased and shaky leadership, is the most philosophically sound governing system there will ever be. 

I Am Legend managed to change my tone slightly. The movie culminates with the Legend sacrificing himself in order to protect the cure he found for the virus, in the form of throwing himself at a group of zombies with a grenade in his hand. Instantly I thought of what we really consider a hero - a particular Navy SEAL named Michael Monsoor, who just a few weeks ago was awarded the purple heart posthumously for throwing himself onto a grenade in order to save two of his brothers in arms. Unfortunately that's all he did. He  also probably made his platoon buddies feel really guilty about it for the rest of their lives as well as the memory of being splattered with their brother's entrails. But still the same act is of such miniscule consequence compared to the that of our fictional counterpart's. What does it take to have a genuinely transcendent figure that rises above the rest and conquors and unites? Wherefore do we find that long lost sense of "Legend" that has always been the honor of the greatest people in history to strive for? Do we no longer hold the acheivements  of Achilles and Heracles and Aeneas as something to be honored? Just because we're such avid scientists and we think we've got everything down just fine does that mean there is no more room left for awe of the world and those who are brave enough to face the futility and strive for greatness anyway?

Anyway besides all this ranting the point is that Colossal figures drive us. I couldn't care less about a political triumph over the economy, or anything of the sort, but at the same time i know our government is exactly what humanity needs to be exactly what each person wants themselves to be. So our minds and our rights are protected, and our 'souls' denied the wonder they crave - i wonder if suppressed minds and skewed rights might bring brighter souls; the intellectual goal, after all, will never be acheived...

Saturday, April 19, 2008

stray dogs

"Forget the anarchist part of it. I'm through with the movement long since. I saw men didn't want to be saved from themselves, for that would mean they'd have to give up greed, and they'll never pay that price for liberty. So I said to the world, God bless all here, and may the nest man win and die of gluttony! And I took a seat in the grandstand of philosophical detachment to fall asleep observing the cannibals do their death dance."

i like the quote, it's well written, but i feel the need to add a disclaimer, and that i think it's crap, it's just well said crap. it's from the iceman cometh, eugene o'neill.

Friday, April 18, 2008

In the spirit of posting videos...

Apparently this debate was straight up poorly run.

Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Daily News wrote an open letter to the ABC pair, declaring, “you disgraced my profession of journalism, and, by association, me and a lot of hard-working colleagues who do still try to ferret out the truth, rather than worry about who can give us the best deal on our capital gains taxes.” He added, “asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright ‘loved America’ and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive.”

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Purina: "Oh, yea, we've also stopped aging in children"

This Just In: Toyota Succesfully Defies Fundamental Rule of Logic

Green Freaks Ecstatic

can't imbed that motherfucker. isn't asking if a car company - that makes cars only for money, and for nothing else, cars that pollute no matter how green you paint them - can grow with the environment the exact same thing as asking whether something can be something and not something at the very same time and in the same respect? and isn't that the cardinal rule of logic- quite possibly one of the things that helps our minds to make sense of the world we live in?

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Everything is Dubitable

There are two very important things on my mind. One; the want to set more firmly, via writing, my position on my own ethical outlook - im more comfortable with things when ive versed myself in every aspect and consequence of their reason. And two; doubt...

Doubt is annoying. Very much so. My concern is not doubt itself, which I actually hold to be the only indubitable thing there is (that is, that we, as humans, will always doubt), but what we must do to live a sane life in the shadow of doubt. There's a reason they say that all philosophy is, foremost, still struggling with descartes, and furthermore, socrates - because there's no way to get around what they said, and there's infinite ways we can try, but only so many very smart people every generation who can give those tries their 15 minutes of fame. Descartes, in a more modern way (so i shall use him instead of sox), says that there is nothing which we cannot doubt, besides, of course, the self. Actually, you can doubt the self in time using the same method of skepticism employed by Descartes (that is, the only self you can believe that you are indeed, is the self at any individual moment; your feeling of having existed may have been put there), but it's sort of useless, so we wont bother.

The point is, that its in our nature to doubt, and its very strongly in mine. Reason leads to doubt, which leads to clever ways to get around doubt, which also results in clever ways to manipulate other things, which ends in lovely things like laptop computers and the internet. But for those who are stuck in doubt (all of us), we are always, sooner or later, going to doubt everything we do and have done and the worth of anything and everything. It is for the reason of doubt that i can no longer continue to lead as intellectual a life as i had previously aspired to; it is my nature to doubt, and the life of academia leads to doubts which are too overwhelming for my own mental health.

But I must live, and doubt overwhelms all that I do. And when I doubt, I revert to the instinct of bodily comforts. I know my goal requires me to wake up early, but when I wake I find some half asleep reason to doubt what I know to be a better life for me than just keeping my body comfortable. The greatest comfort I can know is that which comes after hard work and overwhelming loads of work, etc. I've been to the place where i read and eat and sleep and wonder, and I can't do it, it drives me insane. 

