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Showing posts from February 15, 2015

the scar

“Then” is the shape of time, or at least of time for birds, beasts, and bacteria, and for all the other monuments of DNA as well. In the world of nuclear particles, ‘then’ is a wicket through which one can pass one way and then another and both simultaneously, or so the equations tell us. “Then” is also, by a heavy coincidence, a logical function. Here it does not give us a temporal, but a seemingly atemporal sequence. Such is the magic of words, however, that we are always tempted to take the atemporal world of the variables of logic and confound it with the temporal world in which we find ourselves. We are always tempted to see logic in history, to see the temporal as the pattern of the temporal. Yet is logic so blind to temporality? Do we require some second order of reasoning to reconcile the one to the other? That is, perhaps, the task that falls to dialectic. It is a shady task – Kant for instance placed dialectic in the slum of philosophy, where the hucksters, grifters an

Economics as science (sigh) again

Economists, as a rule, are highly defensive about being "scientists". By this, they don't mean that they are part of the general social sciences set - a subset of sociology, in fact. No, they mean that they are like physics. They aren't at all like physics, of course, starting at the ground level. While physicists can start with atoms because atoms are entirely defined by mass and motion, economics has no equivalent. Individuals are not simply defined by mass and motion. Economists have attempted to define them as the atoms of economics, but the arguments for this range from poor to unbelievable. This is even conceded, and got over by pretending that the motion of the individual is wholly defined by the desire to get more.  Since the very meaning of getting more is not really definable without the system of values defining more, there's really no atomic level to work up from.  But economists still somehow consider that, since they do hard mathematical work, the

The creeps

It is hard to predict the political result of the EU's attempt to crush democracy in Greece. The big Creeps, as one could call the austerity group, would welcome a solution a l'egypte, with a complacent military government. And perhaps they will get their wish. But it might be that the anti-creep forces in Spain, Italy, Ireland and even France will be charged by the evident anti-democratic animus that now rules in Europe. Usually, when a movement is crushed, its moment goes o ut. When the soviets sent tanks into Prague, that effectively ended any chance for any future socialism with a human face. The equivalent, the sending of debt collectors to Athens to make sure the level of starvation is just so, might crush the notion of EU with a human face. My hope, of course, is a mobilization of movements that will drive the incumbent parties out of office all over Europe. But, alas, I'd bet against it. If the creeps - faux socialists in France and Spain and the UK, the faux democr

on hiding

Hiding, as Aristotle might say, is said of two different class of actions. One class is uniquely aboout hinding oneself. The other group is about hiding other things, which can include other people, or, more often, semi-people: the stuffed Mickey Mouse, the stuffed ant-eater, the plastic giraffe. Adam is now old enough to recognize that we cut down the wildernesses, lay the railroads, plot the land, pave the roads, and build the houses in order to create congeries of hiding places. His two favorite places are in the space between the wall and the refrigerator, in the kitchen, and pappa’s closet, a storage area next to our real closet that has been carved into the wall space about three feet above the floor. The latter has a real negative, in that to hide there, Adam has to ask to be lifted up to it. This broadly signals that one is hiding. On the plus side, it it s perfect cubby, with an odd interior angle to it – this storage space was definitely a Los Angeles after thought – and a do