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Re: gee, some objections

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  • Trinidad Cruz
    No one here would argue that you are not a skilled writer. I consider you highly skilled. More skilled than I am, though I have cultural and language issues.
    Message 1 of 69 , May 2, 2007
      No one here would argue that you are not a skilled writer. I consider
      you highly skilled. More skilled than I am, though I have cultural and
      language issues. My comment was not meant as an insult. I'm sorry if
      you took it that way.

      That said, my other argument is actually rather clear but I will
      restate it for you: It serves no purpose to me for you to criticize my
      existentialist view and propose the validity or invalidity of my
      statements in deconstructionist terms as I consider deconstruction and
      a large part of the post-modernist view to be invalidated and proved
      wrong by existentialism. It is not that I consider deconstruction to
      be a fallacy; but rather an invalid form of critical apprehension when
      it comes to existentialist writing. Grasping existentialism requires a
      certain generosity towards oneself. I cannot be sure that you or
      anyone else here other than Wil has any grasp of the beginning of the
      deconstructionist idea so I touched a few historical bases. There are
      many more I have not brought up, such as it was first taken as a
      clever response to structuralism. To grasp this try Levi-Strauss and
      Levinas. As I said deconstructionist criticism of my ideas has no
      effect on me; so as an existentialist I can only take such criticism
      as a political act. I disagree with those who criticize Derrida as
      non-political. Deconstructionist criticism directed at an
      existentialist is clearly political in the sense that it has no effect
      on the existentialist; and is actually aimed at the audience. As an
      existentialist I understand political acts and reply in kind.

      Trinidad


      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "Knott" <knott12@...> wrote:
      >
      > > Deconstruction as a literary concept is a joke; really little more
      > > than an infatuating fad about the equivalent of the study of navel
      > > lint.
      >
      > Again, I think my suggestion was that the kernal of interest I find
      > in deconstruction is the idea that words are not absolute. Put that
      > way it seems rather simple. However, there are very intelligent
      > people who would think their words are infallible. To me that
      > thought is folly. I wouldn't have confidence in assigning the age
      > one should learn that concept.
      >
      > > the central philosophical
      > > issue in deconstruction is authority. Existentialism defines this
      > > authority over meaning as altogether personal and individual.
      >
      > I believe that is a view taken from a specific author. Again, my
      > suggestion was perhaps to look at the clever part of an idea rather
      > than trying to tear it down. This would seem to be building, rather
      > than 'disembowelment' which you speak against. When one speaks
      > against something and then does it, it is contradictory...and I
      > believe we all know what happened to HAL.
      >
      > > What I fail to grasp is how such self-styled
      > > "intelligent" people here could possibly argue
      > > that deconstruction is something I do not
      > > comprehend.
      >
      > If that refers to anything I said (and it hints that it does not),
      > my postulation is less that you don't understand it than that you
      > have digested what you please of it in a particular way and
      > developed a pre-conception that you need for some reason to hold
      > deconstruction at fault and suspect. The rhetoric suggests that you
      > hold on to autherian authority...I am suggesting that in my
      > experience I do not see how it is possible for an author to hold
      > governance over meaning. I was hoping for a clarification. I would
      > have thought the idea that writer's do not own meaning too be
      > something learned at an earlier age...again, I am not so clever as
      > to assign an age of enlightenment...
      >
      > > 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.
      >
      > I wish I knew a single fact. It would probably change my whole
      > manner of thinking. I have interests...I think. It is the closest I
      > come to a fact. I see you use 'facts' - plural. I am not so smart as
      > to comprehend your conclusions.
      >
      > > Some of you here are quite skilled at the method. (Knott)
      >
      > How vague. If this is an example of meaning, how many ways did you
      > intend it to be taken? This can read like a modern taunt ("you are
      > so handsome...NOT!"), or that I am somehow skilled in something I
      > doubt I practice. Yet the biggest question of all here is what
      > is 'the method'? I don't believe it is clear. As you are the meaning
      > governor, force me to see your words your way. I don't believe I do
      > unless you intend to be ambiguous.
      >
      > > However I really feel that some of you derive a sense of bliss in
      > > destruction much like a child knocking down blocks.
      >
      > But here flies the beast of contradiction again...who is it on the
      > list that constantly showers everyone with their wrongness? You have
      > a fence in every discourse, everyone is always clearly defined for
      > you as to being on one side or another, and you are always on the
      > greener side -- at least in your perspective. I believe the grass
      > can be greener on the other side...and that plays out if you think
      > about the angle of your perspective--if the metaphor is worth a damn.
      >
      > > So where does deconstruction belong
      > > in the average academic hierarchy?
      > > I'd say about third of fourth grade.
      >
      > hmmm. I remember taking a literature course with a very strange
      > instructor. He suggested to me in a single phrase something which
      > has stuck for a very long time: "You speak in your papers as if
      > saying makes it so." Of course he meant that I took far too much for
      > granted...and at an intersection with a creative writing course
      > (regretfully in college not 4th grade -- perhaps I am more retarded
      > than I thought) I began an exploration of meaning that would lead me
      > through my first experiences with deconstructive notions. But I
      > bring this up, not like a cookie in Proust, but in several points of
      > wonderment...How is it that when you speak things you say them with
      > such authority as to convince yourself, but, I fear, few around you--
      > and yet you don't notice. Why is it that you do not see your 'facts'
      > as opinions as loosely held together as they are spoken? How is it
      > that you can ignore something which I believe I came to terms with
      > in college, and in continuing to work with words only becomes more
      > clear: words are inefficient, no one else lives in your head or your
      > meaning. Why is it you proclaim without the obligation to make those
      > proclamations even vaguely seem valid? You speak in your writings as
      > if saying makes it so. I don't believe it does. What grade do we
      > assign that idea to?
      >
      > Dialect Deleted
      >
    • 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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