Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I’m enjoying a synopsis of good parenting by a couple of child development specialists, and my experience tells me that they’re very enlightened. Let me share a little from a Webpage by them (linked at the bottom here) that I find especially important, before focusing briefly on my subject title, inspired by their page.
-- gary e. davis --- 3:13 PM
Monday, December 28, 2009
2/12/2010 — 9:45 pm
This week’s Science is a special issue on “Food Security,” i.e.: how to feed 9 billion people (the estimated upper limit of Earth’s carrying capacity).
Deciding to not have children, or to adopt instead, is like voting: One vote has to be part of a mass preference, for one’s vote to seem important. But one vote is all one has.
Anyway, population growth is out of control, particularly among the poor and illiterate. Last December, I took an eccentric perspective here on having children.
-- gary e. davis --- 3:34 PM
Somewhere in the late 1970s, a profound little cartoon that I treasured appeared on a magazine page. I believe it was a New Yorker cartoon, but I haven’t found it in available anthologies of New Yorker cartoons.
Like the Russian doll within a doll within a doll, the cartoon on a black background is firstly, in the center of the frame, a little white-line drawing of a very old man sitting cross-legged on the Earth. (He covers the entire Arctic area of the globe), taking up 10% maybe of the space, his back to the viewer, as we see him over his right shoulder, with some profile of his face, as he is looking up, as if into the black horizon (which is speckled with stars). He’s sitting inside a larger line drawing of a middle-aged man in the same cross-legged pose, who is sitting within a drawing of a young man, sitting inside a boy inside an infant. The old man sees the cosmos through the eyes of the middle-aged man seeing the cosmos, etc., etc., through the infant.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Back from my evening hike—tonight under a starkly black sky, crystalline stars, half moon, Venus soon to disappear over the Western horizon this time of night, this time of year (and wintry cold—glad to be warm again), I see my bookcases (300+ books) as if I’m a guest here.
It’s amazing, intimidating to think he’s all that.
But I’m not. That gathering, distilled over years from thousands I own (stored away)—that aggregate bet on the leading ideas, issues, etc., of Our Time (all published in the past decade or so), an English estate—
that somewhat sequenced concert, is what I aim to understand and integrate, not where I’ve been.
I’m happily surprised by my own audacity, anewed by it, making me laugh.
-- gary e. davis --- 9:39 PM
Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday — 12/10 — 10 pm
President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize address provides an ostensible sense of our evolving as a perpetual project—The Perpetual Project of our species.
Monday — 12/14 — 4:20 pm
Remarks on the Human Rights Agenda for the 21st Century
Secretary of State Clinton
-- gary e. davis --- 10:00 PM
Friday, December 11, 2009
Twyla Tharp has a new book out, The Collaborative Habit: life lessons for working together. Flipping through it (just bought), I find this:
Intimacy married to creativity—it’s hard to resist, this idea of working with people you know and like. Especially when you’re having dinner with friends. There you are, everyone relaxed, and the conversation shifts to How It Might Be if you could only spend your days doing something worthy with people who share your ideas/politics/religion/values.In such a marrying, interplays of intersubjectivity are untranslatable
into the interactions of interpersonal life, such as a dinner party itself
(as normally experienced). A thrill of the “shift” in conversation is
an anticipated ecstasis of generative rapport, thinking in sync, a synergy, a love of entwined sensibilities that deserves to be called an eros
that makes the sexual meaning of ‘eros’ irrelevant.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:00 PM
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
My comment yesterday about intimacy and letters (middle: “There are intimate letters...”) had implicitly in mind a recent book I came across: Yours Ever: people and their letters, by Thomas Mallon, so lovely—about the art of letterwriting in the 20th century. Remember the 20th century? I so remember regularly spending hours a week writing long letters with a fountain pen. (I kept a copy of everything, packed away.)
Here’s a random passage from the book (truly random): “Probably no one who’s held the job [of U.S. President] before or since [Theodore Roosevelt] has left behind a more spontaneous bundle of correspondence—with the possible exception of Woodrow Wilson, who for months on end would neglect his job to type besotted love notes…to a woman across town” (111).
Maybe I’ll shelve desire for intellectual legacy and become an expert at besottedness.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:42 PM
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Noelle Oxenhandler shows a lot of courage in Eros of Parenthood, 2001 (hereafter: Noelle), by candidly expressing the energies and the exuberance of parenting, but also the ambivalence and darkness. None of it has to do with sexualizing parenting. Though her courage is especially in confronting the boundary between healthy feeling and abuse, her topic is about the intensity of feeling in healthy parenting that others easily (and self-incriminatingly) sexualize, when there’s nothing “erotic” about the energized innocence of children and about being attuned to that openly (which she at times very poetically expresses).
-- gary e. davis --- 8:23 PM
days go by... 7:15 am
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hunger is spreading while the number of homeless families is increasing as a result of the recession and other factors, according to a report on Tuesday.....
