The tragedy of the present: An elegy to reason

On this day a prophetic, lone figure could have emerged from the herd. Promising to revolutionise the herd with his wisdom, he showed us taught us modus ponens again. This hero taught us how to think, how to reason, how to see. It is a testiment to his genius that people even rebut him, but what his opponents have done is not deny his project, but accept it and embellish the ideal.

This lone figure emerges from a fog of unreason, from the mud of dogmatism into erudite propositions and softly uttered reason. A structure had emerged when there had once been only fog, the herd could see the mountain, even if they were not strong enough to climb it like he could. On this glorious day, lady reason gives us acuity. Some talk of it becoming modern times, he doth call it the age of reason, the times of enlightenment but not enlightened times.

This prophet showed us that this mountain has a peak, but is fundamentally and conceptually impossible to reach its zenith. Like the wonderous island talked of by a Konigsberger long ago, we wish to be explorers but our desire for discovery will never be fulfilled. Some may think that this is disheartening to be distanced so far from the noumenal but we are wiser when we realise our own ignorance; we are so much of better people to realise that we fail to reach that zenith, not because of personal failings, as those ad hominem dogmatist scum tell you, but because of the conceptual divide, because of the infinite qualificational leap required to reach that zenith.

Our prophet is not so much a seer but a ranger; warning us of the impassibility of the mountain ahead. For unlike any mountain, its base is its thinnest point and its zenith is infinitely large, it is almost a vertical climb to that zenith, yet we use picks, two picks, one more powerful than the other; named reason and experience. Eventually the latter fails us as we attempt to climb this wonderous mountain but even the former has its failings. Yet we still rejoice when the lone figure tells us of our disposition.

That day, however, may never come. For the lone figure hath died a horrible death, the kind worse than normal demise, the kind of death where the body still persists. The weakness and utter incapacity of this potential great loner has reduced him into one of the inferior herd, and he curses that herd.

The herd is led by dogmatism and not mediated through the tradition of reason, they use common sense and the bastardised excrement of a priori remnants to work out the world. They never entertain the contrary, they are ignorant fiends who listen to evil music. Their art is stained by the bruises they bear; bruises inflicted upon themselves. Abusing their own reason, abusing themselves by their blindness. They can see through their eyes yet they choose to walk with lids closed, they prefer the all-embracing black to the nuances of colour; for with colour and shape, they see a world they cannot totally understand.

What I and the lone prophet despise is that their blindness is CELEBRATED. HOW DARE THEY! RAPISTS OF REASON ARE THEY! They are not blind by affliction but by choice, some of them even KNOW how to see, but ultimately, they understand their world by the black fog rather than one of light and sharpness.

When the herd walks blind, they step over the gentle loner, damaged is he, that he cannot complete his project. Damaged is he, that he lives on to see the blind herd happily walk into a pit, but does not aid them, either because he cannot or will not.

I weep for the herd, as they move further from mount impossible, they become worthy of contempt; I’d rather kill them then watch them kill themselves, and when I murder them all, I shall utter as the last sheep falls ‘Quod Erat Demonstrandum’ – for the modus ponens of the prophet, is the modus tollens of the executioner. I.

To break a rule: Implications for state apparatus

What does it mean when one breaks a rule? What is the after effect of a broken rule? Is there damage done?

A rule is meaningful insofar as it is understandable; insofar as one can understand the meaning imbued upon it. So, a rule such as placing the symbol ‘.’ at the end of a sentence is meaningful insofar as one understands that it indicates a pause when uttering the sentence and also an ended clause.

What, however, if the rules of the game had changed. What if, the rule of the placement of the fullstop were formulated otherwise? Then, the past rule of the fullstop would not be applicable to its now current use and perhaps past usages are translated in understandable terms relating to its present use; much in the same way that we understood the Rosetta stone in terms of the languages we already knew (a side thought: how did Michael Ventris understand Linear B?).

Forget Wittgensteinian rules for a moment, and consider rules as ethical precepts.

That which is heard, is audible.  (My Ode to Mill)

Similarly

If we break a rule, it shows that a rule can be broken.

A rule has social value, representing the integrity of the people who hold it; those who do not kill I deem are merciful to causing death. The bigger the rule transgressed, the harder the breach of integrity.

