Wednesday, December 17, 2014

For Rilke’s Panther

Filed under: General — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The title refers to yesterday evening's remarks titled
"Free the Philosophical Beast" in The Stone , a NY Times  weblog. 

The January 2015 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society
has an article by Michael J. Barany.  From November 2012 remarks
by Barany :

"A highlight of the workshop was Cathryn Carson’s interpretation
of the transcendental phenomenology and historicism of Husserl,
Heidegger, Cassirer, and a few others, launched from a moving
reflection on the experience of reading Kuhn."

See Carson's paper "Science as Instrumental Reason: Heidegger, Habermas,
Heisenberg," Continental Philosophy Review  (2010) 42483–509.

Related material: Monday's Log24 posts Rota on Husserl and Annals of Perception.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Today’s Sermon–

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 11:00 AM


"What he ultimately lacks is a convincing narrative.
This also ties Habermas once again to the Occupy movement.
But without a narrative there is no concept of change."


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Keanu vs. the Devil

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:04 AM

(Continued from Little Buddha  (1994), The Matrix  (1999), and Constantine  (2005))

This post was suggested by yesterday's post on Habermas and by his 1962 book The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere  (English translation, 1989).

The "public sphere" of Habermas has come to pass; it is, of course, the World-Wide Web.

For October 30, the day leading up to Devil's Night, a more private sphere—though in a public setting— seems appropriate…


The Day the Earth Stood Still  (2008)

A Keanu Reeves scene related to this image—

"The low point of the movie’s persuasiveness is the single scene with Professor Barnhardt (John Cleese) — in the original an Einstein-like scientist who impresses Klaatu with his highly evolved thinking, here a caricature of professorial enlightenment. Helen decides to bring Klaatu to Professor Barnhardt when Klaatu professes his disappointment with earth’s leaders. 'Those aren’t our leaders!' she protests earnestly. 'Let me take you to one of our leaders!'"

A perhaps more persuasive scene, from today's New York Times

Prize in Hand, He Keeps His Eye on Teaching


Nobel winner Mario Vargas Llosa teaches
a seminar on Borges at Princeton

(Photo by James Leynse for The New York Times )

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kulturkampf at the Times

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 8:00 PM



Some background:
Stanley Fish in the Times  on April 12, 2010.

See also this journal on that date

"Fact and fiction weave in and out of novels
 like a shell game." –R. B. Kitaj

Not just novels.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Identity Crisis

Filed under: General — m759 @ 11:11 AM

Some sources of identity…

For Jason

Cover of 'The Eight,' by Katherine Neville

and for Lem Dobbs
(co-writer of
"Romancing the Stone"),
from March 22, 2005
"The Enemy"–

The image “Serpent's Tail Publishing logo” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Tuesday October 5, 2004

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:28 PM

The Joyce Identity,
or Treadstone vs. Blarneystone

From The Bourne Identity:

ABBOTT: Can you really bring him in?
CONKLIN: I think we’re past that, don’t you? What, do you have a better idea?
ABBOTT: Well, so far, you’ve given me nothing but a trail of collateral damage from Zurich to Paris. I don’t think I could do much worse.

Joyce’s grave
in Zurich

Ward Abbott,
head of

Plaque, Rue de
l’Odeon, Paris

CONKLIN: Well why don’t you go upstairs and book a conference room. Maybe you can talk him to death.

 Related material: Stanley Fish's column on Habermas in today's NY Times and Habermas in this journal. (Some references to Habermas occur only in links.)

Material with some relevance to the concept of romancing the stone

Entries of June 28-29, 2008, and March 22, 2005, and

Object lesson (Sunday, July 1, 2007)


Thursday, January 3, 2008

Thursday January 3, 2008

Filed under: General — m759 @ 1:01 PM
Context-Sensitive Theology

The Revelation Game 
New Year’s reading for
the tigers of Princeton

Two reviews from the February 2008 Notices of the American Mathematical Society:

From a review of

A Certain Ambiguity
(A Mathematical Novel)

by Gaurav Suri and Hartosh Singh Bal
Princeton University Press
Hardcover, US$27.95, 281 pages —

“From the Habermas-Lyotard debate (see [1] for an introduction) to the Sokal hoax ([4]), to recent atheist manifestos on the bestseller lists (e.g., [2]) the question of foundations for intellectual thought and especially for intellectual debate has never been more critical or urgent.”