All I can do is put time into understanding reality, impress on others to not forget the importance of understanding reality, endorse endeavors that appropriately address the reality, and do my best to live a life that is congruent with evolution of a better world—a life which is also fair to my own talents and opportunities I have or create.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:46 AM
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Praise refreshing validity of an ordinary day—dailiness as simply beautiful. Friendship, kindredness, intimacy are vitally integral to the natural validity of dailiness in all the common ground and experience we have together and may share to make our lives go well.
I’m proud to say truly that I was born June 16, Bloomsday (the single day of Leopold Bloom that Joyce’s Ulysses narrates), so I’m a Gemini.
Ulysses and Us
Friday, 12/4 — 8:52 pm
Waking, Learning, Thinking, Walking, Praying, Dying, Reporting, Eating, Reading, Wandering, Singing, Drinking, Ogling, Birthing, Dreaming, Parenting, Teaching, Loving.
—chapter titles of Ulysses and Us: the art of everyday life in Joyce’s masterpiece, Declan Kibard, Norton 2009.
-- gary e. davis --- 12:41 PM
Thursday, December 03, 2009
“Many visual artists working today appear preoccupied with how to integrate literary or discursive content into their work,” writes Kenneth Baker, Art Critic for the S.F. Chronicle.
I wanted to email him (but didn’t) to ask what caused him to say “many...appear,” because I’d love to believe what he says is a trend,
since I have high interest in discursive and “literary” things.
How about integrating what’s discursive and literary?
Literary discourse as discursive Literature?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
A while back, I had a near-term plan for 40+ topics. I transposed that into about 28, one of which was (is) “living well,” as rubric, as well as boundless topic. Boundless, indeed: Seeking much delimitation (a long webpage, I anticipated), it’s become notes for 42 postings! Maybe I’ll cover the other 27 topics before I die. But that was supposed to be a long detour from a larger project that has been ongoing for some years (which the prospected “conceptual adventuring” of the website is supposed to supplement). Talk about flourishing. I’m ready for biomedical enhancement of longevity to 120+ years. Just keep dementia at bay.
-- gary e. davis --- 5:50 PM
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Narrative adjacency is not always narrative continuity.
That’s important—or rather, it reminds me of something very important to me: The narratives that we do provide as stances of continuity and coherence are always selective. That allows for the coherence of the story, a sense of singularity of narrativity or integrity of the narrating,
for there is no story without coherence which expresses the integrity
that the story is a story.
-- gary e. davis --- 9:51 PM
Friday, November 27, 2009
The library as...
myth, order, space, power, shadow, shape, chance, workshop, mind, island, survival, oblivion, imagination, identity, home.
That’s the “Contents” page listing of the chapters in The Library at Night, by Argentine writer Alberto Manguel, Yale UP, 2009 (2006).
-- gary e. davis --- 9:33 PM
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Not “things are looking up.”
As a kid, I liked to sit on a high branch in a large old tree, quietly as someone walked below not noticing I was there. All I had to do was move or say something, and I’d be discovered. The stealth, the power of secreted presence, was thrilling. I didn’t yet anticipate the archetype, from the cyclicality of life to figures of evolution (invalidated by “lateral gene transfer”) and relations of knowledge infusing one’s subconscious.
-- gary e. davis --- 5:25 PM
Monday, November 23, 2009
I immerse myself in news every morning. I keep a thematized archive of articles that has been growing for many years.
Days go by. What’s interesting now?
Living well; and ethical, cultural, epistemic, philosophical, artful, political, and progressive life—Attachment, Engagement, Involvement, Habituation, Securing, Dwelling, Belonging....
Are we somehow on the way to governing our evolution?
What happens after SETI succeeds? Will we have reached Contact competence?
Do we write life to silent Awaiting?
Dennis Overbye published a stunning article in his NYTimes, “Beyond the Milkey Way, a Galactic Wall,” which caused me to comment to his Twitter account note of his article:
Why We're here is only by Our creative positing of reasons for being—which no deity (such anthropomorphism!) of the Big Bang could care to know.
“Night neighbors the stars,” wrote Heidegger.
Be neighborly. It's all there is.
-- gary e. davis --- 7:04 AM
Friday, November 20, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I haven’t read Magic Mountain, but the figure of cultural heights where somehow the upshot of all humanity is brought to dwell in itself appeals to me deeply. On the peak, the view is of other peaks.
Is history our preferred gathering of peaks—conceptions of the past with respect to conceptions of who we were to become? Were they as different from our reconstructions of them as we are relative to their anticipations?
Human evolution is the story, some rhizome, some weaving we make by dwelling among the peaks?
-- gary e. davis --- 6:10 PM
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Transgression is integral to the history of art, as ethically-transgressive art (from the allure of dark spirits through contemporary performance art); but commonly as formally transgressive: Once upon a time, perspective in art was transgressive. Pointillism was transgressive.
The notion of avant garde was inherited from aspirations to be “revolutionary.” A history of art in the ‘60s and ‘70s, written in the ‘90s, was titled Shock of the New. That’s apart from overtly political art. Google ‘art and transgression,’ you get a list of directly-related results (with “transgressive art” at the top of the list).
