Thursday, August 30, 2012

Otto Laske and OOO

In my short but intense participation with Commons' Yahoo forum* I always appreciated Otto Laske's perspective, since he generally questioned the rigidity of developmental paradigms while simultaneously supporting them. So I'm pleased to see Laske has a piece in the August issue of ILR here. The following is a brief excerpt consonant with the IPS OOO thread and posted therein, hopefully to generate discussion.

"In a nutshell: I am saying that concepts, ordinarily considered only as tools for constructing the social and physical world, or even only as tools for 'getting things done,' and worse, as external labels for 'things,' are actually life-determining and –directing entities."

* Documented in this thread, which continued to explore the issues raised therein.

Fox news columnist calls out Ryan's lies

Yes, amazing, I know. Sally Kohn works for Fox news and she criticized Ryan for his convention speech lies. She said of Ryan's speech, it "was an apparent attempt to set the world record for the greatest number of blatant lies and misrepresentations slipped into a single political speech." We'll see how long she continues to work for Fox after this, since all their other commentators effused unction all over it with no mention whatsoever of the lies.

Update: So far at least 25 journalists have called out his lies. No, not his spin, his lies. See this for details.

Taibbi: Romney, Greed and Debt

Matt Taibbi has a new Rolling Stone article on this here. He finds Romney to be a man of vision and purpose, but one not conducive to any but the richest among us. He and the regressives generally rail on about the debt, but ironically this is the vehicle for how they make their wealth. Bain's vulture capitalism is based on the legal loopholes created by regressive lobbyists that allow for them to borrow money to buy a company, then burden it with debilitating debt, gut it of employees and benefits, take the cream off the top, and then leave the shell owing the debt that Bain created. "In the past few decades, in fact, Romney has piled more debt onto more unsuspecting companies, written more gigantic checks that other people have to cover, than perhaps all but a handful of people on planet Earth."

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Regressives know propaganda but use it to lie

As I've stated before, GOP operatives are masters of framing. Lakoff has also noted this and that progressives must learn from it to get their message across. They are catching up but the difference is that regressives lie in their framing. When caught they then spin this further that there is not truth, that truth itself is just a matter of framing a point of view. It wasn't that long ago that they criticized the liberals for doing this, calling it cultural relativism. But there are facts and there is spin. And to not recognize the facts and to utilize outright lies in one's spin is a blatant lack of character. Again the regressives have traditionally laid claim to morality and religious righteousness. And again they violate their own purported beliefs by lying, cheating and stealing to effect their worldview.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Hermetic Deleuze

Balder started an IPS thread on this new book by Joshua Ramey. There is also some discussion of the book in this post referencing the Footnotes 2 Plato review. My initial response:

I admit to being highly skeptical of a hermetic interpretation of anything, let alone Deleuze. This is largely due to my initiation into, and intense participation in, a contemporary hermetic tradition some years ago. I've discussed this elsewhere and found so much metaphysical baggage in this line that I could no longer tolerate it, being in my mind retro-romantic and quite regressive. Now I hear the buzzwords "re-imagined" and "re-invented" regarding hermetics, and thought this could be the case when I re-entered that tradition in the last few years, only to discover in a school purportedly intent on doing exactly that that the egregore, so to speak, is so rife with the baggage that I found the effort not worth the time.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Bill Maher's opening jokes this week

His opening was particularly funny to me this week. Here are some of my favorites. On the Republican convention being held in Tampa and the news of an impending hurricane: "Newt Gingrich says he like hurricanes and looks forward to getting blown behind a dumpster." "Romney is worried sick because it is headed right toward the island where he keeps his money." On Romney commenting that no one has ever asked to see his birth certificate like Obama: "Right, because you're weren't born; you have a warranty card." On Romney rehearsing his convention speech: "He took a pregnant pause and they made him carry it to term." On Aiken's comment about the female body shutting down pregnancy if raped: "Not only is this absurd: this is the worse super power ever." On Aiken now getting death threats: "They have now narrowed the list of suspects to all women everywhere." "I'm not surprised that in American people believe things like this but they usually don't own shoes."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Bill Maher on regressive fantasy

My recent post on Batchelor highlights the importance of fighting the kind of religion typical of Todd Aiken in its absurd ignorance of basic science. Not all religion or spirituality, just the mythic kind that believes in absolute nonsense because it has serious repercussions on society as a whole, particularly when such beliefs infuse politicians creating public policy. Maher: "When I say religion is a mental illness, this is what I mean: it corrodes your mental faculties to the point where you can believe in tiny ninja warriors who hide in vaginas and lie in wait for bad people's sperm."

