Sunday, June 26, 2016

contemporary art has no future

alFreDo tRifF

when we speak of future we mean a reserve of time. CA happens in the everlasting now. thus, CA is pure presence. CA is (to use a music metaphor) always "on the beat." what gives the beat of CA? modernity! (a five-headed hydra monster defined by opportunistic theorists).

"modernity" is not properly "in time" either. "modernity" occupies a time-interval with limits as diverse as each theorist defending it. for many, modernity phased into post-modernity (a more pluralistic, less imperialistic phase). others, pulling the modern rubber-band further into the present called it "late" modernity. meanwhile an entrenched few solemnly proclaimed that modernity is still "going on."

you can't slow down, or accelerate time just to fit a theory.

what you see is a folding a a thing onto oneself similar to the klein-bottle.

pure presence means that no "now" is different from the previous moment. modernity and CA's substance are always (like the message in a bottle) inside the bottle:

without this temporal ecstasy, there is no currency to afford the past-future axis which provides modernity with its "presentness."

axiom I: CA is neither concrete nor abstract (?)

analysis: by definition, CA cannot be a concrete substance, since a substance could only have an instance through an interval of time, but CA transcends time! CA plays the part of of a res cogitans überobject, a Cartesian God outside time.

on the other hand CA cannot be abstracta: abstract entities don't happen in time!

are we dealing with a conceptual mystery?

axiom II: CA is not original.

"original" means different tropes vis-a-vis what comes before, i.e., change. but CA being pure presence doesn't change. better, CA doesn't have time left to change!

this non-originality needs to be problematized with CA's delivery. the moment a certain art object is presented as CA, we necessarily have a presentation (of (a presentation)).

(about an art object) one can only prove originality when comparing it with past instances. but CA de facto presents itself  always  as original, with no proof ever seeming de rigeur.

and yet, originality means more than present-past comparisons. there exists a present-future mark as well, that is to say, the present sets the tempo (to bring music back) of what's coming in the immediate future. CA however, doesn't deliver. CA is wrung out!

axiom III: CA has no future 

1- in virtue of axiom II, any residue of so called "originality" vanishes the moment CA becomes pure presence.
2- consider the prospect that, as pure presence, CA goes on forever. the future, as we know it, is kidnapped by the present.
in other words,
3- CA has no future (let's refer to this essential property of CA as non-futurity). there is one more consequence:

4- non-futurity makes CA automatically self-identical.

which brings me to the following pleonasm:

CA is necessarily redundant.

(to be continued)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

for infinity lovers! a levinasian definition

Emmanuel Levinas has a difficult language, in a way as oracular as Heidegger, as obscurely atavistic as Rosenzweig (both important influences on his thought).
... in the trace of illeity, in the enigma, the synchronism falls out of tune, the totality transcended in another time. This extravagant movement of going beyond being toward an immemorial antiquity we call infinity.
the quote resonates with music counterpoint, history, ontology, ethics, and poesy. there's more:

"the trace of illeity" (in late Levinas, illeity is a kind of purveyor of being's alterity)
"synchronism falls out of tune" (interesting musical comparison: Levinas favors diachrony over synchronicity, i.e., present-bounded time is limited)
"totality transcended in another time" (before chronological time. This is not a  prehistory, i.e., before the written record), on the other hand, "totality in another time," seems redundant, unless one knows that Levinas refers to diachronic time as irrecuperable.
"going beyond being" (jab at the early Heidegger of Being and Time)
"immemorial antiquity" (unrepresentable in chronological egological memory?)
"infinity" for levinas is dense, a cipher for open-ended super set.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Heidegger's Dasein lingo pales when compared to L.E.J. Brower's mystic cipherings

 L.E.J. Brower in action: blackboard, chalk, Lizst hair, Nehru jacket
 ... the intuition of two-oneness, the basal intuition of mathematics, creates not only the numbers one and two, but also all infinite ordinal numbers, inasmuch as one of the elements of the two-oneness may be thought of as a new two-oneness, which process may be repeated indefinitely...*
this comes from L.E.J. Brower, one of the most important mathematicians of the 20th century and defender of contructivism in mathematics. Reading Brower is like tripping on set theory.

*Benacerraf P. and Putnam H. (eds) (1983) Philosophy of Mathematics, 2nd edition, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). p. 80

Friday, June 3, 2016

irreversible tripping

consider the factors influencing the likelihood that someone will trip --or the likelihood that, having tripped, that such person will then fall.

let's call it "irreversible tripping," as when one is doomed to fall once tripping has begun.

if that conditional probability is high, then one should avoid tripping at all costs though perhaps unsuccessfully.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

chaos wins!

