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Re: [existlist] Re: bow wow....the dog never shuts up.

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  • james tan
    in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own, classifying him to a
    Message 1 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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      in psychiatric practice, it is done quite a lot of the time, i.e. to
      "subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
      classifying him to a particular type of personality etc." we do it by
      looking for evidences in the person's behavioural & cognitive patterns.
      depending on context, sometimes it does serve a function for assessment
      purposes. it may not be very nice according to diana, but it is done in such
      professional setting. of course, the issue is not about 'paying tribute to
      the person' as in the context of the authorship. it is a different ball game
      altogether.

      james.






      From: "Diana" <da-sein@...>
      Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [existlist] Re: bow wow....the dog never shuts up.
      Date: Tue, 04 Sep 2001 23:32:15 -0000

      << ... you are creating a fictional account of the person whom you
      consider to be author anyway from what you do and don't know (in
      absurd, that would be don't and don't, but who's counting?) >>

      I understand that I can never know if my account of that person is
      valid. Though creating such an account is part of my experience when
      I read the text.

      But I like what I take to be the essence of what you are saying. I
      think that preserving some of the mystery of the author's personality
      is the greatest tribute you could pay to that person � instead of
      subjecting him to a description and evaluation of your own,
      classifying him to a particular type of personality etc.


      To everyone: I'll be away from the list for the next few months �
      need to get into some urgent things. Have fun all of you here
      meanwhile. I look forward to being with you again at a later time.

      Love,
      Diana




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    • nothing@theabsurd.com
      Message 2 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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        <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
        cognitive patterns. >>

        Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
        mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
        person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
        mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

        curious, plus.
        -------------------
      • Eduard Alf
        I have been following this discussion and this has really gotten to the point of absurdity. a person publishes a particular point of view [e.g. all cats are
        Message 3 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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          I have been following this discussion and this has
          really gotten to the point of absurdity.

          a person publishes a particular point of view
          [e.g. all cats are black at night]. So what if
          you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
          author. Perhaps he/she likes to drink pasteurized
          milk. Or perhaps he/she is secretly the clown at
          MacDonald's. You are broadening this out to the
          point where it makes no sense. If an author says
          something in print then that is what is of
          importance. You can even label it such as Mr.
          Smith's "Law of Cat Colour in the Night".

          Now we are into "preserving some of the mystery of
          the author's personality". Why even get into
          this? Yes, perhaps Mr. Smith has a particular
          inclination towards cats, and this may be
          something that we wish to know, in order to assess
          the basis his proposing the law, and our own
          inclination to accept or reject it. All of that
          is valid and is part of the manner in which one
          might take into consideration an author's
          pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
          to the author is going too far.

          eduard

          -----Original Message-----
          From: nothing@...
          [mailto:nothing@...]
          Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2001 10:12 PM
          To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up...


          << I think that preserving some of the mystery of
          the author's
          personality is the greatest tribute you could pay
          to that person –
          instead of subjecting him to a description and
          evaluation of your
          own, classifying him to a particular type of
          personality etc.>>

          While I wasn't thinking specifically of 'mystery'
          that is a fair
          description. You can't claim to know every thought
          and inuendo
          of an author noo matter how well studied...and
          there is nothing
          wrong with the author jumping out of character to
          relate a point --
          yet failing because it is not consistent. The
          author will always be
          mysterious, no matter who claims to have the
          answer, key or
          blueprint.

          mystery me...
          ------------------


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        • james tan
          hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?), to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective. but 1) there have to be some
          Message 4 of 29 , Sep 4, 2001
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            hi nothing (are u the one who is previously known as bookdoc?),

            to answer your question, yes, it is an assumption or perspective.

            but 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work 2) if those
            assumptions u base your work keep producing reliable results, u just have
            more faith in those assumptions, until such times when the assumptions do
            not work in some new or special cases, then u just admit the limitation of
            those assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are entirely
            useless.

            well, well, this is not related to the existential, i suppose?! just to
            satisfy your curiousity.

            james.




            From: nothing@...
            Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [existlist] Re: shuts up.
            Date: Wed, 05 Sep 2001 04:04:13 -0000

            <<we do it by looking for evidences in the person's behavioural &
            cognitive patterns. >>

            Not to play with your profession (as I quite play with my own,
            mind you), but is it not an assumption that you come to know a
            person and perspective at all even in clinical study? Or have you
            mapped out some sort of exacting science of mind?

            curious, plus.
            -------------------



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          • nothing@theabsurd.com
            Dear Sir Duard simplifier extraordinaire, It always seems to,
            Message 5 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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              Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

              <<I have been following this discussion and this has really
              gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

              It always seems to, to me...

