Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Two Things Can Be True

Everyone deserves the love they get.
No one deserves the love they get.

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

You can't solve the problem
of being
         by becoming
                  a man
            or a woman.

Just be yourself.
That's hard enough.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Wisdom is non-attachment; i.e.,
love is folly.

Friday, September 08, 2023

War Economy

Just before the first Gulf War in 1990, $5 was worth $11 in today's money. Compounded at 5%, you'd have about $22 today. But if you had invested it in Raytheon stock and sold on the day Putin invaded Ukraine you'd have $100 dollars.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Decency is the immediate rightness of conduct given one's desires, as honesty is the immediate rightness of conduct given one's beliefs.

Decency does not guarantee justice, nor does honesty guarantee truth. Indeed, the pursuit of truth sometimes requires dishonesty, and the pursuit of justice sometimes requires indecency.

Science is the pursuit of truth, constrained by honesty, not decency.

Politics is the pursuit of justice, constrained by decency, not honesty.

Art is a scandal.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A conspiracy theorist is not someone who believes that a conspiracy took place. It is someone who thinks it is an empirical question whether it did.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

"May God forgive what you have done to me. I cannot."

This sentiment can be perfectly sincere. Indeed, two people who have hurt each can each pray for the other's forgiveness without themselves being able to forgive.

Monday, August 07, 2023

Two paintings, two harbors,
four years and five hundred
nautical miles apart. Blues
that only eyes have seen.

Thursday, August 03, 2023

Philosophy elucidates the logic of assertion.
Poetry aggravates the pathos of injunction.

Monday, July 31, 2023

Two Errors

To seek truth when justice must be done.

To demand justice where the truth is hidden.

We believe in facts.
We desire to act.

This is important. While our fantasies often present themselves to us as utopias of imaginary fact, our desires are imagined acts. We do not, properly speaking, desire the ends, we might say, but the means. We do not want to possess our love; we want to pursue her. We do not want to see our enemy dead; we want to kill him.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Dasein is kitsch
for existence, as

duende is kitsch
for inspiration.

Cf. Jonathan Mayhew.

Friday, July 21, 2023

He would not inflict his apprenticeship upon the world.
As if to return the favor, the world refused his mastery.

Monday, July 17, 2023

Good News, and Bad

The genius of Christ's message was not to try to tell you that it's not your fault. He knew you wouldn't believe that. (You were there.) It was to tell you that you are forgiven for the sins you can never redeem yourself. He suggested you rejoice at the news. Repent, sure. But then rejoice.

This is far superior to the current secular religion, according to which you are to blame for things you didn't do and can't prevent, are guilty of things you would never do and will never see undone, and are at the mercy of people without grace. They would have you do the work and despair.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Truth must be thought;
it must be held in the mind.
Justice must be felt;
it must move our hearts.

Use philosophy (conceptual notation)
to clarify your thoughts.
Use emotional notation (poetry)
to intensify your feelings.

It is what it is.
"You must change your life."

Thursday, July 06, 2023

Love is the master emotion. Wisdom is the master concept.

Love governs all feeling. Wisdom queries all thought.

To "feel better" is to become more capable of love.
Better thinking is greater receptivity to wisdom.

Bad feelings make us less loving.
Bad thoughts make us less wise.

Every feeling strives for love. Every thought is a study in wisdom.

Saturday, July 01, 2023

One way — perhaps the most common way — to think about philosophical domains — "the philosophy of science", "the philosophy of mind", "the philosophy of language" — is as a particular kind of "theory" of a particular kind of object. One could, on this view, also have an "economics" or a "psychology" or an "anthropology" of the same objects (science, mind, language).

Or one could have a "poetics" of them. Or a "history".

But with "history" we must stop for a moment and remember that it denotes both a theory and an object — indeed, it denotes a theory and a practice. "The history of mind" can refer to an academic disicipline or the actual past.

It is that second sense that I wish to approach in my use of the word "philosophy". Consider an alternative to "poetics": poetry. Not "the poetics of science" but "the poetry of science" (or mind or language).

Just as philosophy is a natural part of the practice of science, mind, and language, just as we might, indeed, argue that you cannot do science, be mindful, or use language, without having a philosophy, or, better, doing philosophy, practicing it, we might also say that "the poetry of politics", "the poetry of the heart", are inseperable from their "objects", perhaps most obviously in "the poetry of language".

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Long Games

Honesty tends toward the truth.
Decency bends towards justice.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Be honest about what you think
but not what you feel. Be decent
about your feelings. Be precise.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

The Actual Program Is Different

There is the program they sell you,
the program you buy.
It is a perfectly good program.
It will not harm you.
It will do you a lot of good.
But it is not the actual program.
The actual program is different.
It runs in the background.
Do your thing. Let it run.
Humor it, if you will.

The actual program will hurt.
But it will not cause permanent damage.
The actual program will not improve your life.
It will hurt and it will do you no good.
But the actual program never harms you.
There's no reason to fight the actual program.
The actual program doesn't care about you.
It does not hate you.
It is the actual program, that is all.
Actually, no. That's not all. Far from it.