An interesting gun control debate sprung up on my Facebook wall and this link got posted. The first half, or so, reads as fact, and the second, roughly, as rhetoric. Still, rhetoric which itself deconstructs rhetoric is some of my favourite.
Oh, and it’s probably NSFW.
The Guardian breaks down Jodie Foster’s “coming out” speech. Devices discussed include:
(1) Anaphora: repetition of words or a phrase at the beginning of a clause or sentence.
(2) Polysyndeton: overuse of conjunctions.
(3) Ethos: attempt to establish authority or connection with the audience.
(4) Occultatio: a figure that brings in material while pretending not to talk about it.
(5) Tricolon: three units of speech put in a row.
(6) Peroration: final part of an argument.
(7) Chiasmus or antimetabole: four terms in a criss-crossed relation to each other.
The construction of what she said was masterful, and keep in mind that she’s a professional emotion projector. Whatever awkwardness was in her delivery was either intentional, to blush over the obvious construction of the message, or actual heartfelt nerves.
What if you were the first atheist?
you: “I don’t believe in God.”
other: “So you’re a Satanist!”
One of the problems with self-growth, with philosophical exploration, is that the context within which you operate grows much more slowly. You, the people around you, and the culture you’re in, are all doing their own thing. The divergence between these sets of norms is painful and confusing.
How can you tell if something which feels right to you, and yet is condemned by everyone else as corrupting, is valid, moral, ethical?
That’s actually a trick question: it betrays the genealogy of morals — they exist only in relation to the other. It’s only possible to say that something is “wrong” within the context of someone else’s — or some groups’ — attempt at coercion. The man alone on the desert island doesn’t issue himself trespassing citations.
I suppose this line of thought means that self improvement must act counter to morality. It is necessarily deemed evil, though not necessarily violent, or even rude. It is simply a disagreement as to the proper relationship of the individual to the group.
Indeed, a counterrevolutionary challenge indicates that the revolution is succeeding: you will know you’re on the right track when they start waterboarding you.
Here’s a wide-ranging conversation between Terence McKenna and Richard Alpert, whose first book I’m reading right now. If you don’t know who these people are, they’re religio-philosophers and psychonauts, whose worldviews were fundamentally affected by psychedelics (notably mushrooms).
Alpert became Ram Dass, a Hindu spiritual leader whereas McKenna became something of a transhumanist.
Via, here’s a video on the social good (or not) of everyone being outted by the death of privacy. It’s an interesting meditation on capitalism and exploitation and how maybe the future is a reflection of the past instead of a repudiation of it:
This is being juxtaposed by my new media job, where I got a blast from someone who is in PR for the city asking for industry stories to highlight in an upcoming mass media drop. I need access to PR people, so I followed her back. Recall that this is all in a business context — here’s the death of privacy in action, her last couple of messages:
Here’s a pic of me and X looking pretty at the porn awards!
I don’t know how it happened but I’ve become someone that porn stars recognize and give hugs to. How the hell?
Now if I could only add James Deen to the list I’d be a happy gal.
Just to be clear: I ain’t hatin’. But it’s *possible* that another business contact, or someone at the mayor’s office, for example, might.
I actually think being totally real on social media is awesome (and the irony of blogging that anonymously isn’t lost on me — more later on that). This is just evidence of collapsing public/private life boundaries.
Maybe the new norm is: if you look at someone’s profile it’s your own fault.
Congrats to my sugar-pie Jill on crushing the ethics exam her pro college requires of all inductees. It’s scored relatively and she got about
2.6 sigmas — or over 98% in normal person talk apparently I don’t speak normal. It was 91st %tile on 1.7 sigmas.
Silly Jilly: I told you so
How will the Internet change government, ultimately? What if Elections Canada became a PKI overseer and just tabulated verified Twitter opinions? Can we get rid of representatives? What if the top bureaucrats were directed by direct representation? What if the response to Kony (which I haven’t looked into at all) was both necessary and sufficient to mobilize the military?
The recent Joe Rogan Podcast with Sam Harris, a fight-the-fight atheist neuroscientist with deep experiences in both meditation and powerful psychedelics, is pretty decent.
It’s a sometimes-intense convo about: the ethics of remote and asymmetric warfare*; collapsing the distance between the subject/object perception without drugs; ecstasy without MDMA: mehta meditation?; the solution to fanatical terrorism: LSD — you have to believe in religion, but LSD already believes in you! You can turn it off once you get to the parts about the strictly skeptical scientific method — that shit is so played (kidding, I’m just well enough versed that it was a bit “blah blah blah”).
Rough quote: “psychedelics were important to me because I was highly skeptical about introspective experiences. I had to be thrown over the wall.”
Good topics, all around, and a lower dose of the usual ultramasculinity.
* Would you be more comfortable if your granddad firebombed Dresden or beat a German family to death with a shovel? Probably the former. Why?
Via Jill, a trainwreck straight outta Idiocracy:
His fourth child came into the world while he was cavorting with another woman. That woman eventually gave Sean his first son, six months after his fifth daughter was born to yet another girlfriend.
The Stanley Parable is a game about gaming, insanity, and existentialism, with aggressively unreliable narrator(s). It’s short. This 1/2 hr video contains, supposedly, all of the playthroughs.