Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Days Go By - The Offspring

The Unforgiven - Metallica

Randi Rhodes on Romney and FEMA

She says it perfectly so I'll just let her tell this one. From her blog today:

"A natural disaster is a good time to reflect on what we need to do to avoid an unnatural disaster. Right now, that’s clearer than ever—don’t allow Mitt Romney to become president. When asked about FEMA in the primary debates, Mitt said responsibility for disaster relief should be foisted onto the states. How would you like to be in a life threatening situation, and be depending on Rick Scott or Jan Brewer for help? Evidently Mitt was concerned that wasn’t crazy enough for base, because he added 'And if you can go even further, and send it back to the private sector, that’s even better.' Got that? If you’re flooded, call Goldman Sachs! Mitt wants for-profit disaster relief! Mitt, there are already private-sector people taking part in disaster relief—those slime-balls who do things like sell bottled water for $10 a bottle. Mitt wants that on a corporate scale!

Pontoon - Little Big Town

Update: Not surprisingly, Pontoon just won best single of the year at the County Music Awards.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Replacing the invisible hand: The third industrial revolution

While at least some of Krugman's suggestions might help in the short run we also need to think long-term and create a better socio-economic system beyond the invisible hand Krugman still accepts. Rifkin and cohorts are implementing such a system right now. And not surprisingly, it is arising from the social democracies of Europe. From a Rifkin article on his new book.

"What I am describing is a fundamental change in the way capitalism functions that is now unfolding across the economy and reshaping how companies conduct business."

Exposing the Invisible Hand

The “invisible hand” is like a religious belief that the market has a mind and will of its own and will be ok if we just keep focused on our own self-interest. In other words, this invisible hand is out of our hands, we are unconscious of its operation. IT will just happen of its own accord. Below Arnsperger says we must move beyond such unconscious evolutionary forces and take responsibility to consciously create alternatives. And we have begun to do so with social democracy. But the enactions we’ve seen of it to date, still maintaining capitalism as its base, are just the initial stages of a much broader development that will supersede that economic base. And it is not moving toward any sort of State-run bureaucracy or centralized planning.
From Arnsperger’s blog post of 4/19/11:

Monday, October 29, 2012

Accurate polling data v. spin machines: Obama will win!

Princeton Election Consortium (PEC) defends Nate Silver of 538 against conservative spin that Silver's projections are more based on personal bias than on fact. The article also links to Krugman's defense of Silver. The good news is that both PEC and 538 see Obama winning the electoral vote (EV) handily. The PEC article linked to an earlier article saying basically that we see what we want to see. We select that information which supports our worldview and ignore the rest. Which of course is the conservative response to 538, that Silver's worldview bias is affecting the outcome of his predictions.

However PEC did note the following in the earlier article:

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Middle income and wealth decline

Here's just one example from Pew Research. It is a detailed study that includes not only data but how people perceive their income over time. From the section "Income trends from government data":

"For the half century following World War II, American families enjoyed rising prosperity in every decade—a streak that ended in the decade from 2000 to 2010, when inflation-adjusted family income fell for the middle income as well as for all other income groups, according to U.S. Census Bureau data."

And a couple of charts:

Bryant on the Whole, the One and Totality

Sometimes I wonder if he reads IPS forum and/or my blog. And/or perhaps what we've said is just an obvious logical extension of what he and other OOOers have already said. Some points from the post akin to my recent ruminations:

"Everything is actual.  This is the meaning of totality."

"It is difference that is primary, not identity defined by forms, essences, or concepts.  No two entities are ever exactly alike and no thing ever exactly repeats by virtue of the infinity of atoms.  For this reason, no whole forms a totality because every whole is only a local arrangement of atoms that actualizes some possible combinations and not others.  As a result, every whole is an open and creative whole. There is no combination that could totalize the combinatorial possibilities."

Saturday, October 27, 2012

New Materialism

Maher's new rule on Romney

Last night he laid into Romney, deservedly so. "A compulsive liar whose whole life has been secret can get you a disease far worse than Romnesia." He used the analogy that whenever you have sex with someone you're having sex with everyone they've had sex with in the past. More so with Romney. "When you elect Mitt you're electing every right wing nut he's pandered to in the last 10 years.... the whole anti-intellectual, anti-science freakshow. The abstinence obsessives, the flat earthers...the anti-women social neanderthals, the closeted homosexuals." This is what you get with Romney.

