Category Archives: other

All posts that do not belong in the categories of buddhism or sustainability goes in here. Please check tags for more details about what the post is about.

The ontological and epistemological questions

The question of what ontologically exists is of upmost importance and fundamental in answering any question about what is to be epistemological known. The problem is its circularity, that we can only “guess” at what exists from what is known.

The nature of knowledge, then, must tell us something of the nature of what exists, that is, we can never “know” something else directly. If we were to know something else directly then we would be that thing. Then, we would not be something else. Things are necessarily separate and never known directly.

This also tells us about the nature of knowledge – that a medium is always necessary in order to have knowledge of it. This is true of both self-knowledge (or will) and other-knowledge (or representation) where they both are indirect. The internal (self) medium is no different to the external (other) medium. They only differentiations in degrees of knowledge and levels of activity or process.

#ThereIsNothingSpecialAboutThought

#ThereIsNothingSpecialAboutThought only thought – being the egotistical thing that it is – thinks itself special.

Wittgenstein’s First Proposition

1. The world is all that is the case.

The definition of case used is

a situation that exists, especially as it affects a particular person or group

The definition of situation used is

a combination of all the things that are happening and all the conditions that exist at a particular time in a particular place

There is an assumption of space and time here as a necessary truth, that is, it is propositionally true. Logic assumes reasoning and pure reasoning. I do not believe there is such a thing as pure reasoning. Reasoning must necessarily be impure since it is limited to the time, place, and to the person (a particular point-of-view).

The reality just is, with or without being observed or reasoned. In pure being there is no thing, space, and time in the sense that none of these have sentience of the other in any kind of complete and coherent system.

The world is a place of suspended judgment. It is only the sentient who do not suspend their judgment. That, in some way, is a curse.

Philosophy is not above and beyond analysis and criticism

I do like postmodernism. It was the staple of late twentieth-century intellectualism and thought. I don’t particularly think it was saying anything new. Others have noticed what postmodernism was saying. But it said it differently, and in a more appealing less confrontational way.

When postmodernism says nothing is truly sacred, it means everything operates from the standpoint of its difference to all other things. Sometimes Man stands in contrast to animal.  Man with a big ‘M’ may even stand uppercase man. And man often stands against woman. But really there is only these series of differences. Nothing has meaning in itself.

Science, religion, and philosophy are ordinary activities, and not beyond analysis. One can think of the idea of paradigm put forward by Thomas S Kuhn as an example of science. Atheism and agnosticism as examples of religious analysis. And Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations as a meta-philosophical analysis.

For philosophy to be reflexive is important. Any ideas to truth-claims are dangerous and need to be carefully analysed and understood in order not to fall into complacency. One’s own self-righteousness leads to not only metaphorical blindness but generally ends in conflict. The only shared world there is the physical one. Mental ones rely on it, not the other way around.

The Japanese nengajō (New Year’s cards)

Every year in December in Japan people are preparing for the New-Year’s-card rush – the nengajō. Most people select a design from one of the various apps on their laptops, or more recently their smart devices, and print them up on their printers. It is a survival skill that rivals, if not top, that of word processor skills. A nengajō is a postcard designed especially for the year’s end. It has the year it with a lottery included. The omote (front side) has the names and addresses of the addressee and addresser. The ura has the design.

There are various styles, but the most basic ura design is one without photos. The Japanese follow the Chinese zodiac calendar which is in a cycle of twelve years with each year having an animal (apart from the Year of the Dragon) to represent it. 2019 happens to be The Year of the Boar. So most people incorporate a boar in the design. Those which include photos ones which show the entire family.

The apps generally have an address list function to help you keep track and print up both sides of your card.

Here are some tips (in no particular order) for being a “nengajō warrior”:

  1. give yourself a couple of days to the nengajō
  2. keep the cards received from the previous year as reference (and burn the old ones at a new years event at a shrine as a sign of respect to the sender)
  3. keep your address list up-to-date
  4. backup your address list
  5. take at least one photo with the entire family in it sometime in the year (if you choose to include a photo)
  6. print the omote side first (it uses less ink in case of a mistake)
  7. check everything before printing bulk
  8. stock up on printer ink
  9. if you worried about privacy don’t use a photo (all cards show name and address)

This should get you started if you are new to this Japanese custom. Enjoy.

If you want more detailed information check out these pages by Fukuoka Now and Savvy Tokyo.

 

building metaphors

we are forever
building metaphors
bridging gaps
between meaning
and form

transmitting
our intentions
our perfect,
static, timeless
ideals

from the mind
extended, like
antennae
now this –
my simile

constructed
and unplanned
the metaphor is
the foundation of
our abstractions

Process

The world never stops. It is in a continual process of change.

Hume believed necessary connections existed only in logic. For something to “be”, in a static and eternal manner, is something which occurs in language and the mind, and not in the real world. This tendency to “freeze” (or take snapshots of) things and ideas is an error in concluding that a statement of fact is an unproblematic representation of reality. Not only is a fact a step removed from reality but also a statement of fact remains the same (static) while the reality it describes quietly moves on.