Tag Archives: Philosophy

crunch

(Technically, as it is 12:55am right now) 2 more days until my last final!

I am trying to cover as much ground as possible, but when a course surveys 22 different thinkers on the topic of aesthetics, it’s really difficult to keep their theories all neat and organized.

Anyway, I’ve also been slacking off a little; keeping up with the filming of Sherlock Season 3 (THOUGH SOMEHOW I HAVE NOT BEEN SPOILED YET, PLEASE DO NOT RUIN THIS FOR ME) and my affection for BC only increases… That man is really taking over hollywood! I’m so happy for his success.

I’ve been watching Glenn Gould videos (we studied him in class). I really do think I have a thing for old dead guys. He’s so charismatic here! And very intense too, which i no surprise. I don’t really go for the easy going type, it seems.

OH! BrainPickings has been really brilliant lately! I’ve go so many entires bookmarked for later.

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protagoras

its exhausting. but man, i’ve never had so much fun studying for a final before (logic was done and dusted last night. whew!) I’m only on my first of…many many dialogues and i know they won’t all be fun narratives like Protagoras…but GAH, i love this!!

I’m sure i’ll be reduced to an aporetic state soon enough though. so let me enjoy this, please~


in the spirit

don’t say i didn’t warn you. once i get started on Moab, i simply can’t stop. here are 3% of the gems from Moab that resonate with me. some readers and reviewers complain that his writing style is too verbose. i can see why they think so – the word count alone is daunting to a casual reader. However, what is continuously astonishing to me (with each reread) is his remarkable ability to say precisely what i didn’t know about myself. I hate to say this, because it is untrue to some extent – but i relate to him. i say “untrue” because the context of his youth and mine are so astronomically different – and so our sets of worries and joys are also unidentical. but the feeling. Sigh.

i found these on the net (goodreads, etc – i rec that you buy the audiobook. nothing can beat fry’s own voice reading his own life. btw, his reading of the Fry Chronicles isn’t nearly as good. his voice thinned… because of the pipe smoking?)

“Life is sometimes novel-shaped, mocking the efforts of those authors who, in an effort to make their novels life-shaped, spurn the easy symmetry and cheap resonance of reality.”

“As I go clowning my sentimental way into eternity, wrestling with all my problems of estrangement and communion, sincerity and simulation, ambition and acquiescence, I shuttle between worrying whether I matter at all and whether anything else matters but me.”

“I used many times to touch my own chest and feel, under its asthmatic quiver, the engine of the heart and lungs and blood and feel amazed at what I sensed was the enormity of the power I possessed. Not magical power, but real power. The power simply to go on, the power to endure, that is power enough, but I felt I had also the power to create, to add, to delight, to amaze and to transform.”

“None of this is important in itself, but I feel somewhere that it has a lot to do with why I have always felt separate, why I have always felt unable to join in, to let go, to become part of the tribe, why I have always sniped or joked from the sidelines, why I have never, ever, lost my overwhelmingly self-conscious self-consciousness. It’s not all that bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing – they are not all bad. Those devils have also been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me.”

“People who can change and change again are so much more reliable and happier than those who can’t”

“It is the useless things that make life worth living and that make life dangerous too: wine, love, art, beauty. Without them life is safe, but not worth bothering with.”

“And then I saw him and nothing was ever the same again.

The sky was never the same colour, the moon never the same shape: the air never smelt the same, food never tasted the same. Every word I knew changed its meaning, everything that once was stable and firm became as insubstantial as a puff of wind, and every puff of wind became a solid thing I could feel and touch.”

“Well I don’t know about you, but when I recall childhood pain, I don’t recall the pains of toothache, a thrashed backside, broken bones, stubbed toes, gashed knees or twisted ankles – I recall the pains of loneliness, boredom, abandonment, humiliation, rejection and fear. Those are the pains on which I might and, still sometimes do, dwell, and those pains, almost without exception, were inflicted on me by other children and by myself.”

“Choking with dry tears and raging, raging, raging at the absolute indifference of nature and the world to the death of love, the death of hope and the death of beauty, I remember sitting on the end of my bed, collecting these pills and capsules together and wondering why, why when I felt I had so much to offer, so much love, such outpourings of love and energy to spend on the world, I was incapable of being offered love, giving it or summoning the energy with which I knew I could transform myself and everything around me.”

“Music is everything and nothing. It is useless and no limit can be set on its use. Music takes me to places of illimitable sensual and insensate joy, accessing points of ecstasy that no angelic lover could ever locate, or plunging me into gibbering weeping hells of pain that no torturer could devise. Music makes me write this sort of maundering adolescent nonsense without embarrassment. Music is in fact the dog’s bollocks. Nothing else comes close.”

“Music was a kind of penetration. Perhaps absorption is a less freighted word. The penetration or absorption of everything into itself. I don’t know if you have ever taken LSD, but when you do so the doors of perception, as Aldous Huxley, Jim Morrison and their adherents ceaselessly remind us, swing wide open. That is actually the sort of phrase, unless you are William Blake, that only makes sense when there is some LSD actually swimming about inside you. In the cold light of the cup of coffee and banana sandwich that are beside me now it appears to be nonsense, but I expect you to know what it is taken to mean. LSD reveals the whatness of things, their quiddity, their essence. The wateriness of water is suddenly revealed to you, the carpetness of carpets, the woodness of wood, the yellowness of yellow, the fingernailness of fingernails, the allness of all, the nothingness of all, the allness of nothing. For me music gives access to everyone of these essences, but at a fraction of the social or financial cost of a drug and without the need to cry ‘Wow!’ all the time, which is LSD’s most distressing and least endearing side effects.