Iteration, same difference

Still maintaining and changing the autonomy of the IPS OOO thread, more follows:

Which reminds me of Bryant's post on incorporeal virtual and eternal objects. He says that unlike corporeal objects, which are tied to a particular location, incorporeals are like hyperobjects in that they are everywhere and nowhere at once. They require a 'body' to manifest, but can do so in a number of bodies simultaneously, the same incorporeal substance iterated in each body across vast space-time.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Morton's hot mesh

From Morton's article, "Materialism expanded and remixed":

"What these phenomena [climate, hyperobjects, nonlocality] have in common is interconnectedness. Each phenomenon makes us think deeply about how absolutely everything is absolutely related to absolutely everything else.... What emerges in its place is the outlines of what elsewhere I am calling the mesh: a total interconnectivity" (4).

More hype

The undecided will decide this election

This election will likely be decided by those who are still undecided. One might assume that they are still undecided because they are giving this some serious thought and consideration, studying the newspapers, magazines and political shows, combing over facts, all before they make their owned informed opinions. Right? Hardly.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Hyped up Hyperobject

More from the IPS OOO suobstance:

See Coffield's interview of Morton. On the hyperobject global warming:

"Global warming is the mother of the tornado. It's a necessary condition for the tornado. Something you can't feel becomes more substantial than a tornado tearing through your neighborhood!"

All the more so for differance. On the mesh:

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Continuing the autopoeisis of the OOO thread, from long ago in the thread there was a link to some of Wilber's works. I opened that version of SES and searched for subsistence. The following is from footnote 360 (p. 809), which is sounding a lot like what I'm intuiting lately. And which sounds like a version of virtual proper being and local manifestation. I'm coming full circle. More later as I contemplate this further.

"The totality of all manifestation at any time—the All—subsists in the low causal, as the sum total of the consequent and primordial nature of Spirit (in roughly Whitehead's sense), and this Totality is the manifest omega pull on each individual and finite thing: as such, it is ever-receding: each new moment has a new total horizon that can never be reached or fulfilled, because the moment of fulfillment itself creates a new whole of which the previous whole is now a part: cascading whole/parts all the way up, holons endlessly self-transcending and thus never finally self-fulfilled: rushing forward ceaselessly in time attempting to find the timeless.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bill Maher this week

The following is from Friday's show. Maher said the 2nd debate was a completely different format. "First of all there were 2 debaters." Obama was so different in the rematch that Maher "used to wonder if he was too bi-partisan. Now I think he's too bi-polar. After one answer he grabbed his dick and moonwalked." Romney, in response to Obama's feistiness, at one point cut off the President and said: "Hang on, you'll get your chance." Maher quipped: "He should not be surprised. The Mormon church has been saying this to black people for decades." When the moderator corrected Romney during the debate about the accuracy of Obama's claim of calling the Benghazi attach a "terrorist attack" the next day, Fox News had conniptions."We have seen a lot of dirty, low-down debate tricks. But introducing facts?"

Open access publishing boosts sales

Given my snide remark about defunct, proprietary, intellectual property here I offer Bryant's blog post on open access. A few snips:

"The arguments for open access publishing are obvious: open access books are ecologically friendly, reducing damage to trees and damage produced by carbon emissions due to shipping, they significantly reduce the cost of publishing, and they allow ideas to circulate freely, rather than be locked away in journals that are difficult for many to access either because they are extremely expensive or have small print runs. Opposition to open access publishing indicates both a lack of ecological awareness as well as an economic classism that approves those with little means (often graduate students, but also people outside the academy) being denied access to thought. In other words, the expensive price of print journals and articles is a material mechanism that re-produces certain class and social relations in knowledge production (those that have the means or a good library available get to participate, those that don’t don’t).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Regressive irrationality and climate change

This cartoon pretty much sums up the regressive non-argument.

