Friday, July 02, 2010

Faith in Reality and the Light of Belief

I was just thumbing my nous through the Coonifesto, looking for a certain passage on faith, when I found something else to sneeze at: the heading on p.207, Insert Your Deity Here. This has to do with the ultimate empty category, or "divine placeholder," that is O.

What it means is that O is where you insert your deity. But in reality, O is where God inserts himself, so to speak. It's that setting you leave for him at the table, the light you leave on for him in the window. The difference between 1 and 1O is just O, but look at the difference it makes! You get ten times the reality by simply adding a little O to 1 self.

The above account no doubt appears a little silly, but as I will proceed to demonstrate -- I hope -- is that what we call "faith" is the only appropriate mode with which to approach the ultimate reality of O. Let's get to it.

Yesterday I mentioned the unique bipolarity of faith, in that, by its very nature, it involves a combination of certitude and uncertainty (not doubt, which is another thing entirely, more on which below).

Pieper -- following Thomas -- calls it "an element of perfection and an element of imperfection," although I'm not sure that's the most adequate way to describe it, because again, faith as such is the most "perfect" approach to O. A perfect adequation to O would of course make us God. But so long as we are men, we can obviously never fully encompass O; no matter how much of O we "contain," it still orthoparadoxically contains us. It is both immanent and transcendent -- and immanent because transcendent.

Pieper goes on to say that "the perfection [of faith] inheres in the firmness of the assent" -- in other words, "I am one hundred percent convinced of the reality of O." But the imperfection has to do with "the fact that no vision operates -- with the result being that the believer is troubled by a lingering 'unrest'."

And "unrest" may not be the most accurate word, since there is apparently not a perfect translation for cogitacio. "Unrest" implies a certain "lack," when I again insist that this lack is like... you know, like our friend Lao-tzu always says: we mold the clay into a cup, but it's the emptiness inside that we actually use. Or, we build a house in order to live in the space inside. We don't live "in the house," but in the space it protects.

I could really get sidetracked here, since the Tao Te Ching is such a fine treatise on living with the attitude of faith in O. Some quick examples: The Tao is like the eternal void: filled with infinite possibilities.... The more you use of it, the more it produces. Like O, it is empty yet inexhaustible. Or, you could just refer to the opening and closing and opening passage of the Coonifesto: fount of all being / unborn thus undying / beginning and end of all impossibility / empty plenum and inexhaustible void.

Back to Pieper and the "mental unrest." He explains that it really connotes a "searching investigation" or "probing consideration," a "mental reaching out for something not yet finally found." It is a linking together of the Yes! and the Yes?, the latter of which is absolutely distinct from a soft and flabby "maybe." The Yes! signifies the real presence, while the Yes? signifies the necessary absence that will be perpetually filled by faith.

So the mental unrest does not go back and forth between, say, "maybe" and "maybe not." It's much more radical and polarized than that. And it is this "polarity" that renders faith dynamic and capable of "work" -- just as the positive and negative poles of a battery create the possibility of work. The negative pole of the battery obviously isn't "nothing." Indeed, we could call negative positive and positive negative if we like.

The real negative only occurs when positive and negative -- the already and the not yet -- are no longer polarized but at equilibrium. And please note that the latter hardly implies any "complete oneness with reality," despite superficial similarities. Some of our competitors praise this state of pseudo-samadhi as the highest reality, when it is often just an elimination of the tension we are discussing here. One of our own trolls tries to sell this blobby notion of "I am you, you are me," but again, this is all wrong. When I visit ultimate reality, I want to be there. Nor do I want to be someone else, especially some people.

As Pieper explains, "doubt" or "opinion" also involve a "mental unrest," but it is of a fundamentally different kind. For example, both doubt and opinion wish they could be certain, since both are of limited value as they stand. Once they are fulfilled, then "the discursive movement back and forth" comes to an end. Once "the conclusion is reached, all that belongs, so to speak, to the past."

But in the case of faith, the "conclusion," or "assent," is only the beginning. Furthermore, its greater part -- greater by far -- is in the "future." The faithful self -- (o) -- remains within a perpetual "searching and pondering of what it believes." In fact, I'm doing it right now.

Now, perhaps you will have noticed that this is quite similar to what motivates the real scientist. And this is indeed the point. I won't rehearse Polanyi's whole argument here, but a real scientist could never be a slave to "materialism" or some similar metaphysic of the dead and settled past. Rather, he maintains a vibrant, living and evolving relation to O as it manifests in the plane of appearances.

