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Philosophical discourse interlude



Joel Spector asserts:

>It's my belief that it's not how much you know, but how well you know it.

Ahh... that Talmudic thing again...

>Ideas, concepts, language, thought itself, are no longer shaped to last

Wait a minute. I had an idea that I named Center for Book Arts, and I
shaped it to last. And it's still here. And there are a bunch of other ones
that took the idea, or the name (PCBA, Artists Bookworks, Bookworks London,
MCBA, ...) and they're still here. And maybe they won't last forever. But
how long is time? Everybody talks about archival. But I'd rather make
something I like that lasts a moment than something I can't stand that
lasts forever.

So if you want your idea to last just shape it properly and it will. And I
didn't invent that. The caves at Lascaux and Altamira contain thoughts that
somebody wanted to last. And they're in pretty good shape. Pyramids. DNA.
The Ellipse. Matter. Helium. Carbon. Spheres.

>We tend to shelter beneath broad assumptions about the beneficence and
efficacy of
>systems and trends over which we have little or no control
> This preserves our sense of respectability, well-being, etc., from any
realization of the
>need for the exercising of independent judgment or discernment, and
defends
>as well those portions of our identities which are bound up in the ethos
of
>sociological or technical/industrial juggernauts such as the ones here in
>question. We tend not to enquire as to the potential dangers or damage
that
>might be incurred by entrusting our own welfare to these systematic
>activities, so habitual has their acceptance become.

I just quoted that because it bears repeating.

>What I mean is, things are said in a manner inadmissable to any venue of
>serious discourse. There is no eye contact, no facial expression, no vocal

>intonation or 'pitch', no 'body language', visible or aural irony, i.e.,
no
>sense of presence to mediate and inform its participants. E-mail is not
>employed with the same level of skill, consideration, and narrative
integrity
>that the novelist, essayist, poet or accomplished letterwriter uses

What the fuck is this bullshit? Anything is admissable in any discourse.
Who needs eye contact. You got something against blind people? or deaf
people? If someone can't write they can't write. If they can, they can do
it as well on email as anywhere else.

>The printing press
>introduced fundamental changes. But I think the analogy is weak. Easy,
yes.
>But more apparent than real. I believe there is a point, as is
>well-illustrated in the sciences, where, say, heat for example, or some
other
>form of energy, when introduced into a given material, radically alters
its
>fundamental characteristics/properties. In other words, quantitative
increase
>results in qualitiative change.

Talk about brain bashing! If anybody thinks the printing press (movable
type, etc) didn't make the French Revolution possible then I don't know
anything about thermodynamics.

> It inundates our lives
>with information without investing them with the discernment which results

>from those 'accidents' of enlightenment that occur while we negotiate the
>twilight region between physical reality and our intellectual goals--in
fact,
>that civilize those goals.

Now, there's a sentence--whatever it means.

---

Richard Minsky
http://www.avsi.com/minsky/

P.S.: If you got this far-- sorry I haven't had time to update my website
since whenever, but now that I've tried out Netscape 2.0 Beta I'm glad I
didn't-- what's coming is astounding! Multiple frames on a page that are
scrollable vertically and horizontally, with multimedia plug-ins in
different frames which don't require the viewer to have any particular
software...


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