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a posteriori.

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  • mariaprophetessa
    ... wrote:
    Message 1 of 49 , May 2, 2006
      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Trinidad Cruz" <cruzprdb@...>

      <Common law in the United States since Holmes, to its credit, has
      patiently distanced itself from the necessity of mystical consensus,
      toward Darwin, toward the scientific view, toward a life necessity
      basis, toward naturalism, toward pragmatism. The general citizenry
      has not. All politicians understand this to some depth. To defend any
      act on the basis of any law is to lay claim to a mystical imperative.>

      "(Law, language, truth) These things make themselves as we go. Our
      rights, wrongs, prohibitions, penalties, words, forms, idioms,
      beliefs, are so many new creations that add themselves as history
      proceeds. Far from being antecedent principles that animate the
      process, law, language, truth, are but abstract names for its
      results." William James

      A glimmer of hope, Trinidad? Sometimes we just get exhausted, not
      really cynical. Often I detect a bit of "West's disease" in your
      literature, but this post suggests to me, for the living, our
      individual stories are more significant than the larger story. Or
      rather, the little stories, like battles lost or won, comprise the
      epic. History happens in spite of historians.

      "please don't tell me how the story ends",
    • Exist List Moderator
      ... While I certainly rely a lot on interviews and lexical analysis for my research, I also recognize the fact that some people are more important in the
      Message 49 of 49 , May 13, 2006
        On May 13, 2006, at 8:42, Aija Veldre Beldavs wrote:

        > On Thu, 11 May 2006, Exist List Moderator wrote:
        >> I know this goes off-topic, to an extent, but I think it is also a
        >> chance to reflect on how history is "created" by a number of factors.
        >> History is not a single thing that can be accurately captured. Like
        >> all
        >> human interactions, it is deeply flawed. We know the "truth" only
        >> because we assume our particular sources have all the information
        >> necessary.
        > guess that's why i'm a folklorist/ethnographer who would like for all
        > to
        > have opportunity for voice. in spite of faulty memory and of framing
        > experience in schemas that are put down as fairy tale stereotypes and
        > such, personal experience doesn't lie on the same level as statistics
        > and narratives funded by powerful interest groups.

        While I certainly rely a lot on interviews and lexical analysis for my
        research, I also recognize the fact that "some people are more
        important" in the larger picture of history. This means we need to
        balance our studies of Hitler, Stalin, FDR, and Sir Winston with the
        experiences of soldiers and civilians -- but we must take into account
        the fact Hitler was definitely more influential than some other Germans
        as Stalin was more important than some Russians.

        Maybe "important" is a loaded word, but I don't think the semantics
        matter as much as the basic point -- we study world leaders and major
        events for a reason. They are "praxis" moments that shift cultures and
        even large sections of the globe.

        My point on the individual story causing problems:

        A single story about someone suffering from a disease can cause a
        public reaction that is not relative to the risk. Psychologists have
        long known that too much empathy is as dangerous emotionally as too
        little -- too much empathy is usually a sign of depression, often
        accompanied by compulsive disorders.

        In other words, I cannot know and care about all the suffering in the
        world, or I could not function. I can know there are problems in the
        Sudan and send money to a charity, or even petition my government to
        become involved, but I cannot emotionally deal with every single story
        of rape, torture, and starvation.

        We should record how the bulk of any society exists, which is why pop
        culture is now "standard culture" and studied extensively. We should
        never dismiss the common experience -- but the common are seldom
        responsible for the major shifts in history.

        - C. S. Wyatt
        I am what I am at this moment, not what I was and certainly not all
        that I shall be.
        http://www.tameri.com - Tameri Guide for Writers
        http://www.tameri.com/csw/exist - The Existential Primer
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