I mean, c'mon. Try reading the Mystical Writings of the World's Great Physicists. No, they are not correct in all the metaphysical details, but at least they didn't try to enclose O in some manmade little formula like "random error + reproductive success." The latter represents the kind of certainty that makes it strictly impossible to have faith in reality. Indeed, how can a random accident even speak of "reality" with a straight face?

For when a Raccoon speaks of "faith," he means assent to complete nonsense -- the nonsense of O. For to imagine that O could ever be a kind of sensual object is the height of nonsense. But once one acknowledges O, then all reality is illuminated by the light of belief, including, of course, the "material world."

Our trolls are pretty dense, but the other day, I bet one of them that he couldn't summarize the Raccoon philosophy despite having been a faithful reader for many months. Somehow he has convinced himself that we believe the natural world to be "a rather dead mechanical assemblage." Talk about projection! It is specifically because of O that the world is so alive, so lovely, so interesting, and so worthy of our being in it.

Oh well. Let the dead bury the tenured.

78 Comments:

Blogger Van said...

"Somehow he has convinced himself that we believe the natural world to be "a rather dead mechanical assemblage." Talk about projection!"

That, or a case of 'honest' introspection on it's part.

"It is specifically because of O that the world is so alive, so lovely, so interesting, and so worthy of being in."

Yep.

7/02/2010 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

When I visit ultimate reality, I want to be there. Nor do I want to be someone else, especially some people.

Amen to that...

7/02/2010 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

I must admit to getting a glimpse, and a reminder, of the empty headed viewpOint yesterday when driving home from work.

I rarely listen to religious radio stations, but a friend of mine got a position on a new Christian radio network, and I caught the last couple minutes which were pretty good.

The intro to the show that followed it however... ugh... a skeeving case of the Jesus Willies flooded through my car. I hope this doesn't strike any in the den the wrong way, but the announcer was in full Jim & Tammy Faye Baker mode, something like,

"God loves you, but he knows you aren't worthy of it, which is why you must have FAITH! That's wheyeee he sent his only Son to bring you the troooth, but because he knew you couldn't understand it, he allowed him to be killed for you, that's how much he elLuhvvvzzz eYewwww! So you must prayeee and have faith, and not in a 'god, i'd like you to do this, but i'll trust you to do what's right' sort of way, NOOOO!!! Have FAAAAAAAATHHhuh!!! Say "GOD! This is what I NEED and I have FAAAYYYTHuh you'll bring it to MEEE!!!"

I slapped my radio out of the AM band so hard it almost played video. It's moments like that, that I get what people (of the non-troll persuasion) mean when they say "Sorry, your say so that he said so, isn't enough for me". And a big part of it is when they hear 'Faith' used as an abra-cadabra word, or at the very least as the secret password into the cosmic super store's midnight sale with 50% off bargains just for you and your FAAAYYYTH-uh.

I suppose there are many approaches to the mountain, but for me, if I hadn't found the intellectual approach, one that didn't engage in a deliberate and violent assault upon reason and logic, I'd still be wandering the tundra secure in the faith that knowledge was better than noledge left to stand on.

Perhaps a roundabout way of saying, thank gOd for the OC.

7/02/2010 09:17:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

Oh, what a load of nonsense. Here's what I said:

...but roughly, it seems to be as if you believe in the existence of a transcendent mind as somehow higher than or prior to the natural world. The latter is viewed in itself as a rather dead mechanical assemblage, with life and mind injected into it from outside by this transcendential power. Human minds are minds by virtue of being shadows or projections (probably the wrong terms, but you get the drift) of this transcendent mind...

The meaning, which ought to be clear, is that you consider the natural world without God to be dead and lifeless, or at least that's your image of the universe as conceived of by naturalists. Yu've said as much countless times. I'm just trying to characterize your views accurately, and you seem to be unwilling to own them. What's the deal there?

The naturalist holds that everything, including life, consciousness, the most subtle human abilities and feelings, can be explained through purely natural causes. You don't -- you feel there has to be something else, and this something else is ontologically prior.

That's a perfectly understandable view, because naturalism is hard -- until Darwin, it was hard to understand how the diversity and complexity of life could arise through natural causes, and the human mind still seems difficult or impossible to explain that way. It may be that human minds are not really capable of grasping the naturalist viewpoint, regardless of whether it is true or not. People have diffculty understanding evolution because they can't really visualize a stochastic process that takes billions of years and has extreme parallelism as well. Minds have evolved to deal with problems on a human scale, not the scale of the universe. Naturalism may be asking too much of people.