So we all, not only me, must in some respects delude ourselves in order to reach what we want in a sane fashion, because the non-deluded life is the life of doubting everything there is to doubt. So the question is: how do we dispell the doubt? What is the best way to trick the mind into believing that the goal we've set is the right goal? How do i keep my mind from reverting back to it's instinctual state? Is it a matter of habit? Do we simply need to keep stubornly believing our own shit until it becomes 'second nature'?

Monday, March 31, 2008

I am a very special person that understands in a very special way


i have a choice to go two roads. one road i live a somewhat miserable and insane life in which i am constantly haunted by the uncertainty of every aspect of life and other nagging narcisistic issues. on the other path i endure great sacrifice in order to protect the rights of others to do anything they damn well please - and most of the time what they please is drinking, getting cancer, and being generally stupid and inconsiderate, but only to the point of being annoying, and not to the point where the law has any useful bearing on it. so which life does a person like me have the responsibility to? i have the resources to live a fairly comfortable existence and take advantage of the gifts of autonomy our forefathers and law personell have bestowed upon me, but i have the awareness such that i understand a certain responsibility to my fellow people. which life does the aware man rightly lead?

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Hugh Laurie in Street Kings

maybe youve seen him in house. that doesnt make this nearly as funny. hugh laurie is hilarious. the interviewer is a moron. he mentions black adder, which happens to be comic genious as well, but hugh laurie is clearly at his best in jeeves and wooster; a british film adaptation of the pg wodehouse stories. watching jeeves and wooster makes you sad for what television humor is today, and for hugh laurie wasting his talents on movies like this. i mean, really? using violence like a composer?

More Unnecessary Frivolity in the Capital

thats a nice fuckin stadium though. nats braves. baseball opening night tonight. "woot. woot." as they say.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sunday, March 23, 2008

534 Words

Existentialist thinkers have often been referred to as the anti-classical philosophers. Tired of not being able to apply the lessons of the Greeks into present tangible life, they saw it more important to live a life putting existence before consciousness. Such beliefs, it is obvious, come in clear conflict with Platonic thoughts, especially those on education.
In Plato’s most famous dialogue, The Republic, he presents an interesting theory on education through the voice of his mentor Socrates. He states, “Because a free man ought not to learn anything under duress. Compulsory physical exercise does no harm to the body, but compulsory learning never sticks in the mind…’ ‘Then don’t use compulsion…but let your children’s lessons take the form of play.’” (The Republic, 537a). Here we see that Plato was clear on the shortcomings of a traditional compulsory education. He knew for a fact that forced learning breeds apathy and disinterest. But rather than attack the root of these problems (the compulsory part) his response addresses merely the symptom. If compulsory education doesn’t “stick” then all we need to do is make it appear that it wasn’t education. By making it game-like, children will be tricked into learning and the system will hopefully succeed.
While existentialists would too reject compulsory top-down education, their answer to this would be far from tricking students into learning. Robert Brumbaugh describes existentialist educational theory as being concerned with “individual authenticity”. Such an ‘authenticity’ is found through self-realization, free from conformity. It would appear that to the existentialist education would embrace imagination and a very hands-on experience. The idea wouldn’t be to trick students in learning what some “enlightened” person thinks they should know, but provide them with the opportunities to find out what they want to.
Considering the differences between existentialist and Platonic educational approaches, it is of no surprise that Platonic theory offers little support for existentialist theory. When attempting to classify different educational approaches by assigning them to different rungs on the Platonic dividing line, Robert Baumbaugh assigns existentialism to the lowest rung (imagination). Surely, from a Platonic perspective this classification is justified. For ‘imagination’ is a mere distraction form pure reason and a pursuit of the good.
From the existentialist perspective, imagination and experience is simply the only being man can know. It is silly to spend life pursuing intangibilities, especially when one must be tricked into taking such a path. No amount of thought or reflection will be able to get man close to the good or the truth. It is much more worthwhile to accept the life given, and explore that which is personally intriguing.
From my perspective, what is most distressing about Platonic philosophy is the circumvention of the true problem with compulsory education never sticking. Instead of taking a more existentialist path in solving the problem, Plato simply figures that misleading children to the good is more important. Is not the majesty of the pursuit of the good defamed when one must be mislead in order to have a chance of reaching it? Surely, from an existentialist perspective, if the good was really to have a bearing on one’s life that pursuit would be embarked upon without an education rooted in deception.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008


This is an interesting concept.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Lost Puppy Song

Through the best of times,
Through the worst of times,
Through Nixon and through Bush,
Do you remember '36?
We went our seperate ways.
You fought for Stalin.
I fought for freedom.
You believe in authority.
I believe in myself.
I'm a molotov cocktail.
You're Dom Perignon.
Baby, what's that confused look in your eyes?
What I'm trying to say is that
I burn down buildings
While you sit on a shelf inside of them.
You call the cops
On the looters and piethrowers.
They call it class war,
I call it co-conspirators.