And as I posted before, Aiken is not an anomaly but typical of this kind of magical thinking in the GOP. They don't believe in the overwhelming scientific evidence for climate change. They claim to want to reduce the deficit yet refuse to curb military spending or raise any revenue, instead believing in the magical trickle-down effect which has proven to be pure illusion.

Bryant's idealistic realism and/or realistic idealism

This is an interesting blog post by Bryant, which initiated this IPS discussion.

Balder: I enjoyed this post by Bryant.  It was clarifying for me, in some ways, but I guess also a mild let-down: what he articulates as the OOO anthro-de-centrizing of Kant (and Bogost's alien phenomenology) is very close to how I've thought about postmetaphysical enaction all along (so the mild let-down has to do with a feeling of "old news").  Kantian anthropocentrism seems like a non-problem to me, or a problem already dealt with by others prior to OOO.  Not that OOO doesn't contribute anything new, of course; but one of the central problems he is addressing is not one that registers as a significant one to me (because it has already been addressed).  This isn't to say, though, that Bryant doesn't address this lucidly and usefully in his own way; I think he does.

Batchelor: athiests v. theists

Lol posted a video about his at IPS. I haven't seen the complete video yet, just the clip, so Batchelor might address my point therein. The new atheists are rightfully and vehemently anti-theist in terms of a mythic God, and of those who claim to be his spokesperson. Many of the new atheists, not just Sam Harris, also promote a kind of spirituality that it not contaminated by such myth. To not oppose the mythic theism, to just be amused by it and let it be, it tantamount to relinquishing a civic responsibility to humanity, who suffers greatly at its hands. This goes along with the apt criticism of Buddhism generally that it focuses too much on inner development and not enough on civic or political engagement. Granted Buddhism generally provides ample aid to the poor etc. but on an individual level, and has tended to not be so much engaged in the political process where masses can be helped via policy. And granted there has been a social engagement movement within Buddhism in recent years, but it seems this is largely from a western influence. More after I view the whole video.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Romney lies on welfare

Granted both political parties frame their arguments, as well they should. But one party consistently not only frames but lies in so doing, while the other generally uses facts. Take for example Romney's campaign ads that Obama has cut the work requirement for welfare. This has been repeatedly fact-checked and deemed an outright lie, yet Romney persists in it. Romney's defense is that the facts will depend on which party is spinning them. Per above yes, there is legitimate spin. But to use lies in that spin is another matter altogether, one representative of an egregious lack or moral character.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Lakoff & Smith on the public moral vision

They have an extended article out today on the progressive value of the public. It is a moral vision that promotes mutual care and responsibility for each other instead of rank greed and egoism. Such a public vision is embodied in the nature of our government, whose job it is to enact that care by enabling the people to cooperatively build a better life for all. Such public policy manifests in building infrastructure like "roads and bridges, public schools, hospitals, a national bank, a patent office, police, a justice system, public buildings and records, sewers, clean water, public transportation, public health and disease control, scientific research, the internet, GPS, and energy grids." 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Legitimate Rape song

Check out this humorous video on how the regressives view rape.

