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Archive for May, 2013

Chef3-ver5 copy

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i was done with song
long before the angel closed her eyes
blessed my daughter’s brow,
and said grace one last time.
sure we could have played another hand
quietly bluffed our way
to the final exhalation of anxious time;
but then one might wonder
if the cliché of our lives would ever end,
if you would ever sin and carry
lovingly, a child of mine.



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When analyzing the character of a question, it is often useful to subdivide reason into several categories, merely for the sake of developing a reliable lexicon. Indeed, data gathered by developmental psychologists such as Jean Piaget and Howard Gardner, have also confirmed the validity of certain aspects of this practice.

Consider the age old brain teaser: “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a noise?”

We can answer this question in several ways:

1. Yes, we know it makes a noise because we’ve seen lots of trees fall, and not one of them has failed to make a noise, therefore the tree that falls makes a noise, irrespective of any witnesses to the event.

2. Yes, we know it makes a noise because objects have mass and when they fall they release energy, and some of that energy in an atmospheric environment causes movement in the molecules of the atmosphere, which we call noise.

3. Yes, we know it makes noise because two distinct events cannot differ only in their appearance, but must differ as well in their essence, or they would not really be different events, they would only appear to be different events. Therefore the event with the tree upright must differ in some respect from the event with the tree prone, in some way other than just the appearance of the forms involved. Therefore, some other essential characteristic of the situation must also have changed, and whether it is sound or some other mysterious change in the “aether” of the universe, something has to have changed other than just the appearance of the situation.

4. Yes, we know it makes a noise because we know that no object can hit another object without that other object being launched into motion. Therefore, when the tree hits the ground, the molecules of the ground are launched into motion by the motion of the tree. When the molecules of the ground bump into the molecules of the air, they are similarly launched into motion. When the molecules of the air hit the molecules of our ear drum, they are similarly launched into motion and we “hear” the “noise.” “Noise,” therefore, is every motion of molecules before our ear drum molecules are launched into motion, and “hearing” is every motion of molecules that occurs after the molecules of our ear drum are launched into motion. Therefore the tree makes “noise” in the forest even when no one is around to “hear” it.

So what is the difference between each of these models of the event?

#1 is an example of inductive empirical reason: an observation of a series of experienced events from which we induct (infer) a principle and apply it to the hypothetical example. This is what Kant called synthetic (inductive) a posteriori (empirical) reason.

#2 is an example of inductive logical reason: an observation of a logical principle (conservation of energy) from which we infer another principle and apply it to the hypothetical example. This is what Kant called synthetic a priori reason.

#3 is an example of deductive logical reason: an application of a wholly logical principle (the identity of indiscernibles) from which we deduce (derive) the logical consequences as they apply to the hypothetical example. This is what Kant called analytic a priori reason.

#4 is an example of deductive empirical reason: an application of a wholly logical principle (conservation of energy) from which we deduce the actual events that must occur in the hypothetical situation. Kant would have called this analytic a posteriori reason, but probably did not believe it was possible to have such judgments.


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Seattle-Arb1BW-ver5

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given that there is absolutely no way to justify the idea that killing and eating a cow is more ethically acceptable than killing and eating a human, how can we ever believe in any moral good?


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poetry is about reshaping language. just to show you it can be done. the rest? –effort in the world—is up to you…



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if the body feels intolerable,
            sweep it away.

feel it fall off finally after all these years,
                        know
            shame and cessation
            rules and compliance
            larceny and forgiveness

for what they really are—

            black body radiation.
            the zero of zero.

            language it all over
            again

            and love me
forever


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foreign sounds
tailored fear
angle of dismay
turn key of magnetic
induction—
take me home
love me
like no one ever has


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