So transcendence -- placing some ideas outside the natural world and outside of our ability to explain them rationally -- may be a perfectly pragmatic strategy for living life as a human being.

7/02/2010 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I rest my case.

7/02/2010 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

anunce said "I'm just trying to characterize your views accurately, and you seem to be unwilling to own them. What's the deal there?"

How about you try characterizing your own views first. Then maybe you could work your way up to characterizing others.

"It may be that human minds are not really capable of grasping the naturalist viewpoint"

That's... actually not a bad characterization of your own views... needs a bit more fleshing out though.

7/02/2010 10:00:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I will add one thing, which is that imputing to me the idea that "the natural world without God is dead and lifeless" is as absurd as characterizing materialism as the belief that the divine world without nature exists in some other positive and knowable fashion. The materialist does not believe in God, period. The theist does not believe in "radical nature" -- whatever that could be and still be known -- period.

The whole point is that I believe absolute relativity to be an absurdity and impossibility, while the materialist believes it to be simultaneously necessary and meaningful, which is a kind of triple absurdity.

7/02/2010 10:13:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

lol, Anon

What we have here is a failure to communicate.

Well, I think I see one of the problems:

The naturalist holds that everything, including life, consciousness, the most subtle human abilities and feelings, can be explained through purely natural causes. You don't -- you feel there has to be something else, and this something else is ontologically prior.

Apparently, you think that all of this: the discussion, the posts, the millenia of human observation and discourse and testimony from which we draw our conclusions; all of it serves the purpose of explanation for the existence of man, who is and knows that he is, and for how stuff happens to be.

lolol

All this discussion, all the blog posts, all the study of centuries of of dedication to comprehending the Absolute and man's relation to it, and you think we're just looking for an explanation of how life got started?

lololol

Speaking for myself (and perhaps not a few others here, I'd guess), there is no question in my mind that O is and wants to be known. The evidence is everywhere, from the lines in my hand to the child on my chest to the dog at my feet and the plants in my backyard to everything everywhere everywhen. It would be an act of willful blindness and malicious disobedience on my part to not see; in fact, I tried to do precisely that for a while, when I was younger. What can I say? O is more stubborn than me.

No, the purpose here is to learn how to discover one's own deustination, whatever that may be. There are ways to travel that road; understanding them is the why of all this. We don't need nature and evolution explained; this may come as a shock, but most of us got that memo through years of public education. Evolution is a mechanism, and clearly a very good one. It is not the cause, and could care less if we know it.

7/02/2010 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And if someone is "incapable of grasping the naturalist viewpoint," it is because they are incapable of transcending it, precisely.

7/02/2010 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, if the "naturalistic viewpoint" is that with which one looks instead of that at which one looks, then one knows no more truth than a dog. In fact, less, since the dog's view is wholly naturalistic, untainted by illusory notions of "truth" or "meaning."

7/02/2010 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

Here you go: It is only with modernity that this perspective is reversed, so that death becomes "the natural thing, life the problem." Now that the universe is regarded as a kind of lifeless machine, life becomes a huge conceptual problem, because it must somehow be explained in terms of the lifeless.

and here: Again, the abstract world of science, if reified and taken as reality, is what DeKoninck called the "hollow universe." And although the hollow universe is a human creation, soon enough it starts to spawn hollow people. Life and mind become just statistically rare combinations of atoms, with no intrinsic interiority. So not only do we end up with a hollow universe, but the "lifeless world of biology," not to mention the soulless world of psychology.

7/02/2010 10:34:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And this differs how from what we just wrote?

7/02/2010 10:38:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

BTW, you seem to be quite familiar with where everything is in the arkive. Being that you are unemployed, would you like a job organizing it for me?

7/02/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Heh, heh, heh.... O my, and what is it exactly, that you think those quotes are saying? Or... (tee-hee) validating for you?

(CONTEXT Man... read a bit wider of your target, and eventually you might find a clue)

7/02/2010 10:40:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Excuse me while ignore anon for today -- I think the poster hit the nail on the head when he/she wrote that some entities "seek only to drain", and I don't feel like being drained on this gorgeous Friday.

Van: re the "Jesus willies".

