Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crisis Line

I'm doing door at Alberta St. Pub, collecting donations for Portland Women's Crisis Line. We have three bands lined up. Lindsey is the organizer and is up first (just starting now in fact).

She's a little worried her R-rated lyrics, which she describes as "sex industry blues" might be offensive to some of the good people in her audience. I doubt it'll be a problem. She's an authentic talent, a pro, and knows how to engage the room.

I've been off in my abstruse / esoteric cyber-world, yakking with philosophers about some of the raging debates that never seem to resolve.

Whatever happened to "bringing things to a head"? Philosophers should be good at this. We need more referees. The language games have stalled. We don't have enough super bowls.

Here's from a recent post to a Wittgenstein list (hyperlinks added):
Consider this analogy: does any nation-state have a "right to exist"? In some a priori sense, no. These institutions assert themselves, insert themselves, into human affairs. And yet the ritualistic bottle-neck positions involve challenging this or that state's right to exist, as if we couldn't question them all. Eliminating states as a mental construct is maybe not in the cards, but taking all of them a lot less seriously might be the healthiest way forward. Nationalism is a killer. Which philosophers are talking about this? Creating new positions, vs. allowing only the entrenched one's to persist and dominate all discussion, at great expense, would seem a worthwhile calling. Could more philosophers step into that?

Disrupting the ritualistic / frozen / entrenched debates: how? When?

The other social service we could use: get some comic book or caricatures going. Exaggerate. When debates are esoteric, what people need sometimes, more than anything, is to boost the characterizations. This may sound too Jerry Springer to some ears, i.e. we're already swilling in a dumbed down world. But here we're trying tune in some abstruse stuff, so I feel forgiveness is in order.
Lindsey and I spent some of the day moving compost around. I decommissioned the Earth Machine, shoveled stuff into the wheel barrow (borrowed from the Lotts) for the side yard.

Walker has taken over grounds management for the company. Should I turn over the downstairs office to Global Matrix? Her suggestion. She joined us after working a job for Gulf Stream, a General Dynamics subsidiary. She has excellent organizational skills. Stockton (Global Matrix) was with the National Security Agency in Vietnam. Welcome to the Blue House, eh?

What advice would I give the president in the White House then? Back to that Wittgenstein list again (hyperlinks added):
What irks me is how little we do to converge any of these long simmering debates, bring them to a boil. Everyone seems content to imagine infinitely parallel lines, not ever converging.

If I were advising the USA president, I'd say getting students really good at debate is of the essence, as USAers are mostly incoherent these days, about why they fight (per movie Why We Fight), about what they're really up to in the world.

Sitcoms and sports have apparently trashed the neocortex and all that's left is limbic system punditry, a lot of knee-jerking spasms, semi-paralysis.

We would like the next generation to not take after their parents in this regard. But will there even be a next generation? The fast fooders wanna prep 'em for heart disease at 30, have 'em on a fast track through childhood diabetes. H.G. Wells anticipated Eloi. You'd think we'd have defenses, but they've been cynically deployed out of sight out of mind, while the USA is raped and pillaged by those guys in The Matrix (machine world reps, misanthropic to the core).

Philosophers should be like cooks, help bring things to a head in a safe manner that provides solutions going forward, now that the positions have been clearly articulated and disambiguated.
Translation: I'm frustrated by the inability of USAers to discuss their own collective future coherently. But then many stand to gain from their confusion.

The effort to keep us dumbed down and semi-incoherent is willful, isn't it? Abe Lincoln said it well: you can fool some of the people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people, all of the time. One would hope.

We made $85 in cash plus $14 in Visa donations for PWCL. Lindsey took off with a girlfriend. I drove DJ Troy back to Duke's, was home before midnight.