[1] M. Bérubé, What’s Liberal about the Liberal Arts? Classroom Politics and “Bias” in Higher Education, W. W. Norton, 2006.
[2] S. Harris, Letter to a Christian Nation, Knopf, 2006.
[4] A. Sokal and P. Bricmont, Fashionable Nonsense: Postmodern Intellectuals’ Abuse of Science, Picador, 1999.

Danny Calegari of Caltech

Also in the February Notices– a review of a book, Superior Beings: If They Exist, How Would We Know?, in which the author

“.. uses elementary ideas from game theory to create situations between a Person (P) and God (Supreme Being, SB) and discusses how each reacts to the other in these model scenarios….

In the ‘Revelation Game,’ for example,
the Person (P) has two options:
1) P can believe in SB’s existence
2) P can not believe in SB’s existence
The Supreme Being also has two options:
1) SB can reveal Himself
2) SB can not reveal Himself….

… [and] goals allow us to rank all the outcomes for each player from best… to worst…. The question we must answer is: what is the Nash equilibrium in this case?”

The answer is what one might expect from the American Mathematical Society:

“… the dominant strategy for both is when SB does not reveal Himself and P does not believe in His existence.”

Other strategies are, of course, possible. See last year’s entries.

See also
the life of John Nash,


for whom the above
equilibrium is named.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Tuesday March 22, 2005

Filed under: General — Tags: — m759 @ 4:00 PM
The Enemy

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Derrida.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

See Remembering Jacques Derrida.

"There is no teacher but the enemy."

— Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game,
   Tor paperback reprint, 1994, p. 262

"Différance is, for Derrida, the key concept
in order to understand what is here at stake."

Lacan The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050322-Diamond.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Derrida, by Frida Saal

The following entries from October 2004
are related to the death of Jacques Derrida.


Saturday, October 9, 2004  6:40 PM

Derrida Dead

"Jacques Derrida, the Algerian-born, French intellectual who became one of the most celebrated and unfathomable philosophers of the late 20th century, died Friday at a Paris hospital, the French president's office announced. He was 74."

— Jonathan Kandell, New York Times

"There is no teacher but the enemy."

— Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game,
   Tor paperback reprint, 1994, p. 262

Saturday, October 9, 2004  2:22 AM


KERRY: "I'm going to be a president who believes in science."

KERRY: "I'm a Catholic – raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life, helped lead me through a war, leads me today."

BUSH: "Trying to decipher that."

Friday, October 8, 2004  5:07 PM

Behush the Bush

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041008-JoyceBush.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
James Joyce statue, Zurich

"There's where. First.
We pass through grass
behush the bush to."
— Final page of
Finnegans Wake

"… we all gain an appreciation of how each of us can provide readings that others are blind to and how each of us is temporarily blind to other feasible readings. Reading the text becomes a communal act of discovery….

No one has much to say, for now, about the grass reference…."

Reading Finnegans Wake (1986)

The phrase "snake in the grass" seems relevant, as does the opening of Finnegans Wake:

riverrun, past Eve and Adam's….

Related material:

Joyce and Tao,

Why Me?,

Serpent's Tail Publishing,

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix04A/041008-Serpent.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

and, for Matt Damon,
whose birthday is today —

The Joyce Identity.

Saturday, October 9, 2004

Saturday October 9, 2004

Filed under: General — m759 @ 6:40 PM

Derrida Dead

Jacques Derrida, the Algerian-born, French intellectual who became one of the most celebrated and unfathomable philosophers of the late 20th century, died Friday at a Paris hospital, the French president’s office announced. He was 74.”

— Jonathan Kandell, New York Times

“There is no teacher but the enemy.”

— Orson Scott Card, Ender’s Game,
   Tor paperback reprint, 1994, p. 262

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