“Dare to Know” (Kant)

This post distills a series of thoughts from reading three different texts: The Heroic Model of Science (Chapter 1, Telling the Truth about History by Appleby, Hunt & Jacob, 1991); The Talmud and the Internet by Jonathan Rosen (2000), and an Interview with Ilan Stavans by Richard Birnbaum (@ 2003).
Three threads are primary: language, interaction, and science. “Language” is … Read more...

Imago, by Octavia E. Butler

The trilogy, billed first as Xenogenesis and then as Lilith’s Brood, closes with more insight on the human condition from the vantage point of maturity. (Am I a grown-up, now?)

“Humans said one thing with their bodies and another with their mouths and everyone had to spend time and energy figuring out what they really meant. And once we


Adulthood Rites

The second volume in Octavia E. Butler’s classic series on the Human Contradiction refers to coming-of-age. Everything about the series has been either nurturing or thought-provoking as I live an intervention within my family. Near the conclusion of the first book (Dawn), the human protagonist insists that the alien Oankali give her a taste (p. 226) of their … Read more...

adequacy conditions (cognition and morality)

George Lakoff’s important book, Moral Politics, describes the root metaphor at the base of conservative and liberal worldviews. “Cognitive studies,” Lakoff explains, have concluded “that moral thinking is imaginative and that it depends fundamentally on metaphorical thinking” (p. 41). The explanatory metaphor for both conservatives and liberals extends a notion … Read more...

“try to show up somewhere”

Jose was in town for graduation. Yes, that’s Dr. Jose.
Several folk did, in fact, gather in his honor. Stories were told, memories recounted, teasing ensued, plans were postulated…
I learned of the first event by hook & by crook, via the grapevine – altering my departure date just so I could see The Man himself. (Actually, I confess, it … Read more...

soon to be sailing

“The space was really what this sailing thing was all about.” (p. 7)

“Everything was so quiet now. The dawn was still so early the turn of the creek in the distance was barely visible…a dawn mystery took hold…” (22)

Last year August was my maiden trip. Just a few days of real sailing but enough of a tasteRead more...

linguistic custom (out with the old…?)

One of the points raised by an audience member during the talk on Pain and Embodiment last Friday was to replace the term essence [of pain] with the neuroscientific phrase describing the mechanism of pain perception in the body. With the following quote, I am not making the point that “essence” and some chain reaction of proprioceptors (or whatever words … Read more...

a conversation with John Elder Robison

Received via email, March 21, 2008:
“I understand you’re using my book in your course this semester. May I ask how you’re using it? Colleges all over are adopting my book for a wide range of classes, and I try and see how it’s used.
If it’s a major part of a class, perhaps I could stop by and talk … Read more...

living within language

I am reading Monolingualism of the Other in preparation for a talk with Chang and Lankala this Wednesday.

Derrida risks two propositions:

  1. We only ever speak one language.
  2. We never speak only one language.

sunset 1 (spring equinox).jpg

sunset 2 (spring equinox).jpg

Meanwhile, I enjoyed another Equinox sunset and am delighted by the opening of my Irish Daffodils! (Birds of Paradise soon to follow…)

new year new start.JPG

Regarding Who Will Rule

Alas, there is no such thing as moral purity:

“The major problem – one of the major problems, for there are several – one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

“To summarize: it is