That used to happen to me a lot. It almost never does now. Instead I get the "secular willies" practically daily. I still masochistically listen to NPR on occasion, or pick up an NYT on an airplane. Or tune into practically anything on network TV. All of this stuff I find increasingly grating. The simple souls who used to give me the Jesus willies I now see as -- whatever their shortcomings -- far better and more decent people than practically anyone who insists on their own "secular" outlook. Naive Christians are just that. They don't read Aquinas, but generally speaking they do try to help people who need it (American conservative Christians are literally the most generous charitable givers on the planet - "liberal" Americans only a bit better than Europeans, who barely give at all).

Give me a Tammy Faye Baker over a Janeane Garofalo any day.

7/02/2010 10:42:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And if this bonehead truly believes that "everything, including consciousness and the most subtle human abilities and feelings, can be explained through purely natural causes," why is he arguing with someone about it, when he could be looking for a job? If he is correct, then there is no truth to be had. It's all just barking dogs.

So what can I say aside from WOOF!!! It's the only thing he hears anyway.

7/02/2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Question before the house: does it diminish the grandeur, dignity, and mystique of the Grand High Exalted Mystic Ruler of the Transdimensional Disorder of the Friendly Sons & Daughters of the Cosmic Raccoons for him to toy with trolls, or does it add to the air of humor and good fun, as intended?

7/02/2010 11:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "when he/she wrote that some entities "seek only to drain"

Yeah, all signs point to Yes.

"Instead I get the "secular willies" practically daily."

Oh definitely. A couple fem's in the next cube were just talking about the shirtless scenes in the new 'Twillit' movie, and the guy's in the opposite cube began talking about the sex scenes in "Spartacus" (series on cable), and it really gave me a case of the "secular willies". Didn't have anything to do with the sex talk - that wouldn't be a problem (except for my concentration on c++) if it sounded like they were discussing sex between humans, but the explicitly de-moral'ed manner in which they spoke of it... it was like listening to people discuss a car show... if the people doing the talking were earth firster's.

Yech.

"The simple souls who used to give me the Jesus willies I now see as -- whatever their shortcomings -- far better and more decent people than practically anyone who insists on their own "secular" outlook."

Fully agree.

"Naive Christians are just that. They don't read Aquinas, but generally speaking they do try to help people who need it (American conservative Christians are literally the most generous charitable givers on the planet..."

No argument there either, and it's partly why I almost didn't click 'publish' on my comment. I don't think the intellectual side is a must for everyone or even many of them, and being interested in it doesn't make someone, or their grasp of religion, more sound, worthy or legitimate. In fact that's one of the beauties of Religion, the poetic nature gives full admittance to all who open the door to it's knocking. At times I even envy (wrong word, but...) the 'simple' grasp of it, because I know I've lost some of the value through my approach.

"Give me a Tammy Faye Baker over a Janeane Garofalo any day."

That's where I disagree. I'll take the naive and the naive idiot (Garofalo) over the conniving, manipulative con man (and I'd need boatloads of spy cam proof to even consider that that creep on the radio was sincere) who uses Truth to peddle lies and harvest cash, any day of the week.

I set them right next to chompsky in the rogues gallery of the living dead.

wv: sonsings
Yep.

7/02/2010 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Gagdad said "...or does it add to the air of humor and good fun, as intended?"

Always gives me a grin.

7/02/2010 11:18:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

It is a linking together of the Yes! and the Yes?, the latter of which is absolutely distinct from a soft and flabby "maybe." The Yes! signifies the real presence, while the Yes? signifies the necessary absence that will be perpetually filled by faith.

One translation of 1 Corinthians 1:20 goes like this: For no matter how many promises God has made they are all "Yes" in Christ. And so through Him the "Amen" is spoke by us to the glory of God.

Our "amen" or "so be it" or "may it be so" is the receiving "Yes?". We have to have the emptiness to receive.

I like it.

7/02/2010 11:21:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

For when a Raccoon speaks of "faith," he means assent to complete nonsense -- the nonsense of O.

Somewhere, Chesterton is smiling.

7/02/2010 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Blessed are the poor in spirit....

7/02/2010 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Bob,
My vote:
Yes? and Yes!

7/02/2010 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Van:

That's where I disagree.

Yeah, bad example on my part. What I was looking for was the archetypal naive -- and yes, over-confident -- Christian who is all smiles and sunshine and "good news", not someone who lies about their religion or is otherwise duplicitous.

The "good news" people really bother leftists especially, I've noticed. Not a coincidence.

wv: putin
Has no time for any sort of good news whatsoever.

7/02/2010 11:31:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Van:

Speaking of the willies, C++ !?!