Aiken's rape views are mainstream in the GOP

Recall in the last post Todd Aiken's views on rape. Republicans are condemning him in droves as if he's some kind of anomaly. But not so. He's actually in line with typical regressive views on rape. Rachel Maddow, in her usual and inimitable style, reports on this. The facts are as follows. James Leon Holmes, former President of the Arkansas Right to Life group, headed a state amendment to ban all abortion, even when it threatened the mother or was the result of rape or incest. He too has this infantile notion that women cannot get pregnant from rape. Dubya Bush gave him a lifetime appointment as a Federal Judge. Clayton Williams is a former gubernatorial candidate of Texas. He thought that as long as rape was inevitable one may as well "just relax and enjoy it." It does on.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Regressive rape opinion

Todd Akin, a Republican representative in Missouri, is running for Senate. He recently made some honest and astoundingly ignorant remarks on rape, saying that victims of "legitimate rape" rarely get pregnant because the "female body has ways to shut that whole thing down."First off, he qualifies "legitimate" rape, I guess meaning there are forms of it that are illegimate? That maybe women claim it was rape but it wasn't really? Or that it's ok to rape a woman under the right circumstances? And how ignorant can one be to think that the body can determine when the rape was "legitimate" and then know to abort the ill-conceived fetus? This is a US representative serving on the House Science and Tech committee and he doesn't understand basic biology. And who wants to be in the Senate. Really?

GOP on early voting in Ohio

The Republican Ohio Secretary of State, who previously supported early voting for only Republican counties, decided to allow it for all counties recently M-F until 7 pm two weeks before the election. However there will be no weekend voting at all, which is often when the black voters come out due to jobs that often do not allow paid time off for voting. Doug Priesse, a Republican election official, goes to far as to say: "I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban -- read African-American -- voter-turnout machine." He recognizes that it is this specific constituency that needs to vote on weekends and openly admits we should not "accommodate" making voting accessible for them given their circumstances. It's another obvious example of the simple fact that regressives simply do not want those who will not vote for them to vote at all.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Hydrogen, the saectum saectorum

Balder started an IPS thread on matarealism. Yes, that is how he spelled it, to reflect the mata of matter and realism. Therein he used the term saeculum with reference to Pannikar, indicative of how the secular can become sacralized. The word led to some ruminations on my part, following from that discussion.

Ah yes, my alma mat(t)er. But I prefer to (de-re)phrase it the saectum saectorum (from sanctum sanctorum), given my atheist bent, meaning the most common of the common. (In real terms this would be hydrogen.) Not to be confused with the rectum santorum.

Bill Maher is back

From vacation. In his opening monolog he said of Paul Ryan: " Scientists said this would never happen but it did: the ticket got whiter.... He's kind of an English-speaking version of Sarah Palin." Ryan wants to dismantle Medicare, cut back on unemployment benefits, increase taxes on the middle class and decrease them on the rich. "Or as your idiot brother-in-law puts it, 'Finally somebody who cares about me.'"

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Krugman on the oxymoron 'reasonable Republican'

He's right, of course, when he says that its ludicrous to require one to provide examples of regressive reasonableness to prove one is not biased. That fallacy assumes there is such a creature and there is little evidence to the support it. He says of course there are those that used to be considered Republican who have uttered reasons but they are immediately denounced by the Party.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Romney and Obama Medicare cuts are not the same

The Romney campaign and his super PACs are lying again. They claim that the Affordable Care Act will cut Medicare benefits by $700 billion. While it's true that it will cut that much from the program there are no cuts to benefits. Per Robert Reich the cuts will be to payments made to drug companies, hospitals and other providers. Meanwhile the Romney/Ryan plan will make the same amount of cuts but to pay for them they turn the program into a voucher system, which won't keep up with rising health care costs thereby increasing the financial burden on program beneficiaries. And all while giving even bigger tax cuts to the already wealthy. Which do you prefer?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Organized noise

I'm taking a trip down memory lane with 2 songs from yesteryear that both start with highly complex, organized 'noise.' They both then transition into highly organized 'music,' this showing the same differences and juxtaposition of both that were popular in the early 70s.

Yes: Close to the Edge

Emerson, Lake and Palmer: Tarkus

Distributed property

In this age of distribution property is but one more aspect that requires the same for an equitable society. P2P Foundation turned me on to this article, where the author notes viable examples already exist and are doing quite well. An excerpt:

"John M├ędaille is a U.S.-based ‘distributist’. Distributism is a tradition which originated within Catholic social thought and stresses that the distribution of property between all citizens is a prerequisite for a just and prosperous society, and sharply distinguishes equitable markets from capitalism."