1. Rig Veda (India): There was neither nonexistence nor existence; darkness was hidden by darkness; all this was water.
2. Upanishad (India): In the beginning the cosmos was self alone, in the shape of a person. This self (atman) split in two, husband and wife.
3. Pangu story (China): In the beginning only dark chaos prevailed in the universe.
4. Taoist story (China): There was confusion: primal simplicity, commencement, beginnings, material. Things were not yet separated.
5. New Zealand Maoris: The universe was in darkness; water was everywhere; there was no light.
7. Hawaiian story: There was deep darkness; gods came out of the night.
8. Mayan story Popol Vuh: The universe was resting, motionless and silent; the heavenly expanse was empty. There was only the resting water, the silent sea.
9. North American Indian story: The initial being awoke, wondered what to do, and finally began to cry. His tears formed the waters.
11. Greek Hesiod poem: At the beginning of everything was chaos, out of which came amid much violence earth, gods, and humans.
12. Icelandic Edda story: There was an initial chaos, the great void, from which various gods arose.
13. Babylonian creation story Enuma Elish: There was a chaos without heaven and earth; only water existed, from which the gods arose.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Is oxygen a relation?

Keeping pace with some readings, I find the following paragraph in an essay by professor Levi R. Bryant:1
Far from being epiphenomena of effects of relational networks, objects are instead the prior condition of relations. And this in two respects: first, relations are not simply "there" but must be made. Insofar as relations must be made, it follows that objects must act to form these relations.
What "objects"?

In the same page, discussing how objects are attracted to each other, which he labels as "affects," Bryant talks about oxygen and hydrogen as objects and water as an "assemblage" of these.2  Are "objects" not sort of "assemblages"?
The question I propose: Has oxygen any "parts"?3 We know it has atomic No.8 (for 8 electrons and 8 protons), its mass = 16 (8 protons + 8 neutrons).

Unless "8" is a magic number, it has to be a particular relation of these smaller, more basic constituents. If "____" had #7, with mass = 14, it would be nitrogen!

In keeping with professor Bryant's argument above, if electrons, protons and neutrons are prior to oxygen,4 then oxygen cannot be the prior condition of them.

1 From "The Ontic Principle: Outline of an Object-Oriented Ontology," in The Speculative Turn: Continental Materialism and Realism ( 2011), p. 274. 2 "Combine a few H2O molecules together and you get into gaseous or liquid state. Remarkably, the objects out of which H2O is composed themselves possess very different affects." 3 For the sake of simplicity, we've left behind other structural atomic issues, such as isotopes, orbitals, etc, etc. To the best of our knowledge, hydrogen and helium appear before oxygen in the early universe. Why? I dunno, but the answer has to be relational.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

starbust of relinquishment

helen frankenthaler hommage à ml.(1962)

cloth is existent in its threads,
the threads again in something else,
how can these threads, unreal themselves,
produce reality in something else?Chandrakirti

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

"... finally I'm becoming stupider no more."-- Paul Edős

Erdos in the mentorship role (the constant coffee cup in foreground) with ten-year-old Terence Tao, a math genius (photo taken in 1985)

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hilary Putnam RIP

The great philosopher Hilary Putnam died on March 16.

With professors of the caliber of Quine, Reichenbach and Carnap, one would end up either a fusty analytic philosopher or smart as a whip. Putnam was the latter. I'd like to just talk here about Putnam's direct contribution to a subject dear to me: Mathematics.

Putman's point?

Math is as real and essential as physical entities. 

His argument opens with a simple fact: math remains the indispensable language of science (judging by its growth, this indispensability of math will not stop any time soon).

If mathematical entities are indispensable for some of our best scientific theories, we should have ontological commitment to mathematical entities.

Putnam is not alone here. Quine, another important logician and math inclined philosopher, referred to this general dependence of science to math as math's "ontological rights" to science. 

Why is π real? 

π qua number is both transcendent and irrational (a badge of honor in number theory). π 's randomness is actually useful for mathematical analysis and computational theory. π is a good friend of number series, circles, spheres, ellipses, tori, waves (in nature). The pervasiveness of π is no accident and pretending otherwise is unfair to math's foundationality.

Take a look at this marvel of simplicity and richness:

e^{i \pi} + 1 = 0.