Shades of 1995 and 18 hour days trying to find which dereferenced pointer was causing a process to leak just enough memory to cause the entire server to seize up under heavy load...

Actually I've got my architects looking at what platform to use for our latest product. Candidates are .Net, Java or something a bit more modern like Ruby on Rails (at least for the web bits). Whatever it is, it'll have garbage collection! C++ -- ouch!!

7/02/2010 11:35:00 AM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Tammy Faye may not have been the best illustration for someone like Van. However, in my mind "naive idiot" is exactly what Tammy was.

Garofalo (which is, incidentally, the sound I used to make when I'd had way too much tequila) is just an idiot. I don't think there's anything naive about her, unless naive is a euphemism for stupid. For most people naive has the connotation of "lacking sophistication" if not outright innocence, sweet or otherwise.

Poor ol' Tammy Faye was just pathetic. I could never watch her in any context without cringing.

By the way, Jim Bakker was on one of the local stations down here before it was bought by Daystar. He has a "ministry" in Branson with his most recent wife whose name escapes me. Despite being an obvious con-man and an asshole, he always has supporters and can raise incredible amounts of money on the most tenuous of pretexts. Barnum was right, but he underestimated the frequency.

7/02/2010 11:50:00 AM  
Blogger anon said...

BTW, you seem to be quite familiar with where everything is in the arkive.

I just know how to use Google.

I said you viewed a godless world as also lifeless. You violently disagreed, but the quotes support me. I'm not arguing for anything (just now), I'm merely trying to characterize your position and contrast it with naturalism. For some reason, when I paraphrase or restate your position, I get it "not even wrong", but you can't seem to say why.

FWIW, and I tried to suggest this before, I am at least partly sympathetic to your view. The scientific, modernist view of the cosmos as a vast impersonal machine is unsatisfactory in many ways. If it wasn't for your repellent political views, which seem inextricable from the metaphysics, I'd be sympathetic to your efforts to take ancient ideas and inject some new life into them. But I'm more interested in going forwards.

7/02/2010 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad, Julie, Van, and NB re: anon

It seems you all are involved in the anon dance again. May I suggest some scripture from the righteous Junior Walker?

"I said shotgun,
Shoot him for he run now
Do the jerk baby
Do the jerk now"

"Put on your red dress,
And then go down yonder,
I said Buy yourself a shotgun now,
We're gonna break it down baby now
We're gonna load it up baby now
And then shoot him for he runs now"

It does focus one's mind, don't you think?

7/02/2010 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tigtog, please, no mention of guns. It's bad enough that he thinks I want to poison him with hemlock.

7/02/2010 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

NB said "What I was looking for was the archetypal naive -- and yes, over-confident -- Christian who is all smiles and sunshine and "good news"..."

Yep, I'll take 'em. I won't pretend to do it without an eyeroll & sigh here & there, but that's my problem.

"Speaking of the willies, C++ !?!
Shades of 1995 and 18 hour days trying to find which dereferenced pointer was causing a process to leak just enough memory"

YES!!! Driving me friggin' NUTZ!

Pleez gimmee back my .Net C# & VB.net!!!

sigh. .Net? and .Net!

Faith.

(Ricky... ;-))

7/02/2010 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Mushroom said "Garofalo (which is, incidentally, the sound I used to make when I'd had way too much tequila) is just an idiot. I don't think there's anything naive about her, unless naive is a euphemism for stupid. For most people naive has the connotation of "lacking sophistication" if not outright innocence, sweet or otherwise."

LOL and I stand corrected.

7/02/2010 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anunce said "You violently disagreed, but the quotes support me."

Not even a jock strap would support you.

7/02/2010 12:21:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Well, let him call in the FBI. Not only will they laugh at him, they'll investigate him.

He can't have that.

7/02/2010 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Tigtog said "It seems you all are involved in the anon dance again"

Nah, not trying to argue with it, can't reason with someone who won't even state their premises, it's just,

... when you come across a can in the road, whatareyougonna do?

Kick it.

Continue the conversation to you come up to it again then see who can kick it farther. Not like it's the point of the stroll or anything.

7/02/2010 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

Forward to what?

Well, if I knew that, I'd have my own blog promoting it. I mentioned Bateson as a someone I like, also people like Christopher Alexander, Stuart Kaufmann...their thinking seems to point in interesting directions.

I couldn't care less whether you like me or not, but I did hope to get some reasoned, respectful discussion of divergent views. I see that's never going to happen, so maybe I will wander off.