              << So what if you cant know every thought and innuendo of the
              author...If an author says something in print then that is what is
              of importance... All of that is valid and is part of the manner in
              which one might take into consideration an author's
              pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect to the author
              is going too far.>>

              If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some of the
              author's meaning is necessarily hidden or 'mysterious.' As
              words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more often
              inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this before in
              color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed out that red is
              not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or some group of
              someones -- decided on, and which there can be variance from
              in experience. Of course none of that set you wavering). And
              further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or is it flecked with
              hints of other things the author has read and experienced and/or
              heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And then might word
              choice be affected, at times containing the author's meaning,
              and at others containing internal referants -- which perhaps even
              the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all the favor of not
              getting into genetic transfer of thought, experience and idea.)

              Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as cut and dried and
              hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to pretend I know what
              the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a very long study of
              his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I know is what I think
              I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
              interpretation of what it seems to me the author was doing, and
              even that may be pushing it (depending on how absurd you want
              to get). and in the long run, what of the thing which the author
              meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me which is far
              more interesting than whatever the intent was (if either of those
              can be defined). Should I shun what I think and seek out the idea
              of the author which I can never attain? And should I attain it
              (though I think it impossible) there I have grabbed the flag on the
              mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
              acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why is the
              author important at all?

              I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just happens.

              Reduxio
              -----------
            • nothing@theabsurd.com
              Message 6 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                << 1) there have to be some assumptions to do any work ... until
                such times when the assumptions do not work in some new or
                special cases, then u just admit the limitation of those
                assumptions. but that doesn't mean those assumptions are
                entirely useless ... well, well, this is not related to the existential, i
                suppose?! >>

                I think it is related.

                If one tries not to make assumptions, where does that lead?

                ------------------------
              • Eduard Alf
                If you can t know every thought and innuendo, some of the author s meaning is necessarily hidden or mysterious. that is true, but as james implied, there is
                Message 7 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                  "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                  some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                  or 'mysterious."

                  that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                  at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                  what the author actually said, rather than to try
                  to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                  the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                  not be a further level of understanding, to either
                  accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                  reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                  benefit to the discussion.

                  As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                  absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                  only frustrating but quite pointless.

                  eduard



                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: nothing@...
                  [mailto:nothing@...]
                  Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                  To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                  can see and hear no
                  more...


                  Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                  <<I have been following this discussion and this
                  has really
                  gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                  It always seems to, to me...

                  << So what if you cant know every thought and
                  innuendo of the
                  author...If an author says something in print then
                  that is what is
                  of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                  of the manner in
                  which one might take into consideration an
                  author's
                  pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                  to the author
                  is going too far.>>

                  If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                  of the
                  author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                  'mysterious.' As
                  words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                  often
                  inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                  before in
                  color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                  out that red is
                  not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                  some group of
                  someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                  variance from
                  in experience. Of course none of that set you
                  wavering). And
                  further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                  is it flecked with
                  hints of other things the author has read and
                  experienced and/or
                  heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                  then might word
                  choice be affected, at times containing the
                  author's meaning,
                  and at others containing internal referants --
                  which perhaps even
                  the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                  the favor of not
                  getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                  experience and idea.)

                  Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                  cut and dried and
                  hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                  pretend I know what
                  the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                  very long study of
                  his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                  know is what I think
                  I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                  interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                  was doing, and
                  even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                  absurd you want
                  to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                  which the author
                  meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                  which is far
                  more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                  either of those
                  can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                  seek out the idea
                  of the author which I can never attain? And should
                  I attain it
                  (though I think it impossible) there I have
                  grabbed the flag on the
                  mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                  acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                  is the
                  author important at all?

                  I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                  happens.

                  Reduxio
                  -----------


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                • nothing@theabsurd.com
                  Message 8 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                    << that is true, but as james implied, there is point at which you
                    have to get off the pot and deal with what the author actually said
                    >>

                    I am sorry but I don't believe it is true that what the author intends
                    makes any difference. And to some extent, the reader would not
                    be required to 'deal' with anything. One would assume that be
                    the act of reading one is involving themselves with words only --
                    NOT that they give a hoot what the author intends.

                    << But this reduction to absurdity does not provide any benefit to
                    the discussion...As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                    absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not only frustrating but
                    quite pointless.>>

                    So I am asked to follow the 'Duard-o-meter to the magical land of
                    benefit? I must say, I am also not convinced that there can be a
                    benefit to discussion. I'm afraid I am attached to the hip of
                    frivolity, or that I cannot judge benefit. If you could explain to me
                    just once what 'beneficial' is and how one goes about having a
                    'productive' discussion, I would be grateful, because then I can
                    achieve better things.

