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Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category



It is a great shock to wake up one morning and realize that one has been in an abusive relationship. That while clinging, to some personal treasure or lifelong dream, one has been willing to tolerate, even participate, in one’s own abuse. “For the children” one might think, or “for this or that benefit.” One might even believe it when he says “I really do care about you” or truly hope that “things will get better.” Just hold on a little longer. It will be worth it in the end. You can do it. And yes, perhaps one can do it. For a time. But on the other side of that inconsistent, vain hope generating schedule of reward and punishment, on the other side of the “it’s not as bad as you think” poisons that defenders of his felonies so sweetly make, what makes one sit up and suddenly take note is that one insult which literally or metaphorically slaps one in the face: that final instant of abuse which transforms (and reveals) the truth of all the other moments. Quite suddenly you see them no longer as passing tokens of excusability, rather as they are: crimes of cruelty, of sadism, truly–of evil. And then one knows, “Through no fault of my own, I have married myself to someone who takes pleasure in other people’s pain.” And at long last: you are done.


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to understand why a geek like me would find himself thinking about inertia and newton’s laws in the middle of a dance club, understand this. I’ve never found a social community with which I fit in. so to keep from going completely out of my gourd, I’ve had to find activities to occupy my mind: reading, writing, thinking, photographing, skiing, etc. it’s really just a matter of survival! I mean can you imagine the response I’d get if I walked up to someone in a club and said “have you ever wondered why newton chose the 2nd derivative of movement instead of the 1st as his mathematical model of inertia?” yet, these are the things I wonder about in my spare time.



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to those who have survived a betrayal of any kind, to those who have survived exclusion, disability and illness, cruelty, hatred, apathy and the popularity of ignorance: you are my inspiration. you know who you are.


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is it useful to build a fire in the rain? no. you have to find shelter and nurture the flames that have also survived.


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I do believe for the most part, that my life has been a meaningless failure. I will nevertheless speak truth to power. They can only kill me once.


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looking at the bombs, i think
we best say the things we have to say


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My recent exclusion from an online professional community list serve initiated the following thoughts:

No apostate should expect life of infinite accolades. The reason for this is that speciation, quite literally, involves a diagnosis of exclusion. Humanity as a species, one of many, has built itself on the basis of in group solidarity and out group derogation. We need only look to the generation of our parents to identify celebrated instances–leaders like Hitler, Stalin, or Roosevelt–whose work was based on policies of exclusion and hate. And this is not to judge them (a priori) evil. No doubt that they did a great deal of good for many, as well as a great deal of harm to others. Rather, it is simply to note the value of such speakers (Plato of Athens, William Brennan, MLK, Beverly Tatum, Eduardo Duran, Judith Shklar, Carol Gilligan, Marsha Linehan) who encompass at least as much inclusion as exclusion. Which community is your own? Consider, and choose wisely. You are your environment.


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The problem with our approach to racial violence is that we have misunderstood the problem. Saying that black lives matter is completely, self-evidently, irrefutably, 100% true and indisputable. It is, unfortunately, also completely irrelevant. It is an attempt to logic people out of their emotional behavior. It is attempting to change a behavior with logic that has absolutely nothing to do with logic and everything to do with emotions that, evolutionarily, have had all logic bred out of them. Also unfortunately we in the western world have all been lied to for nearly 2000 years. The truth will not set us free. My hypothesis is that we need science, not truth. Fortunately a science of emotional change has already been well validated in individual and small group contexts. What we need  is a global version of this science. And we need it now.

 

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When a friend dies, how does it make you feel? Incarcerated by the instant, for me it is like writing a poem or taking a picture. I have to enlist every detail compulsively–to ensure I got it. And I wish I could stop breathing. Or I had Hermione’s time turner. I wish my father were still alive.


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Recently I recalled a memory of attending a conference on mental illness led by two prominent members of the local mental health community. One of the speakers asked a question about the classical Greek mythology of Asclepius, the god of medicine. I raised my hand and answered the question based on my memories of reading (when I was 17) Plato’s Phaedo, in which Socrates mentions his debt to Asclepius just before drinking the hemlock. After my comment, the other conference leader responded by observing “Wow, you really have to get out more.” The memory to me is a token emblem of what I think we daily face: an environment that immediately punishes exactly what it previously evoked. Invites followed by un-invites. In group seduction and out group derogation. Baits and switch, teases and feints. Ridicule, the normal reward for the curious. Invalidation upon invalidation upon invalidation, creeping along its persistent pace to some final bastion of double binds and a limit of infinite dismay. Is it any wonder then that we are all completely insane?



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