7/02/2010 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

My five year old is a better liar than this clown. Just a few days ago he said that it was preposterous to suggest that he came here to learn, but that his purpose was to be disliked.

7/02/2010 12:41:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Tigtog, that is a true classic. It causes me to think fondly of the following.

Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Shotgun Boogie" includes the line: He cocked back the hammer right on the spot/When the gun went off I outrun the shot

This contrasts with Ry Cooder's version of "I Got Mine" -- which says: I ran as fast as I could run/ but I didn't get there in time/ The rascal grabbed a shotgun/ Boys, and I got mine.

7/02/2010 12:43:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

Dadgum, you can tell I'm an old unix programmer.

7/02/2010 12:53:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

Since you asked:

One reason I have liked OC from my first encounter is that there is a "tone" running throughout the varied posts that strikes me as coherent and congruent. That is, subjects overlap and follow-on from one another, and revolve around clearly enunciated principles.

One reason I ignore Trolls -- and even hope I am unworthy of their attention -- is the incoherence and incongruence of their statements. I think they often know more than do I about this/that, but it is consistently presented "like stabbing," and often at the expense of the Host and his post ... which, um, I like.

So engaging them seems utterly superfluous to me, and not why I'm here. Obviously, others see it differently, including Bob, often.

7/02/2010 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Any other fans of ambient music out there? I just found a good website with an A to Z guide.

7/02/2010 01:15:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

I think you have to address the trolls, if you don't ban them, just to let any new readers know you don't agree with what they are saying.

If not kept in check, they'll try to take over your forum.

It's called tough love.

7/02/2010 01:22:00 PM  
Blogger Russell said...

I recommend .Net. It's been my bread and butter for the past 4 years or so, and MS has, uncharacteristically, done a first rate job on the framework and keep improving it.

Ruby on Rails is awesome, but I'd watch for performance issues.

As to the trolls: it's your Slack, Bob, your rules. I personally would like to see more insultainment :)

7/02/2010 01:25:00 PM  
Blogger anon said...

My mood and attitudes vary. The last few days I've been nothing but reasonable, but sometimes I'm more aggressive -- in response to your abuse, usually. I guess it doesn't matter who started it. I was trying to ratchet down the hostility, but it doesn't seem to be working.

7/02/2010 01:36:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anunce said "I've been nothing..."

... but laughable. Nothing butt.

7/02/2010 01:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Anon, you sound like a serial killer.

"My moods vary, but I've been nothing but reasonable."

YIKES!

7/02/2010 01:45:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Tigtog,

Dance? Not so much - he just gave me a chuckle this morning.

As I said, there is a failure to communicate at even the most fundamental level. It's like arguing about the details in a magic eye picture with a one-eyed man. Both parties can agree on the flat image, which I gather is what anon is trying to establish. They cannot possibly agree on the 3-d one, however; in fact, the one-eyed dude would be perfectly honest in maintaining that the flat one is all there is.

Re. the insultainment, I don't mind it. Occasionally, the effect is like having a skeptic march onstage at a magic show, determined to prove how phony everything is, and while he's looking for the hole in the hat, the real demonstration is going on behind him.

7/02/2010 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Anon, if your moods and attitudes vary that much, you are either a teenager, suffering from PMS, menopausal, or in need of psychiatric/psychological help. Unless it's just a female problem, you lack one of the elementary qualifications for this path. Although spirit is ontologically prior to mind, it is developmentally later. Take care of the foundation before you try to build the palace on it, or you'll get nowhere.

7/02/2010 02:06:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And never confuse my severity with hostility.

7/02/2010 02:08:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Well, the trolls most likely will read it as hostility, regardless of the truth, but then they'll project something negative into anything you do. It's a no-win for them.

For the most part, I don't think anyone gets a response they haven't earned. I've said before and I'll say it again, if I behaved as they do, I would hope to be treated as they are. Then again, I tend to learn from bitter experience. What they get out of it, I haven't a clue.

7/02/2010 02:19:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Julie re

"Dance? Not so much - he just gave me a chuckle this morning."

The anonathon has been ongoing for quite a few days. Watching the mouse in the maze miss the cheese this long is surprising. He has been earnest though. I wonder if his world is a tiny bit woozey by now? Yapping at yourself in a mirror can be disorienting. I am pretty sure he suffers from SMITR syndrome. Once he can get over that he should be okay and able to make real progress. Just another Vanilla Fudge "You Keep Me Hanging On" moment. If things don't resolve themselves soon, I shall start talking about Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I know no one wants that to happen.