Euler's equation connects fundamental numbers like i π, e, 1, and 0.  Follow the sinewy development of the formula here, which takes steps of mathematical audacity on behalf of Euler (end of page 4).

Are we to unproblematically accept that 
Euler's identity doesn't express something "out there" in the world?

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Zaha Hadid, the Grande Dame of contemporary achitecture, is dead

I'm deeply saddened by Zaha's passing. She dies in Miami, a city she really loved & apologetically referred to as "the Venice of the Caribbean."

Lucky we are to have a Zaha in construction: Miami's One Thousand Museum!

Here's my 2004 interview with Zaha for the Miami New Times (years before she got her One Thousand Museum commission). 

Miami has a very interesting topography -- all these islands, the beach -- I love cities that are metropolises and also resorts. They offer people the possibility of getting out of their daily chores of life and enjoying themselves for a couple of hours. I've driven through the downtown and I see it needs to be rejuvenated. It could in fact be reinvented. There are interesting possibilities for reinvention in that area next to downtown, where all these museums will be. Or in Brickell, where they could create a different approach to that urban strip. Miami has so many facets.

Monday, March 14, 2016

the new generation of zombies are the civilians under 24/7 bombing in Syria!

This "zombie" walks through the streets of a doomsday Syrian city. He owes his undead fortune to:

1- Crumbling of Middle-East autopilot monocracies,
2- Sunni/Shia/Alawite implosion,
3- Post-Cold-War proxy interventionism,
4- Iraq War,
5- Jihad Inc.,

Friday, March 11, 2016

Marco Rubio rigorous climate change logic

Sure the climate is changing, and one of the reasons the climate is changing is because the climate has always been changing.


There has always been climate,
There has always been change,
So, climate is changing,
Thus, Climate has always been changing!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

are algorithms people?

the question is presented by computer scientist and writer jaron lenier in a video.

my answer is yes (my "yes" is not tensed)

personhood requires reason, autonomy, sentience (free choice?). let's call these person-properties P. if so, an algorithm is a person if it's P-realizable.

why not?

P-realizability is conceivable & it doesn't violate any physical laws. 

the next question is more interesting: are H-people (humans) A-people (algorithms)?

(this answer needs another post).  

Friday, February 26, 2016

see the roachface you roachphobics?

aLfReDo tRifF

let's bring forth the following conjecture:
Being signifies on the basis of the one-for-the-other of substitution of the same for the other.*
why not apply this result to this blattoidea member above?

a cockroach can never be a who. even for an expert phenomenologist in otherness like levinas: he simply forfeits the question.

he's concerned with human otherness.

heidegger comes a bit closer, but he declares the animal kingdom as weltarm (poor in world).

but insects got to have being. this question cannot be superfluous:

what's the cockroach's being?

obviously, this question is not up to the cockroach. it's up to us.   

can one bridge the seemingly incommensurable man/insect gap?

(with about 1,000,000 brain cells, cockroaches may posses proto-consciousness!)

paired structures called mushroom bodies in a cockroach brain play a key role in navigation.

getting "close" to the insect means using whatever intentionalität available to find sameness in difference.

franz kafka's man-to-insect transformation in metamorphosen is a fruitful exercise, but kafka was not really interested in the phenomenological side of the insect as much as presenting a "human insect" prototype.

brazilian writer clarice lispector offers a deeper phenomenological analysis in her the passion according to HG:
The cockroach, with its dangling white matter, kept looking at me, but I do not know if it really saw me (I do not know how a cockroach sees). But she and I looked at each other (and I do not know how a woman sees).
in lispector's metaphysical comparison (human) mental-states are as intractable a problem as the cockroach's hypothetical gaze.
... in the eyes of the cockroach I could see my own existence. In the world we were meeting there are several ways of looking: you look the other without seeing it; one has the other; one eats the other; one is just in the corner and the other is there too. The cockroach was not looking at me with its eyes but with its body.
cockroaches have 360º vision, which make up for the flatness of their bodies. each eye contains about 2,000 lenses, which means that their reality is not static. they assimilate a dizzying multiplicity at any given time. lispector's conclusion is quite advanced. in the phenomenology of merleau ponty the gaze has fundamental properties. why? seeing means being drawn into a particular dimension of being, let's say, a slice of being to which the perceiving body is not foreign. is that why lispector concludes the cockroach sees with its body?

was lispector aware of phenomenologists insistence on the importance of the gaze? i dunno. what's important is that she cares for the insect's gaze. she echoes merleau-ponty's advice:

