Thursday, January 26, 2012

The human costs of your I-Phone

Have you bothered to consider this when you buy an Apple product? I'm guessing not. Why it's just business after all, right?

"Workers assembling iPhones, iPads and other devices often labor in harsh conditions, according to employees inside those plants, worker advocates and documents published by companies themselves. Problems are as varied as onerous work environments and serious — sometimes deadly — safety problems.

US Open classic west coast swing winners

Jordan and Tatianna are back on top.

Tilting at windmills

So many words swirling round
never stopping, always fighting.
Defending the firm high ground
the right and the true.
Which is better and worse
now a moot point.
No more tilting at windmills.
The sluice is open
river and ocean conflue.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


I may have posted this before but will do so again. The following is a list of discussions of interest to me when the IPS forum was at Gaia. Following that is a list of my favorite discussions on the current Ning IPS forum.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Religious fanatacism

Do you know someone like this? It doesn't have to be an Advaita fanatic; any obsessed person with a theory of everything will do.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Step back and repulse monkey

An excerpt of our ongoing OOO discussion. Balder referenced Joel's principle of absolute reversal, where one end of a pole becomes its opposite when it reaches the extreme. I replied:

This reminds me of my old t'ai chi training. Yin and yang must be clearly differentiated and balanced in mind, body and deed. Theoretically when yin for example is 100% and yang 0% then yin transforms into yang.* And yet practically in the body and between bodies this never happens, as they must always be clearly differentiated to maintain balance.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Welfare for the rich

Here's a fascinating Huff Post article by Dan Froomkin on how we subsidize the rich in the US. Conservatives constantly complain about the social welfare of social security and Medicare, but what about their tax expenditures? The two biggest of the latter are employer-sponsored health benefits and 401k and other retirement programs which disproportionately favor the rich.


Yes, that's presance,* an intentional misspelling to distinguish it from presence. Much like differance is to difference. The following comes from my IPS posts in both the mind and nature and patterns of wholeness threads referenced recently.

This post may be of relevance, or more aptly, presence. Mayhaps more neologistically and in Derridaen fashion, presance?

Bonnie makes some useful distinctions in language that appears quantum, so might serve as a bridge to Tom's ideas (or not). She distinguishes the epistemological field from the ontological dimension, e.g. this from her linked article above:

Thursday, January 12, 2012

On matters mereological

Balder started a new IPS thread on patterns of wholeness. My initial comments follow:

This SEP article on mereology is instructive relative to OOO's strange version. (Warning: math involved.) For example:

"Mereologically, an atom (or 'simple') is an entity with no proper parts, regardless of whether it is point-like or has spatial (and/or temporal) extension.... Are there any such entities? And if there are, is everything entirely made up of atoms? Does everything comprise at least some atoms? Or is everything made up of atomless 'gunk' (in the terminology of Lewis 1970)? These are deep and difficult questions, which have been the focus of philosophical investigation since the early days of philosophy."

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mind and Nature

Balder started an IPS thread on this book by Jason Brown wherein a link to the e-book was provided. Here are some book quotes and my comments:

Speaking of the withdrawn:

"The inexorable order of the world, which is inferred from the succession of objects in perception, is conceived as the busy surface of a process that is, for the most part, inapparent or concealed. The
concealment of the ubiquitous is a validation of its centrality. The necessities of thought are habitual and invariant, and so remain in the background. The essential is inapparent precisely because it is invariant. In contrast to the multiplicity and variety of finite actualities, the change or becoming through which they develop is uniform" (89).

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Proportional centaurs

The IPS OOO thread continues to be a treasure trove of exploration for me. Here are a few more of my observations from p. 46 of that thread:

I got access to the referenced pages in The Opening of Vision today. I appreciate how he articulates a theoretical-instrumental reason that, among other things, reduces "our capacity to...a physics of light" (99), missing the withdrawn, open clearing of Being from which it depends. He does though admit that the 'new' physics, presumably QM, might be capable of approaching the clearing, given its focus on "a field of continuity and interaction...[in a] hidden unity" (103-4). However this kind of open wholeness is still not totalizing or ever enters into a complete presence, for only a instrumental reason supposes such a presence. He brings in Tarthang Tulku and "contemplation" as the means to enact an awareness (perhaps an inkling is a better term?) of the clearing, however partial given its withdrawn nature.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Demythologizing "the mean green meme" meme

More from the OOO thread:

I found this enlightening, from Kennilingam speaking through his character Lesa Powell in endnotes to Boomeritis, number 12:

“For the Heideggerian line of totalizing critique--which found its most noticeable postmodern champion in Derrida--modernity was the culmination of the withdrawal of Being (mystery and difference). Modernity murdered Being and Mystery under 3 major repressions: one, the subject of consciousness knows only what is present as an idea or representation, which leads to the notion that this subject can have total or absolute knowledge of the world as fully intelligible, without residing mystery (the Hegelian system especially claims such, which is one of the great problems of having Reason attempt to carry Being)--and thus it actually represses the networks of difference, mystery, and otherness (this is Derrida's critique of presence, a critique which maintains that 'nothing is ever simply present,' since vast networks of nonpresent realities help to constitute the subject. Because of the sliding chains of linguistic signifiers and the deferral of meaning, nothing is ever simply present: therefore metaphysics, which claims to know as present various realities, is a concealing and hiding of Being and Mystery and Difference). Two, this subject is claimed to be autonomous will, and thus it actually ignores and represses all those aspects of Being that cannot be fitted into its practical mastery (Hegel again attempts to make the absolute Subject a union of will and rational intelligibility). But will is just 'the forgetting of Being,' the denial of diffĂ©rance (difference), the eclipse of the Other. Three, power itself becomes its own goal, and instrumental rationality seeks to control and dominate all that is Other.”

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Heidegger and the withdrawn

More from the ongoing IPS OOO discussion:


Earlier in this thread we discussed how Bryant defines the withdrawn using Derrida. Here's an essay by Harman on Heidegger doing the same. As we know, Derrida also got a lot of this from Heidegger. A sample:

"If I observe a table and try to describe its appearance, I silently rely on a vast armada of invisible things
that recede into a tacit background. The table that hovers visibly before my mind is outnumbered by all the invisible items that sustain my current reality: floor, oxygen, air conditioning, bodily organs. This is the meaning of Heidegger’s tool-analysis. For the most part entities are not Husserlian phenomena lucidly present to view, but are hidden or withdrawn realities performing their labours unnoticed. Though we can turn our attention to these hidden entities whenever we choose, they will always be surrounded by a vast landscape of other things still taken for granted.... Heidegger finds it impossible in principle to make the withdrawn reality...fully reveal its secrets. There will always be a subterranean depth to the world that never becomes present to view."

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The differance between meta- and ideological theories

Ongoing IPS discussion in the OOO thread has a Bohr(ing) quantum convert decrying OOO's pluralist or democratic ontology for a more ideological and totalizing theory of everything, what I lovingly refer to as The Bohrg. In response I posted this from Mark Edwards on meta-theories (from the religious difference thread):

“Integration in the metatheory building context does not mean to create one super-theory but rather to bring many different viewpoints together so that their strengths and weaknesses can be recognized....Rather that simply reproducing dominant theoretical ideologies, metatheory undermines them through this reflexive raising of consciousness about the relationships between theories. And this is, in fact, why several metatheorists have argued that postmodernism is itself a metatheoretical enterprise” (13-15).