Saturday, 28 April 2012

Lonely no more


I was lonely back then.
That’s all I could say.
Awash in people and surrounded by friends nonetheless I felt alone. Yet if I ever tried to explain this all my words turned into a need; a need to be heard, to be understood, to explain.
But I guess that’s loneliness for you; it’s all about need.
Whenever you’re lonely the best thing to do is to let it pass, to be in the world and yet to apply no grip, to let go. After you do this, a little further on down the track, you might just find, and possibly to your surprise, that you are lonely no more.

No matter the mistakes I made that were born out of my own need the reaction I received in reply from many others during this time only reminded me of how many of us wander about thinking that we’re right. Or perhaps normally we just consider ourselves lucky? So sure of ourselves and of existence as well… without ever quite releasing that existence really has nothing to do with our self.  

What is it to be right?
Xerxes major fired anon.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes when you write words that are spoken they come out wrong and yet if you speak words that are written they too come out wrong?

Monday, 31 May 2010

The Art of blogging

Admittedly, I'm not a good blogger...
I'm simply not social enough.
Perhaps if I Jazz it up, make lots of links, connect with people, and participate I could do better?
I really should market my product.
Its not about the content, its about the packaging.
Its not about meaning its about how many friends you have.
It doesn't value substance it requires something catchy,
Something quick,
Something that appeals to short attention spans... I could go on...
Admittedly, I'm not a good blogger.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Painting pictures in the sand

"While strolling through her cactus garden one warm June morning, Amanda came upon an old Navajo man painting pictures in the sand.
"What is the function of the artist?" Amanda demanded of the talented trespasser.
"The function of the artist," the Navajo answered, "is to provide what life does not."


- Tom Robbins, 'Another Roadside Attraction"

Incongruous it is to take value in what is not.

Art, it seems, surpasses what is true, exploring fable. This could be called the truth of art, its freedom to go beyond what is and yet to nonetheless be true. So much so, that by revolving full circle, one puts an apple on a stand and calls it art... it is an apple and yet is not. The call to say it it something else provides what life does not...

And then, we realize that this is just so much navel gazing, we are calling our art an art, and then we remember that it involves play.

Art is fun, within what is real is not.
It lives in dreams, dreams do not.
It exists beyond that which is given, calls what is not.
And dwelling upon it makes no sense,
Being both beyond what is and yet not quite what is not.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Nietszche's Ghost

Since pursuing studies in a new field (Library and Information studies), and while supporting students in an academic library, I have become increasingly skeptical about the quality and relevance of academic study. I find it appalling that a student that copy/pastes references and material and then reshapes it so that it is accepted as their work can achieve great results (this I have seen) while a student who contributes thought and understanding achieves mediocre results. During former studies in philosophy the material encouraged idiosyncratic responses provided they were well thought out and developed.The measuring of worth was focused on content and style rather then style over content.

Since pursuing a different field I have found that I achieve better results if I put in the minimal amount of my own understanding instead replicating as many resources that I can get my hands on putting them into different (some would argue their own) words. How is this a demonstration of academic merit or of grasping the subject?

I'll be happy to pass this degree knowing that my results have no baring on my abilities or understanding either professionally or academically and yet I question the way that assessments are measured if it does not reflect the understanding that a pupil has of the subject but merely reflects their ability to follow instruction and execute a prescribed response and formula. Knowledge management is hardly a factual based subject and yet it seems that thinking outside the box is hardly of any value? This, to me, makes very little sense.

As for references... they should be relevant and reflect ones understanding right? And yet, academic studies seems to encourage adding references for the sake of adding references... ?
Color me confused and dismayed at Academics, and more in agreement with Nietszche then ever, who described academic output as mummified texts rotting away on shelves (oh sry... i should include the reference for this right because otherwise what I am saying is unsubstantiated and of no value... right?)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Are we in the 'Age of the Feuilleton'?

Fragments taken from Hesse, Herman, 'The Glass bead game'

"... In the course of the aforementioned Age of the Feuilleton, men came to enjoy an incredible degree of intellectual freedom, more than they could stand...

We must confess that we cannot provide an unequivocal definition of those products from which the age takes its name, the feuilletons. They seem to have formed an uncommonly popular section of the daily newspapers, were produced by the millions, and were a major source of mental pebulum for the reader in want of culture. They reported on, or rather 'chatted' about, a thousand-and-one items of knowledge...

Among the favourite subjects of such essays were anecdotes taken from the lives or correspondence of famous men and women. They bore such titles as 'Friedrich Nietzsche and Women's Fashions of 1870', or 'The Composer Rossini's Great Courtesan's', or The Role of the Lapdog in the Lives of Great Courtesans', and so on...