'Cause baby, I'm an anarchist,
You're a spineless liberal.
We marched together for the eight-hour day
And held hands in the streets of Seattle,
But when it came time to throw bricks
Through that Starbucks window,
You left me all alone.

You watched in awe at the red,
White, and blue on the fourth of july.
While those fireworks were exploding,
I was burning that fucker
And stringing my black flag high,
Eating the peanuts
That the parties have tossed you
In the back seat of your father's new Ford.
You believe in the ballot,
Believe in reform.
You have faith in the elephant and jackass,
And to you, solidarity's a four-letter word.
We're all hypocrites,
But you're a patriot.
You thought I was only joking
When I screamed "Kill Whitey!"
At the top of my lungs
At the cops in their cars
And the men in their suits.
No, I won't take your hand
And marry the State.

'Cause baby, I'm an anarchist,
You're a spineless liberal.
We marched together for the eight-hour day
And held hands in the streets of Seattle,
But when it came time to throw bricks
Through that Starbucks window,
You left me all alone.

p.s. does anarchy even exist?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Monday, February 18, 2008

"Black Like Sambo"

Young Dro clears things up for his listeners, as if clarification was necessary...

best thing smoking cd art + that line = me not really wanting to listen to Young Dro anymore...

We got what you need

I mean, this is begging for a kid to work there, steal weed and sell it on the side...

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fried Chicken Raps

What's sad is that its probably the black people working for KFC pushing this....


it doesnt happen to us. no. congratulations NIU, you were arrogant enough to assume that it could never happen to you. You charge people tens of thousands of dollars a year, this is very simple: dont build new sports facilities, dont build new buildings, dont fund useless research surveys. with all the excess funds that a college makes annually, they could easily spring for a security guard at every building they own, as well as a beefed up campus patrol. not to mention that this could generate more jobs (doesnt take much to be a security guard); and stimulate the economy even - i mean imagine the jobs, government funded training programs for security guards; now thats economic stimulus:

dont give everyone who pays taxes $1200, put that money into free security guard certification courses, and then mandate a security guard at every door of every university building. double whamy; safety and money sounds good to me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We won't get fooled again!

so ive been fooled. really sort of obviously and embarassingly. see, it occured to me during the portion of the congressional steroids hearing; they didn't make a big deal of it. three of the congressmen/women doing the questioning (while i was watching) began their statements with an expression of their dismay in wasting time and money, the most entertaining of which was Virginia Foxx, a republican from North Carolina. Along with a few actually expressing their dismay (I'm sure more felt it), all of them were in and out, undoubtedly doing other congressly business. Every time the cameras were on the whole room, most of the seats were empty which were meant to be filled with congresspeople. The short of it is that congress really didn't care, but they were forced under the falsetto's of single self-rigteous governors, and the same duty of the government to especially regulate businesses that trade people like slaves and that do in truth have a lot of benefits and exceptions in corporate law. So I was sucked in by only watching sports television, it isn't a big deal. Most of america doesn't care, they know the trouble's in wrestling, but also acknowledge the bad influence on high-schoolers. So I shouldn't have been so pissed. Sportscenter just has nothing better to talk about so they glorify this hearing which any rational person sees no merit in whatsoever. So I'm ashamed I even fell for it, of course espn is going to trick me into thinking people actually care and its a huge deal; congress had to deal with these corporations, and they inevitably get caught up in the cameras. "I stink!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh. My. God.

So depressing that you have to laugh. Thank you hip-hop culture....No wait, all these kids just needed to survive, they doing what they gotta do in the hood. If you're so poor that you need to resort to murder MOVE OUT OF THE BAY AREA. It is one of the most expensive places to live in the world; go live in the desert, go live in kansas, arizona, idaho, or montana, nice and cheap there.

A map of homicides in oakland during 2007 and 2008. There were 7 people killed this weekend:

Monday, February 11, 2008

i have to do a history paper. its open ended, but i dont know about anything i dont know about enough to want to learn about it....


Saturday, February 9, 2008

i just learned somethihng. black history month was originally the week that had both frederick douglas' and abraham lincoln's birthdays in it. it grew to a month. i never knew why it was february...

Friday, February 8, 2008

pedro martinez

sports again. apparently pedro martinez, the mets pitcher, was at a cock fight in the dominican republic. i guess thats whatever in itself if everyone just knew it was bad and moved on. but both pedro and mike greenberg, from mike and mike in the morning, are taking the cultural card. 

its culturally accepted to fly planes into buildings of countries whose ideals you disagree with in certain places. and drive cars into buildings daily. and kill children and give children machine guns and have them kill other people. oh yea, and slavery. maybe pedro martinez should be enslaved in some foreign country, hey pedro, its culture there. i hate that word. culture is more of an excuse than anything at this point.