... "with the first vision ... there is initiation, ... the opening of a dimension that can never again be closed."** 

this is a crucial point: that "first vision" is not exempt from horror (human's and the cockroach's,  i bet). that horror is the beginning. without the horror there would be no future hope of empathy. for later levinas, the face is synonymous with diachrony, i.e., lapsing of time, from time immemorial when both human and cockroach share an ancestor.  

clearly, lispector finds common ground in our shared prehistory.
What I saw was life looking back at me. How to name that horrible, raw matter, that dry plasma. While I recoiled inward, I felt a dry nausea, I was falling into the very roots of my identity. Centuries and centuries in the mud --wet mud, filled with life; moving with excruciating slowness.
a shared fate with insects --in the permian primordial mud?

if there are eyes there is a face. what a coincidence! according to levinas the encounter between self and other is given by the face.

do cockroaches have faces?

in violence and metaphysics, jacques derrida belabors levinas' idea of the encounter with the other:
What then is this encounter...? Neither representation, nor limitation, nor conceptual relation to the same. The ego and the other do not permit themselves to be dominated or made into totalities by a concept of relationship.  
derrida doesn't have a non-human being in mind. a face-to-face encounter is always a human affair. yet lispector's analysis addresses the insect's otherness via visage.

now, is there another way to access the insect's being?

the human/insect distance is not without riddles:  we fall for the illusion of approaching difference to reach sameness, but that's a circular trap. can we abstract both insect and human likeness to seek a more hierarchical animal likeness?

even if the heuristics may look a bit fuzzy, positing the problem already hints @ solution.  

when do we start?

(to be continued)
* Emmanuel Levinas, Otherwise than Being (Duquesne University Press, 2009), p. 26. **Merleau-Ponty, The Visible and the Invisible (Northwestern University Press, 1979), p. 151.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

mathematicians vs. physicists

aLfReDo tRifF

this is a cool video. dr. richard feynman, one of the most important physicists of the 20th century, was a great speaker. as a professor, he communicated a passion for physics that it's difficult to emulate. here he improvises (to an audience of freshmen at cornell university) the difference between mathematics and physics.

i take issue with feynman's presentation of mathematics:
... the mathematicians only are dealing with the structure of the reasoning and they don't care what they're talking of (0.23) ... they don't even need to know what they're talking about... 

mathematicians don't believe their hypotheses are beyond falsification (nothing is better at destroying a hypothesis than a valid counter). i have no idea of what dr. feynman means when he explains: 
... if you state the axioms ... if you say such and such are so, and such and such are so, what then? (0.38) then the logic can be carried out without knowing what the words such and such mean... (0:45)
what words is he referring to? 

first, axioms can be, 1) logical and 2) non-logical.
1) ∃x ∀y ∼(y∈x), zermelo frank's empty set.
2) (xy)z=x(yz) = xyz (for any x, y, z), (associative property in algebra).

second, mathematicians deal with symbols, not words (unless feynman means words=symbols). that doesn't suggest mathematicians don't have an "idea" of what they're doing.

what's an "idea" in mathematics? i don't know exactly, but for sure, an "idea" doesn't have to have a string of words in it. here are some examples: 1- a music phrase, 2- an image (not an idea?), 3- a potential ingredient for my soup (i intend it as flavor), 4- a strategy of reductio for a particular logical problem.

then dr. feynman adds: "... if the statements about the axiom a carefully formulated and complete enough... it's not necessary to known the meaning of these words."

is dr. feynman protesting the truth-preserving qualities of deduction?

all men are immortal
socrates is a man
therefore, socrates is immortal.

granted, the internal structure of deduction is what makes the unsound argument above valid. it isn't a problem of mathematics that deduction is isolated from physical laws. feynman should applaud that deduction is protected from the ebb & flow of reality!

i take issue with this characterization of mathematicians:
... mathematicians prepare abstract reasoning that's ready to be used if you only had a set of axioms about the real world... (1:26)
without axiomatics you would not have mathematics. are we not in agreement that math is deductive? is so, where do you expect math to mine from?

it is as if feynman resents mathematics's deductive exceptionality, a sort of independence from the "real world" (it's not true that all math is strictly insulated from reality. math begins as a practical science):
... you have to have a sense of the connection of the words (he definitely means symbols) with the real world (1:51) ... into english??
what about quantum mechanics? i don't believe one needs to translate schröedinger's equation into into --never mind english-- any language. math's symbolic language is universal. 

at some point feynman realizes that he's bending the discussion too much towards physics (by 3:37):
... and later on always turns out that the poor physicist has to come by, excuse me, when you wanted to tell me about the four dimensions ... (audience laughs).
i love feynman. 

