Friday, December 28, 2007

grieving for anewal

You may have noticed that short postings here may be changed during the day-or-so afterward.

The previous one here at first ended with a smirk, titled "Still not dead." But, in the wake of Benazir Bhutto's murder, I couldn't bear letting that little self-possession remain.

At first, I left the posting unchanged, but appended an explanation, dated yesterday, in view of Bhutto's murder, and wrote penultimately:

"Yesterday's posting stays as, now, a little testament to the importance of honoring the dead by carrying on our lives with good use of what time we have."

But I removed the explanation and the above, too. Terrorism thrives on attention gained from us. I refuse to participate in that (which I guess is undermined at the moment by this avowal).

"I wish you decades of time for flourishing," I ended yesterday. Then removed that, I don't know why, since I do wish you that, whomever you are.

Now, this posting's expression of changes stands instead.

Miles to go.... I hope to say more in a few days, initiating the change of calendar. (When does your new year really begin—your birthday maybe? Chinese [4706, Wu Zhi, 7 Feb.], Jewish [5768, Rosh Hashanah, last Sept. 12-14], Muslim [1429, 10 Jan.]—anyway, we share the months and the seasons, eras of life and mainstream news, Earthlings all.)

Quotation, in good Derridean stead, frames distantiation and time.

"I managed to not regret Monday's posting to the Habermas list (as a matter of typos or misstatement). That's a problem with nonrevisable media: Will you still love her/him in the morning?

" 'OK....Well...carry on.'

Thank you."

I wish we humanists decades of time for flourishing.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

one's philological condition

Days go by, and I digress, reminded of our universe, anticipating our evolving nature, accelerating Time, our capability for facilitating broad-based human development.

Philosophy lands itself in such a continuum, yet those are just points in the topography. Focused work in conceptual adventuring (linguistic topology? ) is needed, not things primarily self-expressive—rather, focused orientation by a largely-definite group of works, leading voices, sequenced for the road, for some netweaving comprehension that works fruitfully (even durably?)—unwittingly ensuring my aloneness, I suppose....Well, I'm not looking for mall-accessible popularity. Here I am for those who care to dwell along.

OK, so am I going to stop playing runaround soon?, I donknow, I seem to have enough to do keeping up with leading news, which is very important to me—but a long way from conceptual prospecting. One has to commit.

I do.

Monday, September 03, 2007


rivulets are drawn
to their valley like a regioning
tree says fractalic
code of eonic time

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm here

—just not yet ready to exactly begin a new register of conceptual adventuring—which will remain in continuity with the circumspective discussions I've done the past couple of years (but the past is preface).

Caring for theory of value, pursuing "truth" and "realism," humanity and excellence, etc., wherever—so serious (rightly)—is also, for me, fun, thank goodness, because finding fun is intrinsic to living well.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

on safari—carefully

Not dead yet. (Having great fun with conceptions of—well, later on that....)

Thanks for checking in.

I'll be back soon to posting weekly, probably early August, expecting to write, over the coming year, relative to an already-specified syllabus (many items on the project shelf).

The sequenced list will change only slightly, I anticipate, relative to new publications that turn out to be directly relevant to the project.

I'll be going wherever thinking through the set of readings leads, though continuously relative to the set of readings—living well (I hope) relative to an endless seminar.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

posting as self-diagnostic opportunity

Sometimes, I upload a note because it seems to be certainly what I want to say, then the next day dread that I was so—fill-in-the-blank: so obviously lacking insight, or so oblique, or so clichéd, "whatever" (the all-American category).

It's the curse of email. So, thanks, software gods, for editable media.

Ever since adolescence, writing has been primarily a learning experience, rather than self-presentation—"stance consolidating," I put it last January: "....stance consolidating and possible insightfulness of articulative distantiation or thematic framing" (talk about oblique), a process often making the immediate past into preface.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

surface structure, deep whatever

We live with a world dominated by surface structure, novelty, or “whatever,” among those who can barely explore constructively where surface ends and depth begins, where “It's all about me” can barely think about life and Time realistically. Of course, an Appeal's always a matter of degree, giving way according to some interpretive interest that never comprehends totality.

—supposing you’re alive to have interest given, still giving. You wake from dreamless sleep to only then know you’ve been asleep. Had you not awakened, you’d be none the wiser about anything. Now, you may remember the nothingness of dreamless sleep only as recognition of no longer being asleep.

Life is strange, then you die—never to know that no dreamless sleeping is anymore alive. Death is to the living, nothing for the dead never knowing they're no longer “here.”

A distracted bicycler smashes into my windshield, then dies—then, no: She wakes up. But I saw her dead for too long, so my hand-wringing grief flows into days, weeks of chronic stress still living.

Words become background noise. Today, you're still alive to read, and I'm still alive to write. Many persons—too many—are like a speeding teen who believes the light won't turn red because he wishes it so—or what feels “reasonable” is so: The doctor only thinks she knows how much time you have to change, as time belongs to one’s power to create, as if God’s immanence is life favoring you because you feel good. But reality doesn't care about the strength of your conviction. Your self-esteeming confidence about what's what may have wagered well, insightfully, intelligently, or maybe not. In any case, reality isn't a function of self-confidence. Nature takes its course, regardless.