Thursday, February 7, 2008

A capella song i forgot to play for you...

GM Onstar

i see ther commercials for this and pay it little mind, but really, gm's making people look bad. there are few amenities in modern cars that are necessary, it seems like this one is really a good use of technology for saving lives...why arent more car companies doing this? is it because GM is greedy and they want money rather than safety for all people who drive? ill investigate...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Tragedy of a Formalist Mindset

Among many other worries a somewhat privileged and educated young person ponders, I am partial at the moment to the extent to which a formalist mindset should indoctrinate the mind of a person in America, and to what extent utilitarianism should play into this persons social and political considerations.

Short Definitions that work with what I wonder:

Formalism: A social/political position which takes the stance of 'if i want to do it, you have to be allowed to do it as well, all as long as no human rights are being violated' The Constitution of the U.S.A. is a strictly formalist document. "All Men Are Created Equal."

Utilitarianism: The most good for the largest amount of people over the longest period of time. The application of American law is utilitarian.

The problem is that formalism is a doctrine which preaches that one has no right to interfere with another's life unless that person in violating another person's human dignity. (human dignity is the right to autonomy, free will and decision, land, etc.)

So the question is: at what point does a formalist, such as any American, get involved with politics, if they are hardpressed to find themselves as morally allowed, in a sense, to interfere with anyone else's lives?

Well, that's simple, any laws that are being changed or reorganized must be doing so in order to further enforce the formalist way, so that people will not be violated and have freer lives.

The problem comes with things like the recent propositions 94-97. the main question of a formalist being with his concern for his fellow men. He cannot prevent them from gambling, thus he would love to foil the indian tribes to take advantage of his mentally weaker brothers-in-humanity; but he has no right to either prevent the indians from doing bussiness in itself, or the brothers from doing whatever the hell they want.

does the question become protecting them from themselves? how does the formalist work his way around these issues? how can we prevent sales of guns, alcohol, the legality of casino's, and all such things which we KNOW are detrimental to the people who participate (both the psychological states of the sellers and buyers)?

Football, Baseball, and Congress

Arlen Specter (Say you're from Pennsylvania or they wont talk to you): 1-202-224-4254
House Committee...Reform...Oversight: 1-202-225-5051

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Jared Raymond Lorenzen

The left-handed Lorenzen was well-known at Kentucky for his size, tipping the scales at 322 lb at one point in his career.[citation needed] He has since slimmed down to around 285 lb.[1] Because of his size he has a collection of colorful nicknames, including "Quarter(got)back",[2] "Hefty Lefty",[3] "The Pillsbury Throwboy",[4] "The Abominable Throwman", [5] "J.Load",[6] "Round Mound of Touchdown",[6]"BBQ (Big Beautiful Quarterback)"[7] "Battleship Lorenzen", [8] Butterball[9]

wikipedia is great.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

engine, engine, number nine

I was just emailing my brother a passage that I find to be the modern, and probably largely ignored, basis for a philosophic concept of numbers. It's from Descartes' Meditations (he probably states it more solidly in the Principles of Philosophy):

"I perceive that I now exist and recall that I have previously existed for some time. And I have various thoughts and know how many of them there are. It is in doing these things that I acquire the ideas of duration and number, which I can apply to other things." (Meditation III, 45)

This is one of the more exciting moments in philosophy, and I just realized that people may not know just how huge this sentence is. Arguably Descartes may not even have noticed; he may have been concentrating on something else that would result from his saying this, or ever more, he may just have taken this for granted that everyone understands this - proof of how genius he was.

But have you ever been in a class and had the question asked to you: "what are numbers?" I have, and at that point I was equally clueless as to the answer, and it just struck me that almost everyone I've ever met probably hasn't had a clue either.

Well, Descartes did. Kant finished, but this is really the first place I've seen this concept so concretely asserted.

When most student think about this, it is a logical (or just good enough) conclusion to come to that there are many things that exist and when presented with a finite quantity of them we are able to distinguish each and every one separately in some sort of cognition that enables us to give the correct meaning to the symbols "1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc." Of course, I am being generous; the most common problem people have when defining numbers, when asked "are numbers just out there?" is that they try to fit the symbol "3" into a basket filled with 3 apples. Once you get over the symbols, then the real fun begins.

As I mentioned Descartes has the answer, and though he took giant steps in philosophy, he couldn't make the jump from where intellectual history was to the Doctrine of Transcendental Idealism. But Kant had the history, the education...well, the mind at least, with which to accomplish that task:

So what are they saying? From whence come numbers? From a Succession of Thoughts. Kant's answer is that you have two a priori sense, and inner and an outer. The outer is that of spaciality, the inner of time. These two senses, in my analysis, must cooperate in order to for a coherent grounds for "the possibility of experience."