7/02/2010 02:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Noooooo...

:D

Apropos of nothing, Steamed Hams. Principal Skinner was on to something...

7/02/2010 02:27:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Dear Julie, thank you for another example of why the North East is a cultural wasteland when speaking of cuisine. Who steams hamburgers? Yankees love to boil the crap out of food and call it cooking. Shoosh.

a true deep thought WV: giselyph

7/02/2010 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Test - this is a test

7/02/2010 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Cool, I have a picture now.

7/02/2010 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Hope this isn't insensitive, but is that the front or the back?

7/02/2010 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Mandelbroccoli?

7/02/2010 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Hell has certain characteristics, even when we are only partly immersed in it, such as can be the case in this life, where we are anchored to the physical world but may still experience Heaven or Hell to some degree through the immersion of our mind.

First, obviously, Hell is a state of suffering. The ordinary person whose mind is contaminated by Hell is usually complaining, repeatedly, about his personal suffering and the perceived injustice against his person. This is different from what we may call "worry on God's behalf", exemplified in the Bible by Lot suffering daily by the ungodly life he saw in Sodom.

Secondly, Hell is a place of darkness. There is no place in Hell where you can get an overview or perspective. The worldview from Hell is fragmented, incoherent and unbalanced. Even if you have acquired specialized knowledge, even religious knowledge, it lacks direction and connection with neighboring knowledge. This is the opposite of the joy of insight that was mentioned before. There is no way in Hell to expand your perspective on reality.

Thirdly, Hell is loveless. Those who suffer there, have no energy left for others. They are consumed by their own despair, and the idea of giving to others is meaningless to them. Why is no one doing anything for me? Why am I being treated like this? That is on their mind, and so there is no room for "What can I do to alleviate the suffering of others?", "How can I share my happiness?", "I need to become more pure so I can radiate love, hope and courage to those around me".

Well, that should suffice. When we hear ourselves say words from Hell, or even think them, it is time to run like the devil is after us. Because, unfortunately, that can happen.

7/02/2010 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Tigtog said "Cool, I have a picture now."

I would have guessed the shape.

The pointy things are a bit surprising though.


(sorry, couldn't resist)

7/02/2010 02:55:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

Mandelbroccoli?

No, a romanesco broccoli, showing a naturally occurring fractal. Its how things grow. All things.

7/02/2010 03:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Of course they do - as above, so below. I just didn't know that was a naturally occurring form of cauliflower.

I'd still call it Mandelbroccoli, though.

7/02/2010 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Magnus said "Secondly, Hell is a place of darkness. There is no place in Hell where you can get an overview or perspective. The worldview from Hell is fragmented, incoherent and unbalanced. Even if you have acquired specialized knowledge, even religious knowledge, it lacks direction and connection with neighboring knowledge. This is the opposite of the joy of insight that was mentioned before. There is no way in Hell to expand your perspective on reality."

Excellent comment.

And one way to put yourself in that place this side of the grave, is to erase the structure of reality from around you, essentially replacing windows with paintings and sketches, and the way to do that is through language. Blur the meaning of words, or your confidence in the possibility of their having real meaning, as modern philosophy from Hume forward explicitly does, and you are by virtue of that, bit by bit, dis-integrated from reality and communion with your fellows.

Talk about painting yourself into a corner.

7/02/2010 03:19:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

erratum: not
And then shoot him for he runs now
rawther
And then shoot him 'fore he runs now"

7/02/2010 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

TO ge re:

"erratum: not
And then shoot him for he runs now
rawther
And then shoot him 'fore he runs now""

Actually it is "fo". Don't argue with Junior Walker.

appropriate wv: rapyr

7/02/2010 03:28:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

GE: Speaking of soul and heaven, at this moment I'm in soul heaven -- listening to the complete Stax singles, '72 to '75, as seen in the sidebar. The end of the classic era before the emergence of disco. Good way to celebrate America!

7/02/2010 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I meant Tigtog. But ge will do as well.

7/02/2010 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

As a matter of fact, Junior Walker was the only Motown artist who performed more in a Stax style....

7/02/2010 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think tomorrow will be Music Post Day.

7/02/2010 03:41:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re: Stax

Good times. Otis, Sam and Dave, Booker T & MGs, Wilson Picket, and Issac Hayes. Great house band, great individual sound (because the floor was uneven). Most importantly, the owners were connected to the grassroots that spawned the music both from a discovery point of view and a retail point of view. Perfect test circle to discover greats. Between Stax and Muscle Shoals the sound of southern soul and R&B was chronicled. Too bad they did the deal with CBS, it killed them.