John says:

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Robert Reich on Romney/Ryan social Darwinism

Reich has it right again with this piece. Romney's VP pick reiterates his social Dawinism. Ryan's budget rewards the rich, penalizes the poor and the rest can fend for themselves. The cuts to Medicaid would drop coverage to millions. Food stamps would be drastically reduced, as well as housing assistance, job training and Pell grants. It's all part of a philosophy that sees the rich as deserving due to "the nature of law and God," the poor deserving their lot as well due to them not being fit enough to survive.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Jump Right In by the urge

I heard this one for the first time recently on the local alternative station, Jump Right In by the urge. Granted I'm biased toward their name but I really liked the song before I knew it. The song has a reggae beat but interesting melody with chromatic shifts and added horns. They remind me a lot of Cake. This version doesn't have an ad in the beginning, but also no graphics.

Romney picks Ryan

This is perfect to highlight the stark differences between the progressive and regressive agenda. Recall this post where the Catholic nuns and bishops find Ryan's budget plan immoral. The regressives spin it as the poor are lazy and freeloaders so screw them, whereas the Catholics and progressives want to offer a hand up, not a hand out. In this one Jeffrey Sachs rips Ryan a new asshole on true democratic values. The differences couldn't be more forcefully drawn. Also recall Obama's April address that laid out how implementing the Ryan budget would affect us. Choosing Ryan will no doubt energize the rabid regressive base but they are dwindling. This is a battle for the 'independents,' and hopefully the majority of them can see through the spin and make the sane choice for a better, more compassionate and equitable America this coming November.

Friday, August 10, 2012

The regressive early voting hypocricy

Everyone with a brain knows that the regressive scheme to disenfranchise Democrat voters through voter ID laws is a scam, plain and simple. But they at least provide a specious reason for so doing, voter fraud. Granted voter fraud has proven to be a red herring but now they're up to another tactic that has absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Rachel Maddow reports that in Ohio the Republicans are limiting early voting in Democrat-leaning counties, while allowing in it Republican counties. No shit. In the Rep. counties they are approving early voting on nights and weekends and not allowing this in Dem. counties. They know that the Dem. counties have a majority of the elderly, poor and lower working class, who are working during day-time hours and have difficulty getting to the poles. They traditionally go in the evenings or on the weekends. So once again the regressives limit their voting opportunities while expanding their own.

I totally recall The Transmigration of Timothy Archer

I'm going to see the remake of Total Recall today. It's not doing so well at the box office, not sure of the reviews. I enjoyed the original with Arnold. And of course PKD's original story. Looking forward to Beckinsale and Biel in fight scenes.

It reminded me of my fav PKD novel, his last, The Transmigration of Timothy Archer. Therein he questioned his entire oeuvre in that previously there as always a real behind the apparent that came to be revealed. In TTA there might be a real but it can never be fully known, and that the search to do so was folly that ended in totalitarianism and madness. He was ahead of his time and fits nicely into our burgeoning postmetaphysical era. Someone simply must make this into a movie.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

John Stewart on the voter-fraud fraud

Stewart reports on the voter fraud issue, and how it is itself a fraud. He turns to Faux Snooze's voter fraud unit, which runs about like Chicken Little proclaiming there is a proven problem, "a serious threat to our democracy." The National Republican Lawyers Association, which supports the spate of voter suppression laws around the country, found only 340 cases of voter fraud over a 10 year period in the entire US. That comes to about 0.7 cases per State per year. Pennsylvania, which is one of the States with new voter suppression law, admitted that it is "not aware of any incidents of in-person voter fraud in PA." And that no fraud in likely to occur in the 2012 election without a voter ID law. Stewart: "It doesn't happen, this won't stop it, I think you can see why we have to do it now." He quips that next will be leash laws for unicorns.

The next Buddha?