Friday, January 29, 2016

interview with a toddler

Cogitations on Beuys'Rhine Water Polluted (1981)


Joseph Beuys' famous Rhine Water Polluted (1981) could be taken as a paradigm in the ongoing discussion of what is and is not, art.

I'd like to present a brief questionnaire in order to bring forth notions of taste, economy, biography, authority, consensus, to our reception of art:

1. Do you consider Rhine Water Polluted art? If not, why not?

2. Could Rhine Water Polluted be called "beautiful"?

3. Does it matter if you knew the actual bottle contains?
a- Beuys' own piss,
b- Gau Jal, 
c- lead-tainted water, 
d- flat Kellerbier?

4. Is it viscerally liking -or disliking- the piece what prompts your aesthetic judgment?

5. If you initially dislike the piece, could it grow on you? Say, in the event you know more about Beuys' weird life, work, etc.?

6. Would you change your mind if you knew that the artwork commands a high price?

7. Do you find Rhine Water Polluted humorous, trite, dramatic?

8. Would it make a difference if (instead of a ready-made) the piece (bottle and cap in this case) was made-from-scratch by the artist?

9. If people come to a consensus about Rhine Water Polluted being definitely art, would it make it art?

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

the irresistible appeal of jazz

where else do you find, (after hundreds of hours of practice building a vocabulary),

1- randomly-chosen, patiently developed (internalized) phrases, 
2- operating within local constraints, such as changing chord sequences and musical form,
3- being played [in the now], 
4- as a music discourse that supervenes the player(s)?

Friday, January 22, 2016

some thoughts on parmenides, time and the bounded-universe-paradox


I made a point in my last Honors 11am class:

For the Pythagoreans: time is the devil

absence of time in mathematics (for artistic minds)

then Parmenides, advises (in Pythagorean):
"what is is" "what is not is not." 
he adds an important point:
χ ρ ε ώ δέ σε πάντα ήμέν Άληΰείης εϋκυκλέος ατρεμές ήδέ βροτών δόξας, ταϊς οϋκ 'ένι πίστις πυύέαϋαι ητορ αληύής is necessary that you will learn both the unmoving heart of well-circled truth and the false notions of mortals, in which there is no true faith. 

what's that?

truth has guises. do not confuse the spokes for the wheel.

see the wheel as a sort of topological manifold:

I propose the apophatic via negativa of Hindu philosophy. The challenge is to try to formulate such concept mathematically (topology?)

Posit your universe U, just don't represent it.* (If you do, you fall back in the limited/universe paradox).

Let's imagine Parmenides in 4 dimensions: time now doesn't flow, just IS.

so, the is not an event in space/time.

events {ë} are ordered by "earlier than" or "later than," but no event is singled out as "present," except by convention.  think about it, what makes {ë} simultaneous across the universe? cannot be an intrinsic property of {ë} because you presuppose an observer, i.e., a consciousness.

The aim of physics (not that of math) is to be inherent to phenomena.

Why is this important?

because causation is a form of event-generation, i.e., it's event-dependant. 

Come back to Parmenides: we live in a time-cage. 

there's no escape.  

dS/dt ≥ 0 **

yeap: time is irreversible.


* If we posit the universe as U, there will be always [U]º outside it. ** Boltzman's formula for 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Friday, January 15, 2016

sublime abuse

Rosenkranz Our Product

I open artlog and find this blurb from curator Maureen Sullivan, covering the 2015 Venice Biennale:
Supernatural forces and serenity combine in several projects including the Switzerland, Korean, and USA pavilions as well as offsite projects. In Switzerland’s pavilion, Pamela Rosenkranz’s Our Product creates a sublime and radiant environment using the elements of color, light, sound, smell – and stated but undetected components such as hormones and bacteria. Green light and paint create a glowing environment in the first rooms that lead to a pink bubbling pool of water (the average color of northern European skin), hues the artist says were inspired by Venetian painting and the light in Venice; synchronized pumps generated by a real time algorithm create the subtle sound of a beating heart or running water; and according to the artist, we should be noting the smell of fresh baby skin (undetected by me, perhaps more conceptual or more likely drowned out by the musky sweat of the many doing the run around to see 180 projects.) 
Sullivan presents "supernatural forces" as a thing along with "serenity," a disposition.