…Music in the precision of its form and the mathematical tyranny of its laws, escapes into an eternity of abstraction and an absurd sublime that is everywhere and nowhere at once. The grunt of rosin-rubbed catgut, the saliva-bubble blast of a brass tube, the sweaty-fingered squeak on a guitar fret, all that physicality, all that clumsy ‘music making’, all that grain of human performance…transcends itself at the moment of its happening, that moment when music actually becomes, as it makes the journey from the vibrating instrument, the vibrating hi-fi speaker, as it sends those vibrations across to the human tympanum and through to the inner ear and into the brain, where the mind is set to vibrate to frequencies of its own making.

The nothingness of music can be moulded by the mood of the listener into the most precise shapes or allowed to float as free as thought; music can follow the academic and theoretical pattern of its own modality or adhere to some narrative or dialectical programme imposed by a friend, a scholar or the composer himself. Music is everything and nothing. It is useless and no limit can be set to its use. Music takes me to places of illimitable sensual and insensate joy, accessing points of ecstasy that no angelic lover could ever locate, or plunging me into gibbering weeping hells of pain that no torturer could ever devise. Music makes me write this sort of maundering adolescent nonsense without embarrassment. Music is in fact the dog’s bollocks. Nothing else comes close.”


plato and the presocrates

midterm in 9 hours. strangely enough, i’m not panicking. I haven’t exactly mastered the material (well, ok – i have a pretty good idea of what i’d talk about on any of the given philosophers…) but i guess i sleep so little (read: rarely get to bed before 2am) that 12:23am seems… pretty early to call it a night.

this means

I HAVE OFFICIALLY GONE INSANE. at least i acknowledge it.

I really am a little to too hard on myself. and then sometimes when i have an OFF day (see last post) i berate myself for not working harder. it’s a tricky slop. this can’t be healthy, but this is how i’ve learned to cope. i am always preparing for that raining day.

my co-worked/ turned friend is leaving the country (and getting married). the office is having a goodbye party on wed and there’s no way i can make it. he said he’s having a friends only shindig on saturday (which is typically my non-work day) so hopefully i can go to that one.

there’s another commitment i want to get out of simply because i am on the verge of a physical collapse. i need to eat a real meal. i need to listen to some fun music rather than my own recorded study notes on my commutes.

but ughhhhh, i need to start my Henry IV Part I/12th Night comparative essay too.

you know what—i need to buckle down, finish prepping for my midterm and go to bed!

 


feeling slightly renewed. i rewatched season 2 of the UK Office before i went to bed, which wasn’t the most uplifting thing to do. it still rattles me how good of an actor Gervais used to be – back when he didn’t depend on disabled “fellas” for jokes. anyway, the pilot for his new show “Derek” is reminiscent of his old style, endearing, true, and relatable – so hopefully that turns out to be compelling.

I have a crap load of stuff to handle at work right now, due to the fact that no one bothered looking after the receivables whilst I was away.

still, i must and shall dedicate at least 3 hours of my day to rereading Descartes, Hume and Plato tonight. I MUST I MUST I MUST!

My Dad formatted his PC, which I’d just redone for him a couple of days ago. He accidentally deleted his internet and sould drivers – so yup, that’s on my to-do list tonight as well.

Hurrah~ not.

On a brighter note, I got my friend COMPLETELY OBSESSED with Sherlock (the BBC adaptation) and now she’s surviving by actually reading the original ACD stories!! I’m so proud!


autonomy

 

My days are kind of out of control right now. I’m so used to having a set daily schedule so I’m a little bit out of sorts. But it’s all OK for now. Gearing into the Olympic season. Everyday, I am collecting small victories. For instance, this past week, I learnt how to swim! I can do a couple laps now! Granted, the pool lane is only 25m long, but considering I needed the help of a foam noodles a fortnight ago, this is a big deal! Also, learning NOT TO DROWN is exhausting! My legs and arms are groaning right now. I also try to get 45min of mixed training (mostly aerobics and weights) before bed) so yeah, I hope i don’t get bulky just in time for the summer.

I’ve been rereading Bertrand Russel‘s “History of Western Philosophy” during breakfast (instead of the paper – because it lacks the dreadful staining ink). It’s fun to look at all the WTF notes-to-self I wrote in the margins. Oh, incase anyone’s wondering, i’ve been having a sinful amount of coffee every morning. Who says no to refills?

I finally got my glasses done! I brought my prescription with me in case i come across a pair a like. They are really cute! I might post a photo later~ Um, what else, i got my Bamboo stylus! It gets the job done, so i can’t complain. Though if I did have the guts, I’d splurge on a professional one with precision point instead of the standardized rubber round tip.

I’ve been sampling a variety of beers and wine. I got bored stuck inside the room because I currently don’t have access to a car. I quite like Riesling right now – it’s a bit sweeter so it’s gentler on my palate. Ohhh, and I had Prim’s ice tea. it’s great! So refreshing with a little punch!

I don’t have cable at home, so i’m making the most of the channels here. I’m back to being addicted to Iron Chef America, NatGeo and Animal Planet and whatever channel has Friends on repeat. The first 3 have the most perfect pick up lines “Heart Open, Empty Stomach”, “Follow Your Instincts” and “Surprisingly Human”. GAhhhh…

I’m going order wings and other fast food grub for dinner whilst I watch super fit athletes walking around. until then, it’s I have a couple more revisions to do.