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Showing posts from May 23, 2021

Cold War Crosshatchery: where do UFOs come from, Dad?

  The press at the moment is full of UFO stories. The Pentagon is about to come clean – to publish its files – encounters of the third kind are leaping off the pages of National Enquirer in your grocery store and become scientific, or sorta scientific, fact! We will have to deal with it, say certain members of our billionaire class. Who floating through a whole different atmosphere of money have long felt that they live on another, superior planet.  Which brings me back to an old essay, written by Ian Hacking in 1998 and entitled, Canguilhem   among the cyborgs. I came across the essay in the Bush era and found it fascinating more for the fascinating sideline on cyborgs, voodoo, All in the Family and other topics than for what it says about Canguilhem, much as I respect that man. Hacking makes the case for Canguilhem’s case for seeing tools and machines as organs, in the service of Canguilhem’s twist away from the dominant Cartesian paradigm. But he doing so, in a Shandian way, he

cold war skies

    “What age was I? Six or seven, I think. I was stretched out in the shadow of some poplar trees contemplating a sky almost without clouds. I saw this sky teeter, and fall into the emptiness. This was my first impression of nothingness, all the   more vivid in that it succeeded that of a full and rich existence. Since then, I have sought to understand why one thing succeeded the other, and in consequence of an erroneous assumption common to those who search with their intelligence instead of their bodies and souls, I thought it was a question of what philosophers call the “problem of evil.” However, it was something deeper and more serious. I had before me not a failure but a lacuna. Everything, literally everything, threatened   to fall into this yawning hole.” This is from Jean Grenier’s The Islands, a book of “fallen leaves”, brief poem-meditations, published in 1934. Grenier’s sky was the pre-World One sky, from 1906.   Its freight was birds, tree branches, clouds, the sun, t