Layman Pascal started an IPS discussion called "Who is the world teacher?" Check it out for his ruminations. My initial response follows:

The archetype of a world-teacher is from the age of heroes, i.e., formal operational cognition with its individualism. We're moving into the P2P age and the next Buddha will be a sangha. Check out this essay by the P2P Foundation which provides a good idea of the next age and "Buddha," with examples from Ferrer and Heron. Bauwens does for spirituality what Rifkin does for techno-economy. Also this is what Balder is and has been working on, and what this site is about. Balder's real name is in fact mentioned in Bauwens' article.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

New issue of Integral Review

Check it out. There's an article on interreligous dialogue as well as wesoterica, body practices, activism and an interview with Jorge Ferrer.

A few points in Ferrer's interview. He notes that in the Zen school he as with it was mixed with Taoism and shamanism, and magic was included in the study. Taoism is rife with this in itself. I've noted before the heavy mix of shamanistic magic that permeates most Tibetan Buddhism. I still see this as not so much a pluralism of practices, or even an integration a la Gebser of the various worldviews, but as a holdover of pre-modern views that infects and ties it down to regressive metaphysical views. I'm just wondering how Ferrer sees this, as he admits shamanism is a significant part of his practice.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bryant inciting insurrection? Or just academic posturing?

Levi Bryant's 8/4/12 blog post discusses capitalism as a hyperobject. As such it is non-local, everywhere and nowhere. We can experience its local manifestations but its substance is withdrawn from them. So how can one affect such a hyperobject? He certainly thinks that merely complaining about it through ideology is a waste of time and does nothing other than perpetuate its own autopoetic structure in academia. However every hyberobject requires its material infrastructure and it is at these points that one can have an affect. He suggests if you really want to change it then occupy a highway, shut down satellite communications, block a port, erase data banks.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New job growth numbers

The July numbers came out and the US added 163,000 jobs in July. 172,000 private sector jobs were added but there was a loss of 9,000 public sector jobs. Unemployment rose from 8.217% to 8.254% but was rounded up to 8.3%. Romney and the regressives are seeing this as more evidence that the economy stalled. What they don't tell you is that 4.5 million have been created over the last 29 months, and 1.1 million this year so far. Granted this is not great, but consider that the regressives have opposed and blocked nearly every single jobs bill Obama or the progressives have proposed. That the numbers are as good as they are, given that obstruction, is simply astounding.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

And then there's Romney's budget

As Rachel Maddow reports, Romney's budget raises taxes on everyone except the rich. The sources for this info are The Brookings Institution and the Tax Policy Center, which made every assumption in Romney's favor yet this is the realistic result. "If you're in the bottom 80%, your tax increase under Romney would range from $128 to $1,880, but if you're in the top 0.1%, your tax break would be worth nearly a quarter of a million dollars." What's it going to take for regressive dupes to understand Romney or the Republicans aren't for you unless you're rich?

Republican budget is immoral

So says Jim Wallis, the above will "roll back tax credits for the poor to help fund tax breaks for the rich" and "is morally reprehensible, and the faith community has to speak out." The earned income tax credit and the child tax credit are being drastically reduced. He agrees that reducing deficits is moral as well, but how we do it is what determines the overall morality of a budget. And by taking from the poor to give to the rich is entirely backward as to how morality is supposed to work. To not speak out and fight such immorality is tantamount to tacitly supporting it.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kinds of holarchy

Continuing from the "what matters?" post in terms of holarchy, Balder is exploring Wilber's 20 tenets and how they might be coordinated with OOO. I referenced Mark Edwards' Ph.D. dissertation at this link. I agree that we can find useful correspondence with the 20 tenets and strange mereology. The latter though is fully immanent. It might also be transcendental as we've explored, but not transcendent in Wilber's sense. See for example footnote 26 to Excerpt A where he says:

"Are there any forms that were laid down as 'memory' in the involutionary sequence and which therefore show up as timelessly given forms that are present at the very start of evolution itself and operative at every point of evolution's unfolding? As involutionary givens, we have already postulated Eros/Agape and the morphogenetic tilt of manifestation. Are there any others?... Whitehead believed so: eternal objects, for example.... Certain physical laws described by mathematics.... A list of 20 proposed involutionary givens [tenets] can be found in chapter 2 of SES."