Why Obama didn't respond to gas prices

In the last debate, when asked why the price of gas was so high during his tenure, Obama hemmed and hawed and never answered the question. And now Robert Reich is suggesting that the President should resurrect Glass-Steagall and break up the big banks. Reich is right of course, that the repeal of the Act allowed for the conditions to let greed run wild and create the near collapse of the economy. And that Obama should in fact recommend such legislation, as did others like the Dallas Federal Reserve and Sanford Weill, the creator of Citigroup. But this is exactly why Obama didn't give the real reason for gas prices, and why he'll never suggest such legislation. Gas prices are not due to supply and demand or anything the President can do: They are a direct result of Wall Street speculation. There have been countless articles on this: 1, 2, 3, 4 and many more.


I love it, this term Obama is now promoting to reflect Romney's ever-changing and regular Etch-a-Sketch flip flops: Romnesia. It adds humor and creativity in exposing the chameleon (aka liar) Romney, who will say and do anything to be the President. Obama:

"We have got to name this condition he is going through. I think it is called Romnesia. I think that's what it is called. Now I'm not a medical doctor. But I do want to go over some of the symptoms with you because I want to make sure nobody else catches it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The gravity of meshy hyperobjects

Continuing the suobstance of the OOO thread:

As to this "drawing into one" business for Bryant and Harman. They both draw this distinction, and both say that both sides of the bifurcation goes both ways. And yet my sense is that both also seem to favor the inside/substance/being as the residence of the withdrawn. Granted Bryant does note that the withdrawn is "not a givenness to a subject" but rather as "appearingness to the world" (TOO, 5). Following he admits that something of the withdrawn appears in local manifestations but not its entirety, with which I agree.

So Bryant is hinting at one point, that the withdrawn differance is not purely subjective. But the way he's setting this up it seems more like lip service, since he didn't develop this point and instead proceeds to reiterate the true but worn claim about something being held in reserve. Whereas what I'm wondering is about the medium in and through which the withdrawn operates as that medium. Or as the act of synthesis itself, explored in a previous post and briefly and inadequately addressed at the end of TOO.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

McLaren on progressive Christianity

His article discusses what people are leaving the church in droves. Main reason is that too many churches define themselves by who they exclude, by creating an identity in opposition to an other. You see this with denigrating gays, Muslims etc. Which is the difference between progressive and regressive religion. The only church I can abide these days in the Unitarian Universalist, which is liberal and inclusive and champions gay rights, for one.McClaren seems also on this side of the righteous and also seeks a religious identity based on whom we love instead of hate.

Image syntagmata

In re-reading "Time of the object" I came up on this word, syntagma, in a Derrida quote. From
"syn·tag·ma [sin-tag-muh], noun, plural syntagmas, syntagmata
1. a syntactic unit or a word or phrase forming a syntactic unit
2. a systematic collection of statements or propositions
[C17: from Late Latin, from Greek, from suntassein  to put in order; see syntax ]"

Since the plural is syntagmata, reminding me of the syntagma "image schemata," I'm wondering... image syntagmata? Since it can be argued that image schemata are the base for syntax? that like the tax on cigarettes or alcohol???

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ryan's genuine imitation authenticity

Jon Stewart reveals the real story about Paul Ryan recently volunteering at a homeless shelter. There were no homeless people there and he washed dishes that were already clean for 15 minutes, intentionally set aside for this photo op. It was stages plain and simple to make others think he actually has enough compassion to donate some of his precious time to aid the poor. Stewart: "Do you know how hard it is volunteering at a homeless shelter look like a negative thing?" "Later, food was withheld from nursing home patients so Ryan could arrive and reanimate them." The head of the faith-based organization said that no politicians have permission to stage events there, and that Ryan "ramrodded his way into the building." Stewart: "You broke into a homeless shelter?!" Yes sir, I believe those regressives really care about the homeless.

Obama grows a pair

Obama was good in the second debate. He assertively called out Romney when he was spinning or flat out lying, and he made a clear case for himself versus his opponent. And yet I get the sense that he did not make up for the huge amount of ground lost in the first debate. Time will tell.

Ontically speaking

Continuing in the OOO thread:

theurj: On 114 Harman proves another of my points when he said:

"Once a thing is created, it's there. And it doesn't really matter how it was created; it's a unit."