OK, so all manner of pragmatics can be explicated, all kinds of discursive appeal can be integrated, where constructive engagement may journey through large and difficult fields, landscapes—phenomenologies of topography educing topologies?

Surface structure, deep whatever.... One chooses a path which may eventually fork like a river delta of pathmaking choices—the whole game of chess—facing a horizon ever receding, whatever the choices made for ongoing days’ instillations of remaining life.

Choices are made, like Jasper Johns’ policy toward art: “Do something. Now, do something else” (or was that Rauschenberg?). The artist makes lemonade. Another’s death teaches.

Who is one to others? The apparent selfhood, the “personality” so named, is borne from a life-historicality that is ultimately beyond all comprehension. (Philosophers fail to agree about what consciousness is, let alone the life-historical selfhood that may be narrated over hundreds of pages, let alone entwining oneself in conceptual issues of narratability.)

We remain both intimately known and ultimately unknowable, proximally distinguished from kindredness (family and friends) as our intimately ownmost life, yet also maybe flowering within intimacy some deeply self-differentiating capacity for mysteries, say, some artistry loved in its unknowability, some capacity to find diffuse constellations in mind's sky portending pointillistically rich landscapes—an autopoietic ”regioning of that which regions” (Heidegger) bearing mental light, reason to live carefully and well and thankfully.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

as she lay dying

On my way to the commuter train before sunrise Thursday, I made my usual left turn into the parking lot, and my windshield exploded. It was a bicycler from nowhere out of the dark suddenly crashing head first over the hood of my car.

During the first minute of hysterically waiting for the ambulance, I thought she was dead. I was kin to a hand-wringing Iraqi on a street after a suicide bombing.

She woke up, as if drugged; bleeding head, and tried to sit up. I pleaded with her to not try to move, but she said weakly she was alright, which only meant: not dead yet. I couldn't know how much internal bleeding was going on. When the ambulance took her away, she was not dead yet. The police later assured me that the accident was truly an accident, not my fault: The street was dark; she wasn't in her lane, was wearing dark clothes, and didn't have a light on her bike. She was evidently wearing her helmut, though it wasn't on her head as she lay in front of my car.

I didn't know her name. I couldn't inquire effectively about her injuries, couldn't cause hospital personnel to locate her with information from me about the time of the accident: "privacy" rules. If she has remained alive, her helmut saved her life.

Traumatized as I was, I was faced by my consoling insurer with their need to process my claim and manage the damage. The day became a surreality of customer service communications. "This call may be monitored so that we may improve service to our valued customers." Even the police ended their presence by giving me an incident information card that had attached a perforated business reply card with a checklist of questions about quality of service (which, I know, is an admirable thing).

Friends respond with that numinous ambiguity of concern to console (as if I'm the victim—the only victim available, of course) and nearly prurient interest. My distress has more reality than any of the uncountable newspaper stories each day that accompany prevailing space for advertising; or "if-it-bleeds-it-leads" TV news vehicles for advertising whose cost is recovered in the price of what's sold (e.g., the relentless market for new cars). The event wasn't mentioned in my local newspaper the next day, though the immanent closing of a nearby ice skating rink was reported at length.

It turned out that her head had dented my car's roof so badly that the cost of body work (replacing the roof) that would allow placement of a new windshield was greater than the value of my old car, which is now already sold for parts. The police officer had said that "you'd be surprised how easy it is to dent the roof," but he evidently wasn't noticing that the force had been horizontal to the plane of the roof. The auto body man was amazed that someone's head could have made such a dent at that angle and lived.

Is she dead? If so, it's allegedly not that "I killed her," but that "a death resulted from the accident" of a girl's path one dark morning that continues to explode into my days and nights, as if I'm an inner-city kid with an attention-deficit disorder; or dissociative homeless man (with useless philosophical insight).

BAGHDAD (Reuters, 3/31) - The Iraqi government raised the death toll on Saturday from a truck bomb in the town of Tal Afar to 152, making it the deadliest single bombing of the four-year-old war.

Mahmood Mamdani, Professor of Anthropology at Columbia University, in his article "The Politics of Naming: Genocide, Civil War, Insurgency," for the March 8 London Review of Books, begins: "The similarities between Iraq and Darfur are remarkable. The estimate of the number of civilians killed over the past three years is roughly similar...."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

the past is preface

I began blogging in September, 2004, and continued fairly prolifically—postings now moved to the beginning months of "conceptual prospecting" (formerly titled "gary e. davis"). I made only postings that were valuable to me (thereby posting irregularly), no impulsiveness involved (contrary to the blog ethos). I didn’t intend to cease, November, 2005, but other writing caused the “silence” to continue throughout 2006.

November, 2005, I presumed I’d continue posting regularly, as soon as I gathered all of the emergent themes of that several-months’ beginning and identified a relatively small set of topics to which all the themes belonged. That would orient a more deliberate continuation of what I wanted to see as a concerted project. I did derive the set of topics, but other venues got my time, so now the theme set belongs to several Web projects.