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ggggg gobbledygook

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  • Trinidad Cruz
    Deconstruction as a literary concept is a joke; really little more than an infatuating fad about the equivalent of the study of navel lint. It is not
    Message 1 of 69 , May 1, 2007
      Deconstruction as a literary concept is a joke; really little more
      than an infatuating fad about the equivalent of the study of navel
      lint. It is not scientific except in a folk-science kind of way. I
      grasped it in first grade. "See Spot run said Jane." I was reading
      "Treasure Island", "Kidnapped", "Tales from the Arabian Nights", "Lord
      Jim" and the "Britannica". It is amazing to me that academics have
      anything to do with it at all. Meaning is not the central
      philosophical issue for people fascinated with deconstruction. Oh no,
      and Dog Boys understand this all to well: the central philosophical
      issue in deconstruction is authority. Existentialism defines this
      authority over meaning as altogether personal and individual. This
      authority is a personal burden on the existentialist as he must use it
      to keep it. The existentialist must decide what things mean when they
      intrude into his experience of existence and act. It is the
      existentialist who dirties his hands with meaning and writes what he
      thinks things mean. Deconstruction is no argument against such
      writing, and perhaps that is where deconstructionists fail to
      understand. You'll have that.

      When the post-nervous breakdown Heidegger attempted to define his
      differences with Sartre for Derrida he argued his purpose was to
      understand whether or not man was even necessary to being; a clear
      abandonment of any human responsibility for authoritative decisions
      about meaning. In a clearly messianic statement he declares man the
      "shepherd" of being, the mere caretaker of any possible authority
      about meaning. Even Hegel with his proposition of human thought as a
      transcendental future and teleological force cannot be stretched to
      such a level of abandonment of authority over meaning. How could the
      man who was arguably responsible for "existence precedes essence" have
      come so far from existentialism? I think he viewed Sartre's
      existentialism as a failed philosophy because of the failure of
      dialectical materialism, when it was really Sartre who failed to see
      the Hegelian interpretation of civilization in dialectical
      materialism. But Sartre acted politically, and purely for human
      rights, and it is he personally who should be blamed for his naivete
      and forgiven - not his ontology or philosophy. It is predictable that
      Derrida ends with a transcendental justice that teleologically makes
      men aware of justice in snitches and snatches throughout history. He
      needed to propose an authority of some kind since he took none upon
      himself. Heidegger argued for the end of metaphysics and the failure
      of the language of philosophy. It is predictable that he derive a
      secondary purpose for man, akin to Hegel, such as the caretaker of
      authority over meaning; as with the failure of the language of
      philosophy comes the failure of man to be. What he could not see that
      Sartre did is that human being is a synthetic fact now utterly
      responsible for its being and utterly stuck with its physical world.

      What I fail to grasp is how such self-styled "intelligent" people here
      could possibly argue that deconstruction is something I do not
      comprehend. I find these constant protestations to be very similar to
      the proselytizing effort of a bible belt preacher, or perhaps more to
      the point in this case "yellow journalism." As a matter of fact, I
      understand the rhetorical method of "post-modernism" and recognize it
      immediately when I see it and can deconstruct it to its agenda ridden
      facts. Some of you here are quite skilled at the method. (Knott)
      However I really feel that some of you derive a sense of bliss in
      destruction much like a child knocking down blocks. Why not go and
      start a "deconstruction" list. I'm sure my grandson would join and
      regularly best you in wordplay. It is afterall a child's game. So
      where does deconstruction belong in the average academic hierarchy?
      I'd say about third of fourth grade. It's pretty damn hard to confuse
      the philosophy of an eight year old. Try it sometime. About then
      you'll realize what a silly thing it is you are infatuated with. There
      you have it.

      What did I stutter?
    • Exist List Moderator
      A few years ago there was a man we called President. He knew the power of words. He declared he would be the Real Environmental President and vowed to
      Message 69 of 69 , May 29, 2007
        A few years ago there was a man we called President. He knew the
        power of words. He declared he would be the "Real" Environmental
        President and vowed to protect "wetlands." (We won't dwell on his
        vice-president, since that might contradict his current persona.)

        Anticipating a change, the Department of Agriculture, the Department
        of the Interior, and (separately) the Bureau of Land (mis-)Management
        set forth to define "wetland" since this term lacked an official
        definition. As a result, scientists and activists attended policy
        forums and started to get a definition of "wetland" codified. This
        upset farmers and developers, who then demanded more hearing and
        public forums. These hearings were during the presidential campaign,
        so there were sob stories from farmers who had lost their land to
        lizards and shrimp.

        In academic circles, the definition of "wetland" had been set in
        works by Tripp (1991, p. 203) and Golet (1991, 635) as "areas
        sufficiently saturated by water that only specially adapted plants
        can grow there. Saturation with water prevents oxygen from working
        its way into the soil and therefore creates conditions of no
        oxygen" (Tripp's definition).

        In 1989, under a different President (who must not have been an
        environmentalist since he was marked with the Red R), the Interagency
        Committee for Wetland Delineation published a precise manual on how
        to map wetlands and protect them from human activity. This was deemed
        good by many, but not trusted because of his Red R.

        Ah, but the "Real" Environmental President promised no net loss of
        wetlands during his administration. The scientists were happy. They
        trusted him. Unfortunately, to win an election in the United States,
        you must promise farmers in Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Minnesota,
        Illinois, Kansas, and so on, more land and more subsidies.

        Let us cut all of the boring dates and federal papers... you already
        know what happened. "Wetland" was redefined and there were hearings.
        The definition began to change. A "Revised Manual" was developed and
        "wetlands" as defined by Congress (1992) according to Francis Golet
        "disregards more than 15 years of scientific research."

        By the time the New Improved Environmental President took office,
        legislation was ready to be passed and there are now two definitions
        of wetlands: the one in academic texts and the one maintained by the
        federal government.

        Politicians don't care about science unless they can control the
        terms. Scientists are not very good at public relations, it seems --
        until there is an emergency and people have to listen to them.

        Science and politics -- without a discussion of stem cells or
        anything controversial.

        - CSW
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