This completely avoids the cause of the unit/thing which arises within an environment. Yes, once created it has it own autonomy and draws/maintains its own distinctions/boundaries. But what is this plasma (khora) from which it sprang? What are its ascendents and descendents, as Latour would frame it?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Latour and the smell of blood in the morning

More from the OOO thread:

theurj: In trying to get a better handle on Latour I've turned to Harman's Prince of Networks. One thing that strikes me right off is that media(tors) are also actants (suobjects) with a 'mind' of their own:

"A mediator...always does new work of its own to shape the translation of forces from one point of reality to the next" (15).

I'm reminded of Edwards' mediator holons, like words. Rhetaphor indeed. Word? (Aka henna?)

At 16 Harman notes Latour is proud to be guilty of what DeLanda and Bhasksar criticize as 'actualism.' After all, it is in the 'act' that defines a actant. Or what I'm calling via Bryant the local manifestations of an actant at any given time. However this does not fall prey to Bryant's criticism that a actant is stuck with any given actualization, for per Latour this is every changing and in each new locally manifesting assemblange the actant is made anew, while still retaining its autonomy due to its irreducibility.

Oh, and Harman credits Latour as being the progenitor of OOO.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Morphological kosmic fault line

Continuing from this post (which is a continuation of many posts in the IPS thread):

Finishing Latour's chapter in TST I am left unsatisfied as to what exactly constitutes a "second-order" integration of the plural modes. I get that his spectograph is akin to a kennilingual psychograph, taking into account the various lines, or in this case, modes. But with both Latour (at least in this chapter) and kennilingus, we must certainly do more than just compare and allow for each to have its own domain enactments. Granted kennilingus uses not just nonexclusion but unfoldment (and enfoldment) and enactment (see excerpt B) in his IMP. In the excerpt he says that unfoldment is one way to integrate paradigms in that some have more inclusive complexity than others, therefore are a qualitatively better paradigm overall.

Respect and care for the elderly

Balder started an IPS thread, the Mother of Mothers, about a compassionate woman in Nepal who took in and cared for some of the elderly discarded by their society. It's a truly touching story that led me to comment, following.

One implication of the story is that the elderly are no longer respected or care-taken by their societies. Just recently after retiring from insurance I went to live with and take care of my mother for 6 months, who had fallen and broken her hip. It was a humongous challenge, since there are things about her I cannot abide. But abide I did, out of duty and compassion and remembering that she took care of a difficult child (me) for 18 years. When I left we arranged to have her move in with my sister, since she can no longer care for herself.

Friday, October 12, 2012


Here's another real word of the day from, since it too points to what I do to language. It's cool that interesting real words apply here:

zeugma \ZOOG-muh\, noun:

The use of a word to modify or govern two or more words when it is appropriate to only one of them or is appropriate to each but in a different way, as in "to wage war and peace," or "on his fishing trip, he caught three trout and a cold." Zeugma stems from the Greek word of the same spelling which meant "a yoking."

--So language in my hands takes a yoking and keeps on toking? Come now, I cant' be serious, I must be yoking?

Can tree bark bark up the wrong tree? I guess it depends on if said bark is an element in the tree or its own suobstance?

12 scientific studies on liberal/conservative differences

This ain't just an oppositional equivalency. Some evolution is involved! I know, regressives don't accept evolution. There you have it. From this source:

In the 12 peer-reviewed scientific studies summarized below, researchers found that liberals and conservatives have different brain structures, different physiological responses to stimuli, and activate different neural mechanisms when confronted with similar situations. Each entry below references the source document and a PDF of each study has been included. The studies are arranged from most recent to oldest.

1. Conservatives spend more time looking at unpleasant images, and liberals spend more time looking at pleasant images.
unpleasant and pleasant"We report evidence that individual-level variation in people's physiological and attentional responses to aversive and appetitive stimuli are correlated with broad political orientations. Specifically, we find that greater orientation to aversive stimuli tends to be associated with right-of-centre and greater orientation to appetitive (pleasing) stimuli with left-of-centre political inclinations."
Michael D. Dodd, Amanda Balzer, Carly Jacobs, Michael Gruszczynski, Kevin B. Smith, and John R. Hibbing, "The Left Rolls with the Good; The Right Confronts the Bad. Physiology and Cognition in Politics," PDF icon Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Mar. 5, 2012

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Don't get fucked by Romney and the Regressives

This satirical ad highlights the kind of values, and vaginal invasion, you'll get with President Romney and the Regressives. (Sounds like a bad 50s band. Oh yeah, it is.)


