grinding a mill

[2006.01.26 – 0930] push keys, news returns. all bad.
[2006.01.26 – 1030] more keys, news returns. still bad. test rat still surprised. fool.
[2006.01.26 – 1330] bang keys, dailykos cheerleading… nope, still bad
you think i’d learn. but i’m torn. a lover of knowledge, i note that ‘news’ is more shadow than substance. stories are constantly becoming, they reveal to us few truths and even fewer facts – it may be they are more lies than anything else. but that lover of a good life notes that there is much to be said for cultural literacy. and being ignorant of surroundings is certainly no virtue. and it is certainly a fertile ground for random musings… in any case, the conflict is a gordion knot. the conflict between the two orientations (plato/aristotle) is intractable when pushed to the extremes, so i’ll go on reading news stories, for better or worse.
** * **
considering one’s intellectual heritage is a funny thing. i know, for example, that much of my moral and political philosophy ressonates with the art of happiness, but i know i held these opinions before i read that book (some 7 years ago), even if i was shaped by it. perhaps my deepest ressonance is with on liberty. i get weepy reading john stuart mill. i mean, read isaiah berlin on the topic. and it is from this lineage and affinity that i ponder my love of rights, reason,…
by my senior year at swarthmore, i felt this part of me was under siege. i felt alone defending Reason against the historically determined marx, the psychologically determined freud, and the emotional neitzche. the same trio that destroyed religion for more critical intellectuals was being swung back against the very basis that gave life to the there. and yet, i clung to Reason, since it is for me the basis of liberty, of equality, the individual… my adversaries (the backswing of the trio) asserted not only that reason didn’t exist, but also that equality between individuals was oppresive, most strikingly in arguing against freedom of thought as a tool of the powerful against the weak (hate speech) – including my former roommate (who then infamously declared that even formal contradictions in his logic were insufficient evidence he might be wrong). tip of the iceberg…
a good liberal, i ran through the claims. most were spurious. but a few still give me pause. i recognize (intellectual history again) that some of what i believe is less rational and more rooted in the past, even influenced by my emotions. that much political thought may be processed at a subconscious level doesn’t help. wandering through the news, one can find frequent mention of psychological (mis)use, such as the infamous rat commercial. i watch those around me, i hear them answer polls, and i wonder… was lippman so wrong? do i have to jump off the Reason ship? and then what am i?
*** * ***
the best thoughts and ideas must be mulled over, like a fine cider. but don’t overheat, or you get this mush. i just needed to get it off my chest. but like my mulling over religion, this one requires a couple months buried in a library just to start moving again… hm… i have weekends off… lj will be devoted to planning
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