                    I suppose saying that my intended contributions are pointless is
                    somehow a benefit? And I suppose i should see your
                    suggestion as beneficial and flag my own, logically, as
                    detriment? And the suggestion is that my repeatedly absurd
                    posts are nothing but pests on the flystrip as it were? And
                    everyone who utters here utters for purpose -- as such great
                    musings about ducks and mountains I have heard that seem to
                    this limp chimp to have no tangent to the discussion at all?
                    Forgive me for responding ... it obviously was and is
                    inconsiderate. I should type to myself and not post as I can never
                    gauge the worth before I do, and I would assume, as I am
                    unable to do so, I should assume the restraint will be more
                    healthy than endulgence -- and therefore not saying anything at
                    all would be the greater benefit?

                    Sounds absurd to me...shutting up benefits the discussion? If
                    we all shut up, what a wonderful discussion we would have as
                    we might all benefit the more — another scoop of benefit for
                    every mouth that closes! The less we say, the better the
                    discussion?!

                    Please clarify, as I do not have your wealth of vision.

                    clueless in blindness and hock
                    -------------------------------------------
                  • james tan
                    have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two cents worth. of course it is not meant to be factual , only my interpretation, & i
                    Message 9 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                      have not been following this tread closely, but let me just throw in my two
                      cents worth. of course it is not meant to be 'factual', only my
                      interpretation, & i can't seems to see anything beyond my own perception or
                      interpretation, & i've no way to guarantee my perception is the same as
                      'reality'. as for reader reading a text by an author: as for scientific
                      reading, it is paramount that clarity of meaning is maintained at all time,
                      so that any disagreement is only a disagreement of the hypothesis, & not on
                      what does the hypothesis says. before one can reject or fail to reject any
                      hypothesis, it is assumed that one knows what the hypothesis is saying in
                      the first place. aspects of the hypothesis is operationalized & measurable
                      (a number can be attached to it). there is no ambiguity of meaning here. as
                      for literary reading, things are not so clear cut, i think. some authors are
                      pretty straightforward, such as charles dicken, but some are very ambiguous,
                      such as kafka. as for me, i am always puzzled by what kafka was 'really'
                      trying to say, & end up as confused as the characters inside his novels,
                      such as "the trial", "the castle", etc. there are social critique novel,
                      such as dickens, orwell or jane austen, existentialist novelist such as
                      camus & dostoyevski, phenomenologist such as sartre, etc, etc, but i can
                      never quite put my finger on kafka. kafka's mystery did not shut up, & most
                      probably will never; there is a mysterious horizons he seemed compelled to
                      search, but never quite get it, & like the land surveyor (in "the castle")
                      tried to measure, hence comprehend, the horizons of truth. there is a
                      certain richness in the possibilities to interpret his works, so that it
                      allows various perspectives on it. in the end, whether eduard or nothing
                      read it, both are legitimate in their interpretation, because quite apart
                      from the key chosen to read it or just because of the very choice that the
                      interpretation makes, it reveals itself to be the secret way of bringing an
                      author close to one's inner world. his texts challenges the readers to
                      understand it on a level that goes beyond the simple & immediate reading.
                      kafka speaks in parables & metaphors, if only because any attempts to
                      describe it directly is bound to fail. words block our paths. truth changes
                      into deceit just as soon as one tries to interpret it rationally, to put
                      into a objective framework. truth is subjectivity. illusion is thick. the
                      problem comes when one attempts to impose the paradigm of science onto
                      everything else, but it doesn't work because reality is much richer than
                      what that framework allows. man need models, frameworks, or paradigm to
                      understand the world or reality, & although they are useful in certain
                      respects, they are inherently limited, & it is ridiculous & blind to make
                      sweeping judgment about reality based on those models. if one is not blind,
                      one always admits one's strength together with one's limitation. there are
                      no facts, only interpretations, to quote nietzsche. this goes for text
                      reading as well, especially one like kafka.

                      james.




                      From: "Eduard Alf" <yeoman@...>
                      Reply-To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      To: <existlist@yahoogroups.com>
                      Subject: RE: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and can see and hear no
                      more...
                      Date: Wed, 5 Sep 2001 16:12:20 -0400

                      "If you can't know every thought and innuendo,
                      some of the author's meaning is necessarily hidden
                      or 'mysterious."

                      that is true, but as james implied, there is point
                      at which you have to get off the pot and deal with
                      what the author actually said, rather than to try
                      to delve forever into the multitude of layers of
                      the "mysterious". I do not suggest that there can
                      not be a further level of understanding, to either
                      accept, reject, or amend the statement. But this
                      reduction to absurdity does not provide any
                      benefit to the discussion.

                      As you say "I can't help but reduce it to the
                      absurd...It just happens." I am finding this not
                      only frustrating but quite pointless.

                      eduard



                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: nothing@...
                      [mailto:nothing@...]
                      Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2001 9:51 AM
                      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [existlist] Re: the mystery shuts up, and
                      can see and hear no
                      more...