This time it's a real word, but one that some might use to describe what I do to words, as in this glossary. It's the word of the day from

catachresis \kat-uh-KREE-sis\, noun:

Misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect. Catachresis is derived from the Greek root chrêsis which meant "to use." The prefix cata- means "down, back, against." The word katachrêsthai meant "to misuse" in Greek.

Romney debates himself

This video shows how Romney reversed himself 180 degrees in the 1st Presidential debate on three topics, comparing statements from the debate with previous statements on those topics. There were many more examples of this from the debate but they limited it to 3 for this short video. Sad thing is, Romney is now leading in a national poll by 4 points after being down by 8 the week before the debate. Are there really 12% of the voting population that are that fickle and just plain stupid? Apparently so.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Crazy conspiracies about the latest job numbers

You've not doubt by now heard of the regressive conspiracy theory that the latest unemployment rate of 7.8% was due to cooked books on the part of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). And likely the President is in on the conspiracy, somehow forcing the BLS to comply with the cook. This was the outrageous claim of Jack Walsh, former chairman of General Electric, and quickly reverberated throughout  the entire regressive echo chamber.

Image stigmata

Continuing to maintain the autopoietic suobstance of the IPS OOO thread, more from it follows.

Here's a link to many of Andy Clark's papers. I'll be exploring some of them forthcoming. For example, this from "Beyond the flesh":

"Words are...the concrete objects that structure new spaces for basic forms of learning and reason.... Language is thus conceived as primarily a form of environmental structuring rather than as an information stream requiring translation into and out of various inner codes" (2-3).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Stewart v. O'Reilly debate

They met Saturday night at George Washington University for a "debate," sort of mocking the usual fare that occurs during such political theater. At theater this was, knowing it was a farce. At least for Stewart, who as usual gets actual political points across while injecting humor and wit. The debate started with 2 minute opening statements. When it came time for Stewart he began by using a mechanical lift to make his as tall as his opponent, for he is actually much shorter. What follows are a few of excerpts from Stewart during the opening. See the link for the whole debate.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Circle-jerk jargon

Balder referenced a paper by Gendlin here. I replied:

Yes, Gendlin's article addresses many of my recent concerns. But damn that guy's writing style is a jargon-laden circle. Reminds me of the Lingam in that way. Still, he gets at the organism-environment behavioral patterns I'm calling image schemas. And that these patterns, like with J&R, arise within a field of behavioral possibilities, i.e., how an organism can make use of its environment. I appreciate his distinguishing the different kinds of 'environment,' and I thought his third definition might approach Bryant's endo-relations. But it did not. In fact the different definitions got a bit muddled for me, given that by the time he got there we were in full circle-jerk jargon.*

* I like that expression, "circle-jerk jargon." Has a lyrical quality. I'm going to have to re-use that.

Image schemas revisited

Continuing from this discussion, I’ve cited this article before but it’s relevant here as well: “We are live creatures” by Johnson and Roher (in Body, Language and Mind). A couple of excerpts with commentary to follow:

The patterns of human-environment interaction are described as “image schemas that ground meaning in our embodiment and yet are not internal representations of an external reality. This leads to an account of an emergent rationality that is embodied, social and creative” (21) (my bolding).

“The fundamental assumption of the Pragmatists’ naturalistic approach is that everything we attribute to ‘mind’…has emerged (and continues to develop) as part of a process in which an organism seeks to survive, grow and flourish within different kinds of situations” (21-2).

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney: Winning by lying

Per the last post check out some of the following posts on fact-checking Romney's winning lies. Is anyone really surprised? This is the entire regressive worldview. The sad thing is that if lies are presented with conviction and verve the more ignorant, low-information types buy it. And the regressives know this and manipulate the hell out of their dupes.