Thus: a minor transgression by someone of little social significance (say, a child), is less value than a major transgression by someone of large social significance (say, an agent of the state, or the state as agent).

If the state or agents of the state are not to obey a rule, particularly ones which they have construed themselves, they show little reason for subjects of the state to follow them. Consider, if a state goes against international law.

What if an agent of the state commits a transgression of their personal code, their professional ethic and common decency/virtue, what if they commit the ultimate transgression?

If an agent of the state commits a transgression of considerable harm, then our framework by which to judge transgressions is forever to change; why bother following their rules if they can’t follow them themselves?

To not follow a rule is said to ‘break’ a rule. It ‘breaks’ a rule in that it dirties it, it destroys a rule. What should an ideally moral person do?

I. If a rule is broken, then we are antinomian; the state of government changes to the state of nature and Hobbesian laws of nature

II. If a rule is broken, then we rebuild it, or make a better rule

A rule has been broken by the state. What are we to do? Live on in a broken society falling apart, eating itself; destroy it? abuse it? or rebuild?

What do you think?

Explanation for my absence

Hello all,

People have been asking me questions, not the good kind such as pertaining to the nature of the right and the just, the real and the knowable or the imposed or the discovered, but about my suspicious behaviour of late. Firstly, I apologise for not being there to events where I was obliged, such as the running of my discussion group, preparing for a presentation and other meetings.

I was hospitalised due to a long term illness which reached a critical stage. The medical team evaded my consent and I am very angry at their violation of the tenet of confidentiality, consent and integrity. Words cannot express how angry I am, but actions can. I guess I have been concealing it from other people (such as yourselves) for too long, but surely if I wanted you to know, I’d tell you, its no one else’s business otherwise unless it affects them.

Some of you (not naming names) have even been monitoring my activity since my release from afar, I’m not sure why, voyeurism perhaps, if you want to know something, just bloody ask me and don’t fucking spy on me.

Thanks for your concern to most of you, unnecessary, but thanks.

Michael

The fog this morning: Thought’s on Kant’s noumena

I got out of bed this morning quite early, I don’t think I even slept. I put my mp3 player on random and I discovered a great new band called ‘Mnemic’, they are an industrial band and really are quite interesting. Following Adorno’s thought, poetry after the holocaust is barbaric.

Anyhoo, off to the point of my essay; as I opened my eyes and stood up, I looked out of my window and saw a thick fog, so inpenetrable that I could not even see the other side of the road, then I said to myself ‘anti-realism’ and laughed.

Let me explain the joke: I took a mandatory unit in philosophy last year called ‘realism’, which is basically the notion that something is genuinely true or real in some specific sense, such as ‘consciousness’ being a real thing, ‘tables’ being a real thing, ‘Sherlock Holmes’ being not a real ontic entity, but an epistemological and semantic object and anti-realism is some kind of denial of that specific claim. A lecturer made a joke about how Americans and Austrailian philosophers are predominantly realists and Europeans are predominantly anti-realist because in Europe is cold and foggy all the time and they can’t tell if the things they see are real or see far ahead of them, while in the warmer states and Australasia, they can see things just clearly, so I thought, ‘anti-realism’.

I decided to go for a walk around Clifton village and especially visit the suspension bridge, which I do a lot these days. I looked beyond the vast expanse of the bridge and I saw only a misty void, I then thought of Kant’s purple passage about phenomena and noumena being like inhabitants of an island; the desire to know more and go beyond the island is irresistable, but can never be completed. I looked into the fog and saw nothing, I felt as if I was looking at the gestalt, but I was only looking 3-5 feet ahead of me. Even as I walked through the bridge, I couldn’t even see the end of the bridge; it was a strange feeling, to be suspended hundreds of feet above the gorge and not see anything in any direction beyond several feet. To be completely in the fog, completely lost, is not to feel isolated, but is to recognise our human condition, of complete ignorance of true reality, of noumena.

Sometimes I look up at the stars and wonder if the noumena can really be known, since Kant’s time we have gotten air travel, space travel and even the movement of information electronically, maybe we can move forward and reach for the stars, or maybe, we are fundamentally grounded in Kant’s island. It sure makes you wonder doesn’t it?