Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stray Notes

This AM read these words on the sign in front of a local church:

"We pray for
the enemies
of peace."

I understand the sanctimonious intentions behind those words.  I find them chilling nonetheless and evocative of Hannah Arendt's "banality of evil."  Not to mention Marcuse's "repressive tolerance."


I've been in something of a depressive sinkhole lately--all of my projects are stalled in some way.  I've been spinning wheels. Hence recent desultory posts.


Decided that trying to teach myself to play guitar has been an interesting failure.  As I've mentioned before, I have an idiot for a teacher and a moron for a student.  So I signed up for lessons through a community education program at the high school.  I went to my first lesson--it's a group situation--last night.  Everyone else has years of experience.  I felt overwhelmed, but I'm stubborn.  We'll see how the next lesson goes on Thursday.  Yikes.


I like this passage from Timothy Morton's Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities Press, 2013):

"The aesthetic form of an object is where the causal properties of the object reside.  Theories of physical causation frequently want to police aesthetic phenomena, reducing causality to the clunking or clicking of solid things.  It is not the case that a shadow is only an aesthetic entity, a flimsy ghost without effects.  Plato saw shadows as dangerous precisely because they do have a causal influence.  When my shadow intersects with the light sensitive diode, the nightlight switches on.  As stated above, when a quantum is measured, it means that another quantum has intersected with it, altering it, changing its position or momentum.  Aesthetics, perception, causality are all almost synonyms."


  1. I read the last word in the Tim Morton quote as symptoms not synonyms. I almost want to leave my misreading in place ...

  2. John,
    I'll bite. Symptom of what?

  3. Sue and I just returned from Venice, Italy. May be the cure for everything I can imagine. All best.

  4. I'm jealous of that trip, Jim. Good for you though.