                      Dear Sir 'Duard simplifier extraordinaire,

                      <<I have been following this discussion and this
                      has really
                      gotten to the point of absurdity.>>

                      It always seems to, to me...

                      << So what if you cant know every thought and
                      innuendo of the
                      author...If an author says something in print then
                      that is what is
                      of importance... All of that is valid and is part
                      of the manner in
                      which one might take into consideration an
                      author's
                      pronouncements, but surely "mystery" with respect
                      to the author
                      is going too far.>>

                      If you can't know every thought and innuendo, some
                      of the
                      author's meaning is necessarily hidden or
                      'mysterious.' As
                      words are perhaps sometimes adequate -- yet more
                      often
                      inexact vehicles of meaning (we have examined this
                      before in
                      color -- where you said red was red, but I pointed
                      out that red is
                      not inate, it is a measure which someone -- or
                      some group of
                      someones -- decided on, and which there can be
                      variance from
                      in experience. Of course none of that set you
                      wavering). And
                      further, meaning...is it entirely the author's, or
                      is it flecked with
                      hints of other things the author has read and
                      experienced and/or
                      heard -- whether directly attributable or not? And
                      then might word
                      choice be affected, at times containing the
                      author's meaning,
                      and at others containing internal referants --
                      which perhaps even
                      the author may be unaware? (And I will do us all
                      the favor of not
                      getting into genetic transfer of thought,
                      experience and idea.)

                      Quite honestly I wish I could take everything as
                      cut and dried and
                      hang it all neatly on my clothes-line. But to
                      pretend I know what
                      the author meant is pretentious -- even if I do a
                      very long study of
                      his work, life, etc.. The only thing I can think I
                      know is what I think
                      I am reading, and how my experience reflects on my
                      interpretation of what it seems to me the author
                      was doing, and
                      even that may be pushing it (depending on how
                      absurd you want
                      to get). and in the long run, what of the thing
                      which the author
                      meant? Perhaps the writing has meaning for me
                      which is far
                      more interesting than whatever the intent was (if
                      either of those
                      can be defined). Should I shun what I think and
                      seek out the idea
                      of the author which I can never attain? And should
                      I attain it
                      (though I think it impossible) there I have
                      grabbed the flag on the
                      mountain, and no one cares, knows, agrees or even
                      acknowledges...so the purpose is exactly what? Why
                      is the
                      author important at all?

                      I can't help but reduce it to the absurd...It just
                      happens.

                      Reduxio
                      -----------


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                    • Eduard Alf
                      hi james, the fact is what the author puts forth as his/her opinion. You may wish to make an interpretation of
                      Message 10 of 29 , Sep 5, 2001
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                        hi james,

                        << there are no facts, only interpretations>>

                        the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                        his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                        interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                        outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                        point of recognizing that this opinion is
                        something which is attached to the author. It is
                        the author's opinion and on that basis can be
                        taken to be a "fact". The discussion had gotten
                        off onto a tangent, in trying to focus upon some
                        "mystery" behind the fact or perhaps some yet
                        unknown characteristic of the author which may
                        help us to understand this "fact".

                        I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                        get to know the author. This may indeed be
                        beneficial understanding facts/opinions that may
                        be stated in the form of parables. But the
                        tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                        be an understanding, because instead we would be
                        too busy trying to find out more and more about
                        the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                        eduard
                      • nothing@theabsurd.com
                        ... I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again. ... I do. I don t see
                        Message 11 of 29 , Sep 6, 2001
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                          > the "fact" is what the author puts forth as
                          > his/her opinion. You may wish to make an
                          > interpretation of this opinion or accept/reject it
                          > outright. But ultimately, one has to come the
                          > point of recognizing that this opinion is
                          > something which is attached to the author. >>

                          I find this a claustrophobic situation, limiting, and horrifically
                          disinteresting. If this were made law, I would never read again.

                          > I do not disagree with the idea that one should
                          > get to know the author. >>

                          I do. I don't see the point or benefit. Except in satisfying an
                          interest or curiosity -- if you have it.

                          > But the tangent that we got on, was that there could never
                          > be an understanding, because instead we would be
                          > too busy trying to find out more and more about
                          > the mystery. This leads to absurdity.

                          There is nothing wrong with admitting to the impossible.

                          What I think many fail with and why they continually search to
                          something else is that they find their perspective and interest not
                          good enough and not well justified on its own. For some reason
                          it needs validation. Validation can be saught by capturing what
                          the author meant as that is the ultimate is it not? I suggest it isn't.
                          And I suggest I can add far more to a work without the limitation
                          of the author as 'god' having devine right over meaning.

                          I think the need for security in 'vision' is what forces so many to
                          find an umbrella...and there consistently miss the joys of the
                          rain.

                          unthinking.
                          ---------------
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