She describes Pamela Rosenkranz's environment as a "sublime and radiant environment."

Isn't "sublime" good enough?

On a different note: is Sullivan on salvinorin?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

contrane I? coltrane II? coltrane III?

coltrane's original handwritten music sheet for a love supreme

down beat magazine publishes an interesting 1962 article addressing the controversy of whether coltrane and dolphy are playing "anti-jazz," 
"I heard a good rhythm section ... go to waste behind the nihilistic exercises of the two horns. ... Coltrane and Dolphy seem intent on deliberately destroying [swing]. ... They seem bent on pursuing an anarchistic course in their music that can but be termed anti-jazz."-- John Tynan, Down Beat, November 23, 1961.
the article entertains the received consensus of three coltranes:

coltrane I 
coltrane II
coltrane III

only the first coltrane was really accepted by the mainstream swing/straight-ahead critical establishment.

"destroying swing?" tynan definitely missed the boat for posterity.

is physics permanently ((incomplete((?

aLfRedO tRifF

you've heard about the theory of everything. 

which brings me to this question: is there an end to the development of physical theories to explain the universe?

in other words, is physics ((permanently(( incomplete?

 I'd say yes.

we have different theories to explain different aspects of physical phenomena: newtonian mechanics explains macro phenomena in general; einstein (general) relativity represents a definite refinement to newton's classical mechanics. quantum mechanics better explains subatomic particles. then, various string theories reconcile einstein's theories with quantum mechanics, etc.

let's suppose in some future we had T, the set of all theories (T1, T2, ...Ti, ...) to explain physical all phenomena.

T would become the mother of all theories, that is to say, there would be nothing new to explain. nothing deeper or different.
and yet, how would we know that? it is a platitude that theories explain phenomena, but T makes an extraordinary claim not made by previous theories: it contains and explains all theories.

and yet, if T explains all preceding theories (and consequently all phenomena) it would not be explaining theories or phenomena --as much as explaining itself!

T cannot present itself as the bound of all theories unless we dispose of Tk, making that provision. Moreover Tk would need to, sort of pull the rug from underneath it by claiming a condition of possibility that now it denies any further possible theory.*

someone may counter that Tk is just a meta theory on T & not on phenomena, but that ignores the Duhem/Quine thesis, i.e., T can not be tested in isolation (nor would Tk).

so, physics must remain ((permanently(( incomplete.

____________________ __________
* I am referring to Popper's falsifiability principle.

Friday, January 8, 2016

are there infinitely more primes numbers than composites numbers?

this is a cool question, presented in my 11am honors class by A & B (physics & computer science majors).

are you an idealist or intuitionist in mathematics?* the idealist relies on aprioristic deduction results, the realist goes empirical, she counts ("she" is a computer algorithm). so, i took a realist short cut and then made my best inference. something very interesting happens to primes --between 106 and 108, which allows for siding in favor of composite numbers' greater infinite-density.

yes, my hunch is that Q> P.

*the intuitionist claims that p is true means that there is a proof of p.  from the idealist (platonist) perspective, whether or not we have a proof, we know that p must be either true or false: mathematical reality guarantees that it has one of these two truth-values. the intuitionist dithers.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

viva da freaks!

Let's excuse BF's lack of historical acumen at not mentioning provenance. 

My problem is that BF takes for granted that these "monsters" did not exist. Really?

Take a look at this (some amongst these "freaks" belong in a prominent list! (via the human marvels)*

Josephine Clofullia (the so-called "bearded lady of Geneva")
It boils down to a distorted representation of the past, or better, an blidspot for our present. It happens by design, i.e., our "present" antiseptic idea of "normality."

The Swiss manuscript presents a rational treatment of the issue,

Switzerland, 1557
The title reads "Chronicle of Omens and Portents from the beginning of the world up to these our present times," (Switzerland, 1557). The Chronicon is dramatic & naive in its quasi-scientific approach. We are looking at early anthropology! The shift in perception of how to understand these human types changes from 16th century "portents" to 19th century "freaks" (i.e, we find them as curiosities in the circuses of Europe and America). Today's political correctness works in a perverse way: nowadays we don't call these people "freaks" (in fact, we don't have a word for them). And yet, we think that 16th century illustrators were, as Buzzfeed calls them, "fucked up".   
*Thanks to J. Tithonus Pednaud's The Human Marvels, a formidable research/site!