What? I'm not going to explain the Transcendental Aesthetic right now. We'll keep it to numbers:

So the inner sense of time is a priori, we have it 'hard wired' into us and we need it to experience anything (along with the outer sense). So in our mind we have these a priori cognitions prior to any experience, our minds must for a template, shall we say, on which experience becomes a possibility.

That being said, time is a sense which precedes experience, this is important enough that I say it so many times because it will get the objectivists to shut up. So before we can have experience, sayeth Kant, we develop a sense of time. And what comes of this sense of time? Exactly what Descartes says. 

The concept of number in your mind is due to your undergoing a succession of conscious thoughts, which you experience in a rational order.

So you derive numbers, to which you later ascribe symbols. You experience infinitesimally small moments - the smallest increment of time in which you can process the smallest increment of a thought - you experience these moments successively, one after the next, and you grow an idea of number because you can recall that are processing each thought and the past thoughts.

It took us a while to think up making symbols and our base ten system, etc, so avoid the fallacy that one person in one life could think up the whole system of symbolized numbers, this cognition I've attempted to describe simply gives you the basis, along with the outer sense, to form the judgment that there are many objects, many different things, however many are in your field of sensibility (sight, hearing, feeling, etc), that are being represented to you. There are seven pads of paper on the table, I know this because I have experienced an a priori succession of thoughts which enables me to judge that there are these differing objects being represented to me in space and time.

Consider this theoretical. A person who has both the senses of inner and outer, spaciality and temporality, but has of yet not experienced any sensible stimulus. If this person were to somehow be shown a picture in their abyss of consciousness, then they would see a single object presented in time. They would never have had the empirical experience to distinguish that this object is meant to represent other things within it. The person would not see the table and chairs and guitar, they would just see a colorful rectangle, some strange form of stimulus which she has never been privy to before, and which represents only one thing to her mind. 

I doubt I have explained this well enough. Note that I have used experience in terms of experiencing a sucession of thoughts which I also dubbed a priori; experience, as in the a priori a posteriori distinction, is empirical experience, sensible experience: we must experience these a priori elements of exstence to make empirical experience possible. The word experience doesn't have any adequate synonyms that I can think of.

Monday, January 28, 2008

what is philosophy

a dauting question. i think it best starts from how it arises. in all people who i have ever experienced as being interested in philosophy i have noticed that it comes from dissatisfaction. when youre unhappy with the way your life is going you look for ways and reasons by which to make things right. then you find philosophy. it gets complicated here because we see that it does arise out of despondence about ones life, but when we discover philosophy it turns into a different beast. i operate under the presupposition that philosophy is the most base study of being a human being, yet when i look at the things which i study daily, they are far more concerned with the unsolvable mysteries of metaphysics and epistemology. is tryin to understand the way of being of a human being unphilosophic, or do many philosophers have it wrong. its just become too small of a scope. somehow the study turned into schools of thought and this and that. humanity was sucked from it because the entire history and influence of philosophy was sort of built around objectivists which i think misconstrues the nature of the study. certainly they have an argument but it narrows the nature of the study down too far. i think it better studied within the scope of understanding what it is and what the nature is of our being. all studies evolved from philosophy, general interest in the basis of how we operate and inquirys into life in itself.

so really im not going to lay claim that what i believe within it is correct, but rather that it is an extremely expansive study which needs no definition, just people who are interested in any area or inquiry into life. rather what i think its important to say is that philosophy rises out of being disengaged with life. philosophy arose as a study in a society that gave its citizens the leisure with which these people could use to sit and think and get bored enough with life and manipulate their thoughts such that it created the ideas that first formed philosophy. it arises out of being out of yourself; man as a hunter-gatherer had no philosophy because they had no time for language or thoughts that frivolous; they were involved in staying alive. once we cease to live within our experiences and have the time to take the proverbial step back, then we come to these questions.

so i suppose the question arises: can philosophy logically be a study of life if in order to participate it we must stop living as fully as we could be? are we really taking a step back when we think we are, or are we just being as subjective to our own view of the utility of the world?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Props 94-97

if you dont know, that site will tell you. i dont have time to read all of it, but there are two minds to have about this:

1. Social Darwinism, etc. First of all, the less powerful tribes must be less powerful for a reason, the big ones know how to handle their bidness. Also, people are going to gamble, and we should at least be getting revenues for gambling-addict programs, and for other things (although the other uses for revenues in the state of california consist of park improvements so that pissy locals dont step in dog shit). So thats for it.