We feel surprise that there should have been people who devoured such chitchat for their daily reading; but what astonishes us far more is that authors of repute and of decent education should have helped to 'service' this gigantic consumption of empty whimsies. Significantly, 'service' was the expression used; it was also the word denoting the relationship of man to the machine at the time...

The great majority, who seem to have been strikingly fond of reading, must have accepted all these grotesque things with credulous earnestness. If a famous painting changed owners, if a precious manuscript was sold at auction, if an old palace burned down, if the bearer of an aristocratic name was involved in a scandal, the readers of many thousands of feature articles at once learned of the facts. What is more, on that same day or by the next day at the latest they received an additional dose of anecdotal, historical, psychological, erotic, and other stuff on the catchword of the moment. A torrent of zealous scribbling poured out over every ephemeral incident, and in quality, assortment, and phraseology all this material bore the mark of mass goods rapidly and irresponsibly turned out."

Discuss.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Mediation

The avoidance of suffering through the suppression of those things we wish for is to capitulate to unhappiness...
To wish for things so ardently that we are unhappy when they are unfulfilled is to generate unhappiness...
To follow our hopes and dreams knowing that they won't all be fulfilled is to accept.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Population

Our Government still supports the policy to increase our population... I guess its an economically sound strategy based on numbers; Bigger markets are more competitive, more money can be made from them. Why worry about the standard of living or about a sustainable tomorrow...

I have some reading to do... perhaps I'll start here:


Sunday, 4 October 2009

A ladder to the sky

He heard it said, ‘mind your left side, what is held tight will eventually go, what is let free will hold.’

And he, as a young man, let go; he let things be as they were and built nothing, knowing a house of cards. He wandered wherever he may and came upon a field where a tall tree grew and rested under its branches. He thought he knew that since everything came from nothing only to later return again to nothing, holding possessions and building security was a vain project set to fail. So even though he acted responsibly for those he knew he took no personal responsibility preferring instead to dream.

But then one day, out of the blue vast empty sky, he spied a girl who could fly. And although the shade of the tree still blocked the heat of the sun and provided some degree of comfort, he all of a sudden wished he had built a ladder to the sky.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Is it right to eat meat?

While it sometimes seems natural to ask someone why they chose to be a vegetarian many would consider it strange to hear someone ask another ‘why do you choose to eat meat’?

In this culture it’s generally taken to be the norm that people will eat meat unless they choose otherwise. I think this is why I first found vegetarian products that imitate meat to be a bit bizarre. I saw them somehow as reaffirming the above idea that meat was taken as the norm, vegetarianism seen as a derivative.

In fact sometimes people who advocate meat eating argue that eating meat is 'natural' in such a way as to imply that not eating meat is unnatural. However this argument, when taken to this extent, seems flawed; All we have to do to question its validity is to ask ourselves can we imagine that there could be a society that survived and thrived wholly on vegetables and survived so successfully that no one living in that society remembered ever having eaten meat... If we can imagine this to be possible, and can imagine that this society could thrive and be sustainable, then it follows that eating meat is not necessarily the only natural way for a society to be. This is true even in the face of arguments aimed to convince us that eating meat was necessary during some part of humanities evolution. For even if this is true it doesn’t follow that meat eating is the primary natural state or that it 'should' be. At this point one can see that often the claim that eating meat is natural is actually a claim that people should eat meat.

It follows then that there are two questions that are of equal importance, firstly ‘why do you chose not to eat meat?’ and secondly ‘why do you chose to eat meat?’

All this said thus far, what is it about eating or not eating meat that makes this a moral question that requires reasons and/or justifications? The usual response involves something akin the sanctity of life and yet isn’t it true that we live in a world wherein life feeds on life? Isn't this natural phenomenon? If it is, if lions and tigers and bears exist, then suggesting that killing and eating living creatures is essentially wrong suggests that all carnivores are sinners, and if you also believe that existence was designed or created by a divine being, then they were made to be... ? Accordingly I don't thing this argument adds up and yet...

Certainly today’s mass production cannot be justified as 'natural.' In this culture the amount of meat that is consumed seems possible only due to the implementation of technology and production and ironically mass production, while bolstering the ability to slaughter and prepare more meat then ever before, also has the potential to make more vegetarian products easily available. So the question of whether the edifice of production causes unnecessary cruelty for nothing more than our culinary pleasure seems like a reasonable and imperative question to ask and this lends weight to the idea that as equally true that one should ask why they chose not to eat meat they should also ask why they do.