-- gary e. davis --- 1:40 PM
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Problems associable with the difference between ethical interpersonal relations and aesthetic Self may originate in the natural difference between necessary bodily attachments and freedom of mind. I don’t know. I’m trying to work it out.
-- gary e. davis --- 6:17 PM
Friday, October 16, 2009
Part of my earlier-said, but vaguely referenced, writerly itinerary of vignetted vining is, I confess, to be “severely” affectionate dwelling in the tropography of conceptual art. So, it’s worth noting that the history of said “art” continues, as the market loves itself so much.
But the real matter here, according to the philosopher of art writing the NY Times article (linked above), is the evolutionary appeal of the idea
(as such, unto itself), as well as appeal of the idea of art.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:16 AM
Sunday, October 11, 2009
I created that word just now.
Etymology is about tracing a history. An etymon is an original form within the story—an apparently original form, for who knows?
The historiography is all a matter of traces left in extant texts. How much of one’s life now gets into written word? How must it have been
when literacy was slight. Origins are some diffuse ether of lost time.
-- gary e. davis --- 7:51 PM
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
40+ topics? (rendered here) [Jan. 12, 2018: now so antedated, because:...]. What is a topic anyway?
One topic I wanted to play through is merely a little inhabitation of ‘graciousness,’ another, way down the road, a massive consideration of art after the overt “Conceptual Art” movement. (But isn’t all art involved with conceptuality? So, what’s especially “Conceptual”?)
And when does an identified movement end? Is it, like a concert or a great novel or a life, just a matter of closure of attention (but an afterlife continues inasmuch as we keep one alive to our own going on?).
“let me hear your long lifted note”
That’s the second line of Merwin’s “The Nomad Flute.”
-- gary e. davis --- 4:20 PM
The sequentiality of this blog expresses and complements an ordered agenda of topics—42 presently—that changes through the days and weeks due to advents and distractions, due to the effects of what I’m reading (scarce free time for that), and due to surprising myself by what “he” writes (or disappointing himself).
-- gary e. davis --- 3:23 PM
Friday, September 11, 2009
I’m no less a valley news junkie by trekking into hills of poetic thinking (no matter how long the coming trail). I do the New York Times every morning (much of it, not all). Reuters is nearby all day and evening.
PBS News Hour after work.
-- gary e. davis --- 10:16 PM
The Ecstatic Quotidian—isn’t that a lovely book title?—subtitled: “Phenomenological Sightings in Modern Art and Literature,”
by a philosopher who’s evidently an accomplished poet, Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei (don’t know of her). The book is premised, a reviewer notes, on the reality that “everydayness is transformed as soon as we try to reflect on it.”
Sunday, September 06, 2009
bridging artful flourishing and humanistic care
I’m explicating a general account of ethical life relative to a long review, titled “Morality and Virtue” (Ethics, 2004), very well done, by David Copp (editor of The Oxford Handbook of Ethical Theory, 2006) and David Sobel (editor of Reasons for Action, 2009). The review, pro and con, is about Michael Slote, Morals from Motives (2001); Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness (2001); and Rosalind Hursthouse, On Virtue Ethics (1999)—altogether a millennial moment for virtue-ethical theory.
-- gary e. davis --- 6:08 PM
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Caring is integral to ethical life and an essential aspect of love,
which of course includes attachment and desire—keeping near, holding dear. But I think the most important feature of love is letting be
(in an existential, humanistic sense), which includes, if called for, letting go.
-- gary e. davis --- 11:08 AM
So, I prove to you, reader, how a voyeur belongs to your nature: wanting to vicariously participate in others’ intimacy—why?
To learn something for managing your own? That’s admirable. Learning never ends, and activism toward growth is good.
To compensate for what you lack? That’s okay! We all have our stories.
You would inebriate, assimilate, accomodate, appropriate—yet be unwittingly entertained.
-- gary e. davis --- 8:35 AM
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I’m sorry, but I can’t wait. Trust that I’ll keep sending updates along the way.
Remember that email I sent with the subject line "I went crazy..." that you trashed unread? It wasn’t about you. The subject line’s sentence was completed about a book I felt desperate to find among all the boxes of my stored books. It was about an obsession with literary calling I can’t satisfy.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I’m deeply affected by the Event of Ted Kennedy’s death—as a very public death, as a Kennedy death, and as American Event.
As American Event: Not merely an American event rightly spread all over the news cycle, it’s a story of the dependence of democracy on leadership that can be irreplaceable.
-- gary e. davis --- 12:46 PM
Saturday, August 08, 2009
In Natural Goodness, Philippa Foot is haunted by Wittgenstein:
“For one recalls [which she does several times in her short book] Wittgenstein's famous death-bed insistence that he had had a wonderful life....Interpreted in terms of happy states of mind it would, however, have been very puzzling indeed if a life as troubled as his had been described as a good life. What Wittgenstein said rang true because of
the things he had done, with rare passion and genius, and especially
on account of his philosophy. Did he not say elsewhere ‘The joy
of my thoughts is the joy of my own strange life’?”
(p. 85 of NG, quoting Norman Malcolm quoting LW)
-- gary e. davis --- 6:50 PM