2. Against it is really just the opposite, i dont want more opportunities for my fellow people to ruin themselves with gambling, and moreover for the greedy tribes to be taking advatage of the weaknesses of these people to the thrill of gambling to advance their own good(since when do native americans just want to be rich? fuck them if they try to play the heritage card. if the want to play heritage i better be seeing loin cloths and teepees or else they aint getting shit from me because theyre tryina play me for a fool)

overall i have to go with position one because it is a more american position. that is, it is a formalist position. in two aspects: one, they should be allowed to do what they want (and the government will impose tariffs when they think necessary and good for the state), and two: people will gamble and people will be greedy, and despite my steadfast belief that these things are detremental to those peoples humanity, i cannot possibly find it within my rights to prevent them from participating in consentual activity; the N.A's are just making the casino's, it is the gamblers sole choice to do so and i have no right to prevent either of them from parrticipating in their respective activities. so i suppose i would vote yes, but not actively, just in principle.

now this last thing i find remiiscent of an argument for guns. unfortunately it is quite analagous. i cannot prevent someone from selling guns because they are simply selling something, and a person who will buy one has every right to buy a weapon buying something is not a violation ofanyone else's human dignity. but lo and behold people are killed by weapons, people are injured by the cooperation of two seemingly harmless acts:

this is wehre it is analagous; making a building with machines that take your money isnt a violation of anyones rights, nor is putting your money into a machine freely, but the addiction that results is certainly harmful to the individual who participates (not to mention the skewed justifications that must take place in the greedy NA's head).

such are gun purchases, fine in their own respects, but the cooperation of these eforts can often end in murder, which 1 ends a life, 2 destroys the life, if not the morality and mental stability of the murderer, and 3 plays a heavy psychological role in the complicit gun shop attendant.

unfortunately our system of governing does not account for these unforseen outcomes of any given seemingly legal activity. can we? surely i could tell you if someones selling guns, someone else is bying them, and something will be killed by it sooner or later, thats not hard to deduce. what about casinos? people get addicted to gambling and ruin their own lives. we can see this. the problem is legal action. from where can we draw the necessary means to clear our lives of such obviously detremental (to society and the individual) practices?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

iTunes U

the nature of creativity, irving singer. in MIT linguistics & philosophy section (just like MIT to put them together)...

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Considering our conversation on creativity, I was checking the itunes u shit for the new semster, and theres a lecture/event that stuck out. go to the itunes store and search "david lynch creativity"
im doing work, but i dont want to forget this. hollywoods getting close to this, but you know what might be a cool film, or story, something about primarily a haunting spirit, we always just get scared of them but it might be able to work the scariness in with telling the story from the creppy little kids pov...

abduction 2

Monday, January 21, 2008

theres a problem. ill call it individuality versus creativity.

at first they seem inextricable from one another. they seem to come hand in hand.

the problem is that i have becomed opposed to the idea of individuality. but not creativity. let me explain. it is because so much strife comes of individuality. the entirety of american youth is built on the idea of individuality. i cant find it in me that individuality is possible in a culture; language, art, music, all of culture define the wayt people think and act. a person from russia is independant from a person in ethiopia, but not from another in russia. essentially, individuality is impossible to express between poeples who use the same word for individual. the world is more universal in some respects now, as well. clothes; pants, shirts, skirts,etc. for someone to dress individually, they would have to dress in something they made that is not wnything like what other people wear.

now; individuality isnt exaxtly impossible. it's like an idea which extends beyond the possibilities of our representations of the world: like perfection, perfection can certainly be seen at times in things, but not in full, as in a common concept of God being the perfection.

so, i dont reject that individuality is possible in some sort of useful degree, but the way we see things as absolutes, it is not.

so where does creativity come in? the dilemma comes in with my struggle with philosophy being so void of humanity. but i dont think it is, it just seems to be so removed from it because people think its more important to worry about the ideas and forget about the people. this presupposes some sort of objective and non-esoteric quality of thought, which i doubt.

the thought came to me when i was readin about nietzsche and his struggle to break away from everything and be himself as an individual. it seems that kant underwent a similar struggle, though he did so much more reservedly and systematically in tune with his philosophy, whereas nietzsche let his humanity play a large part in shaping his philosophy.

so creativity. it is certainly a more feasibly possible to be creative than individual. but if we are not individuals, if we arent seeking self-autonomy, then what is creativity for? entertainment? for the sake of taking a stand on our beings?

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I was readin' up on my boy Nietzsche, when it was stated that he identified his break with Richard Wagner (some german dude) in his philosophy as a big moment in his life. So, I've never read or heard of a prominent philosopher who so embraced humanity that he wrote of his philosophical thoughts in context of his own life. I don't believe that Nietzsche does this either, but this particular description sparked this tohught:

Would a philosopher who defines whatever philosophical endeavors he participates in (imagine they are prominent and relevant), in some sort of biographical-ish work, be taken seriously?

Initially i would say i take a liking to the idea. Philosophy seems so very removed from what it is to be human; we cannot be objective, so how is it that we continue to try and talk about life outside of the context of life?

This is Why I Don't Care Anymore

the world wrestling e_____ in cooperation with comcast, is holding an essay contest about contributions to the community, which will send two winners to "wrestlemania."

Friday, January 18, 2008

Now A Cartesian

This is written on an excerpt from the first Meditation. If you don't have it get it.