Mitt Romney: Lying to victory
Romney's successful debate plan: lying
Mitt Romney's five biggest lies
The lie on pre-existing conditions
His four most misleading moments
The triumph of style over substance

Obama v. Romney, round 1

In last night's debate Romney definitely had the edge in terms of fight, his piss and vinegar quite tart and effective. The problem was that he declaimed virtually every policy he'd defended up to that point. Not only that, he basically lied about his previous views and about obvious facts. Obama of course challenged him repeatedly on the facts but in his usual cool, detached fashion. And he didn't challenge Romney on some other doozies like social security. The general consensus seems to be that Obama was too timid and intellectual in his style, while Romney was aggressive and forceful. Romney won on style and Obama won on specifics and facts. Yet what it seems everyone wants to see is Obama fight back, get down and dirty, raise his voice, show aggressive body language, glare Romney down, show spine and raised hackles. That is, grow a pair. If Obama would combine that with his specifics and facts he be demolishing Romney. Without that style though this race will get much tighter.

Basic categories and endo-relations

More from the autonomous suobstance of the IPS OOO thread:

Balder: Would this "distributed thinking" be akin to (or have the same elemental status as) Luhmann's social systemic communication?  Meaning, it wouldn't be an element in any individual's endo-relations, but it would be an element in the company's endo-relations.  (Not that I necessarily agree with this, but I am wondering if that is where Bryant would go with this...)

theurj: Back on p. 72 Luhmann said thoughts (or cognition) are the elements of conscious (or biological) beings whereas communications are the elements of social structures. I'm not sure how closely Bryant is following this, or to what degree he refines this in terms of extended mind. In the two posts at Larval Subjects above this is not addressed. But it seems certain Bryant is accepting that the thinking done by the social structure in the EM posts is not communications but extended cognition, a supposed element of conscious suobjects, not social suobjects. Even the whole division as to what is conscious breaks down with EM.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fuks Youse breaking blockbuster Obama story

Fox News (aka Fuks Youse) breaks this humongously significant story which will change the course of the upcoming election. At least in their own rabid frothing fantasy world. They released a 2007 video of Obama addressing a black audience giving out a shout-out to his then pastor Jerimiah Wright. The Fukheads say he is talking and acting like a black man. Well duh. This is shocking news? And that appreciating his pastor is somehow damaging beyond repair? And this somehow compares to the actual blockbuster of Romney calling half the nation lazy irresponsible moochers? You have to have a demented illness fueled by a ridiculous ideology to see this Obama tape as being on the scale of the Romney tape. Sick Fuks.

Monday, October 1, 2012

NY Attorney General sues JP Morgan

Wow, this is a surprising news story, given the recent effete and spineless political decision by the Justice Department to not criminally prosecute Goldman Sachs. NY AG Schneiderman's case against JP Morgan contains some of the very same facts that apply to Goldman, but that's another story.* The good news is that this is the first case the AG will prosecute under the combined state and federal task force Obama addressed. It alleges civil fraud, and as I said, the same kind of fraud Goldman engineered. Bear Sterns, now owned by JP Morgan, knowingly lied about the value of the junk mortgage-backed securities it sold. Even the contractor BS hired said it was junk. This is an encouraging sign that it's high time these corrupt Wall Street bankers will have to pay for the damage they wreaked on all of us. Go Schneiderman!

* Previously Goldman was sued by the SEC and fined $550 billion, but for the sale of one specific product only. The facts from that case, as well as the facts from Senator Levin's subcommittee, provided ample evidence to criminally prosecute Goldman.

Sensuous objects and the extended mind

Continuing the theme from this and previous posts, culled from the suobstantive suobject IPS Forum:

Another question I have is how does OOO address the extended mind theory,* an extension of embodied cognition? In EMT a thought can act like a meme in the environment and be transferred to and through individual minds, i.e., the thought didn't originate within an individual's endo-structural relations. Granted Bryant allows that exo-relations can and do affect and/or change endo-relations. Perhaps the meme crosses the individual boundary and is translated according to the individual, with its private thoughts about the meme being sensuous objects? But this still leave the originating meme-thought as an external real object, does it not?