7/02/2010 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

This particular box, which covers 1972-1975, is post-all of those names, with the exception of Isaac Hayes. That's what makes it such an interesting listen -- lots of great stuff you've never heard before. 10 CDs and over 200 tracks of cosmo-American soul.

7/02/2010 04:05:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"The Yes! signifies the real presence, while the Yes? signifies the necessary absence that will be perpetually filled by faith."

This is a very good way of expressing it.

"The real negative only occurs when positive and negative -- the already and the not yet -- are no longer polarized but at equilibrium."

You've stated this before, but it's an insight I would never have had apart from your blog. Or perhaps I would have expressed it in more "saturated" terms?

Bob, in your conception of things, is the Yes? ever fulfilled (eschatologically speaking)?

Van, I grew up in the South, surrounded by "all types" in the Church. I just wanted to assure you that the thread of "intellectual" Christianity has always been alive and well, even in the Bible Belt, that supplier of TBN-style, name it/claim it preachers. :) But the are also the John Pipers of the church, who refuse to sell the good news, and who stay honest and accountable.

I agree with the later assessments of Tammy Faye/Garofalo, BTW. I can't see associating Garofalo with naivete.

wv: purety :)

7/02/2010 04:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

-- in your conception of things, is the Yes? ever fulfilled (eschatologically speaking)?

I would hope so, either in the beatific vision or in heaven -- or moksha, or infused contemplation, or whatever one wishes to call it,.

There is a beautiful story about Thomas's assistant, Reginald, who testified that after Thomas' death, he heard a voice say to him, "You have written well of me, Thomas. What will you have as your reward?" "Only thyself, Lord." That's the kind of guy who gets the BV in this life.

7/02/2010 04:22:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Was your wv really purety? Because I was going to say "only someone as pure as Thomas."

7/02/2010 04:23:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

It really, truly was. :)

7/02/2010 06:46:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Memo to Tigtog: new limited edition release from Rhino Handmade: the giant Box o' Fudge. Pretty much the complete crapus, I mean corpus:

"For a brief moment in 1967, Vanilla Fudge stood at the swirling center of the pop-music universe, satisfying fans searching for transformative musical experiences with its symphonic psychedelic rock. Sweetened by intricate vocal harmonies and classical flourishes, The Fudge’s innovative mix of rhythm and blues shone brightly as a new era of heavy music was dawning at the start of the 1970s."

7/02/2010 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger greyniffler said...

Cosmic Troll should read C. S. Lewis's Miracles, specifically the chapter titled A Chapter Not Strictly Necessary.

7/02/2010 07:46:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Speaking of Thomas's... though I suppose one of a somewhat less exalted position, Justice Thomas hit it out of the judicial park again with his Opinion in the recent Gun Rights case, and again shows himself to be twice the judicial mind than either of the more renowned (and timid) 'originalists' Scalia, Roberts or Alito are.

Only Thomas ventured to state what the others suspect to be true, but aren't willing or able to support, that the sleight of hand that has over a hundred years of creaking precedent attached to it, the magical 'due process' clause, along with willfully anemic interpretations of the 'Privileges and Immunities' clause of the 14th amendment, are simply excuses for rationalizing desired results out of the constitution, while the full understanding of the Privileges and Immunities clause, is the only proper conduit for the Federal Bill of Rights to be applied within the states, and the only method which won't also unleash an erosion of the powers of the states.

I'm only mid-way through his concurring opinion, but he slams it home over and over again, proving once again that only someone who has an understanding of the philosophy of Natural Law, as the Classical Liberal Founding Fathers did, is going to be able to understand the Constitution and reasonably apply its timeless principles, while the more doctrinaire 'originalists' are left flatfooted and still trying to prime their time machine of original intent ("One million gigawatts! Marty, we don't have one million gigawatts!"), asking WWFD (What Would the Founders Do?!), instead of ‘What does this concept mean?’.

Ok, diversion over, back to the music.

7/02/2010 08:07:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yup. That four justices can vote against the plain meaning of the Constitution is just astonishing.

Reminds me of something Scalia once said: what is the "moderate position" between what the Constitution says and what the left wants it to say?

7/02/2010 08:26:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"I think tomorrow will be Music Post Day."

Cool! I have a rehearsal tomorrow afternoon in the nearby "big city" tomorrow so I may be late to the game.

I look forward to it!

7/02/2010 08:58:00 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home