1. Central Point: In this passage Descartes aims to establish the grounds for what will eventually be called the Transcendental nature of human perception. What is important to note in his efforts is that he seamlessly incorporates his foundationalism as an unspoken rule for thought; he assumes it with his language and does not open it to question by attempting to justify it. What Descartes tries to do in this passage is instill doubt in the reader about how reliable the senses are as a source of truth and knowledge.

2. Reasons: Descartes uses the simple and often ignored instances of sensible deception to expose the unreliable nature of the senses as sources for truth. He cites the sun as an example; it always appears to us to be much smaller than it indeed is; as with other things that are distant. It is quite often that a situation arises when ‘knowledge’ gathered via the senses is exposed as false. Thus, says Descartes, we cannot trust anything fully which has deceived us once. He does slightly delve into the distinction between sensible deductions and mathematical investigations as empirical and a priori (he doesn’t use this term), respectively, but he end’s up not dealing with it completely correctly, and it isn’t directly pertinent to the immediate concern of the passage. The main reasoning he employs is basically as such: I) To gain real knowledge I must break down every thing I’ve ever known and start from scratch; the most base thing(s) I can know, and build from there myself. This is a subtle and easy to miss explication of his strict foundationalism. II) It is more timely to break down the whole of my own knowledge from the foundations, rather than each belief at a time; thus I will begin with the mechanism from which I derive a majority, if not all, of my beliefs: my sensibility. Simple enough. If you need to start from the beginning start from the beginning, sensibility is where we derive most of our knowledge. But not all, right Rene? III) It is clearly true that I am deceived by my senses (the sun example, et al), thus my senses are not reliable sources of truths or knowledge. This is a very important leap, one I quite disagree with, but one that seems to make sense under his conditions. IV) Then what can we believe is true, what that I know do I have clear and distinct reason to believe that I do indeed know? Sensible things can be called into doubt, but what about geometry and other mathematical operations; these things seem harder to doubt. With this Descartes starts down a long and complicated road, with many forks, two particularly prominent ones. One of which breaks off into a very important conception of number stemming from the a priori intuition of time as a succession of thought, and the other of which breaks off into what Kant will eventually establish in his Transcendental doctrines. But that’s way off topic, and I don’t fully understand Kant (surprise!), so I’ll try to leave him out now. (It’s just hard to talk about Descartes in retrospect without thinking of how much better Kant did pretty much everything Descartes tried.

3. Discussion: I have two problems with Descartes argument. One is the Continental in me that wants to ask ‘what the hell is the point in you doubting the sensible world, you even admit that you’re going to be living in it anyway whether you make some monumental discovery or not, think about something less pedantic!’ Really that objection is a hard one to follow up on, which is why many people write continental philosophy off, but being as I am still new to most of this, I have a hopeful view of it all, and I see more humanity, in a broad sense, in the continental philosophers. Descartes and Kant (and I do enjoy them) make me want to sit and think about time and space and numbers and crap; Heidegger makes me want to experience life in a more full sense; and though if I enjoy both the difference may not appear much, but I see more realization of the full scope of humanity in the continentals, which leads me to keep them relevant in my mind and get pissed at Descartes sometimes for even bringing this all up. That was a waste of time and space [zing]. My real objection is thus: Descartes contradicts himself. To simplify this we will read A as “it is true that my sensibility is not trustworthy” (Not Trustworthy will mean ‘not a reliable source of knowledge’) and B as “it is true that I can be deceived by my sensibility.” And we will remember that the crux of Descartes’ doubts about the reliability of sensibility as a source of knowledge can be summarized as “A on the condition that B.” Considering these things, my objection is thus:

(I) If A on the condition that B and (II) on that condition that B I determine that A,
then (III) I can no longer trust that B, because I have determined that A.

His argument is circular and contradictory. I put it in the best logical form I could. He essentially contends that his senses are not trustworthy because he knows that they have deceived him, but by the very assertion that the senses are untrustworthy (as sources of knowledge) he contradicts himself because he destroys the qualification that he made: the senses cannot both be an untrustworthy source of all knowledge and thus written off, but at the same time be used as a trustworthy source of knowledge to observe themselves… to know that an empirical piece of knowledge is false, one must consult another contradicting piece of knowledge: how does Descartes know that he has been deceived when he sees the Eiffel Tower (humor me; it’s French, at least.) from a mile away and it seems to him the size of his pinky finger? Because he has been close to it and seen that it is indeed large


Thursday, January 17, 2008


We've all heard of Zeno's paradox. It's a sophism that plays on mathematics. Achilles is running to catch a tortoise, his path is describe by a straight line. Before he gets to the turtle he must travel half the distance to the turtle, and then from there he must travel half of that distance, ad infinitum. Aside from the obvious fact that we can catch up to things in the useful world in which we live, this problem, to the best of my knowledge remains unsolved. I propose that it can be solved through the study of science as the mind. The question arose when i was in calculus thismorning and the graph of the sine of pie divided by x yeilded an infinite oscilation between x=1 through -1. this presents the same problem, the function aproaches 0, but never gets to zero, it just keeps oscillating.

clearly to our useful lives we can touch and manipulate things. To this i am imagining that there is a discrepancy with how our minds operate; we have the capacity to observe, etc, but this capacity leads us awry; there is a reason that we see this paradox as being unsolvable, but it is clearly not useful. this is somewhat of a cartesian thing: it is not that our faculties of reason are wrong, but rather that they outstretch our other faculties of experiencing life, making it so that a thorough enogh concept of mathematics with over shoot what the actual concept of mathematics that we operate on is.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008


Im watching the new Conan tonight. Its the first in a while because of the writers strike (which is still happening). Despite returning to the air, which could be considered scabby from a solidarity point of view, i think hes doing an interesting job. how you ask? by doing a kinda shitty show. without writters hes doing a lot of random stuff like spinning his wedding ring and drinking water. hes even got bob saget as his guest to make bad jokes (to point out that if there were writers the jokes would be better). i wonder if he'll keep it up.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


This is a more serious meditation on my homeless idea. Clearly I don't have the funds, nor likely will I ever, to start such a large-scale project. I am still of two heads on the issue of homeless people, but this idea intends to side step those problems, but there are many logistical issues which I would appreciate input on.

So seeing the unaccomplishable nature of setting up an entire housing thing with legal crap which I don't feel like going into because it is useless, I was thinking rather about talking to my school about setting up some sort of free resource center for educating mainly the homeless population of San Francisco towards getting GED's. Logically the next step after GED is City College, which costs money. Here I would have to have an intricate knowledge of the city government and ways to work out some sort of way to get funding for this program such that the homeless in question could be paid through city college. There are so many problems, though: they still dont have food or money, no houses, and largely no motivation to participate in such a program.

Ideally, and I will talk to someone more knowledgeable about this sort of thing, I would like to have some system of law set up such that if a man was caught loitering too many times (something more specific, though) then they would be arrested or forced into the program. I don't know because there's problems with the law.

But that's all pipe dreaming, what I'd like to do, because my goal is to be a teacher of some sort, is involve myself in educating people. Another point in my favor is that we are arguably in or nearing a recession and educating people and providing more jobs out of the garbage floating through our streets (I use this imagery from the standpoint of the government in itself); making something, more domestic jobs, and maybe even a larger market for apartment renting, or even house buying, depending on what sort of little domino effect it could have.

There are many homeless people in San Francisco, but it's simple to concede that most of them are likely crazy or unwilling to participate in such a program. This is why legal involvement would be necessary to effect any participation.

So my current state of the idea is a room which is supplied with the appropriate text books, a few computers, and one or two people who are qualified or willing and knowledgeable about all that is needed to pass a GED exam.

Clearly the problem is that no one is going to fund an empty room, pay for books, not to mention the people (though feasibly the people could be volunteers), in hope that maybe some homeless people would show some initiative.

So give me new perspective, is my idea entirely off, is there a better way of going about such an initiative?... 

Guaranteed to Make You Grin

I been looking for this forever.

On Science as a Study of the Mind

Late last night I stumbled upon the History Channel series 'The Universe,' which was just embarking on a discussion of Einstein's relativity. I know little about Einstein and his relativities, but my interest was piqued.

Over the past few days I've been pondering the inabilities of science to be objective, sighting various reasons, the most prominent of which is the inability of language (which is borne of experience only of the world in which we participate) to describe anything except that world itself, which is subject to prejudice and experience.

I've also just read a paper by a professor of my brother's, Hubert Dreyfus, on the possibilities and arguments surrounding science from a Heideggerian point of view. I am not convinced on this point yet, and I must read again.

The important point here is not this, though. It is not important for my proposition that we understand the possibilities of science in itself, rather i propose another way of looking at science.

I have yet to determine whether I need to adopt a stance from which to argue, I would have it that it is one void of needing this, thereby avoiding the delve into all the possibilities of science.

The proposition is as such: I will attempt to convince my audience of the value of negative-space evaluation of science, as one may view a painting in terms of it's negative space. By this I mean that I will propose that science is a study which (though feasibly looked at the way it is) is also useful in that it coaxes out of us the calculated way that we experience the world; if we are uncertain about if it can be objective, at least we can see that it is a very useful tool in examining our own nature-of-experience.

I will utilize Immanuel Kant's ideas of the a priori "inner" sense of time, and a posteriori "outer" sense of space, in contrast with Einstein's interwoven fabric of space-time continuum. Kant's idea presents an inner and outer essenced world that we experience, which forms the fabric of experience, while remaining removed from the Heideggerian being-in-world (which i will equate Einstein's 'fabric' with) for whatever personally preffered reasons he had, i would say this is just his fault of his time that he did not see what his theories created.

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