7 June 2013: Heaven…is exactly like where you are now…only much…much…nicer!

First thing workout: had to cowboy up to do 20 min (100 sup pullups and 100 steps with 50 on right foot and 50 on left) owing to hip pain, which got worse after the exercise, but improved after a breakthrough pain dose (where this is a dose of Fentanyl, a synthetic morphine 10x as powerful as natural; breakthrough doses are intended to overcome increased pain without needlessly suppressing consciousness during periods of no pain). Does pain result from exceedingly vigorous rackety rowing machine workout yesterday? I really ripped up my upper thighs in that session.

20 minutes of physio on the “rackety rowing” machine planned.

Two bowls of the fluffy white congee (my favorite) and the doomed Egg polished off in two bytes after a ceremonious de-shelling.

Started sending out job applications (with resume clearly marked with my health status in red type) after opening the dear old South China Morning Post. There was a fascinating editorial job and a small primary school that said in its want ad for an NET, “our children are longing for a NET”.

Really got to me…

Soweto 1961 was an ESL education issue: not knowing the dominant world language, or knowing it at a lower “plateau” creates permanent underclasses identifiable as such from their written job applications and when they open their mouth to speak.

In Soweto the authorities wanted the blackfellows to learn Afrikaans so as to be servants of Boers whereas the blackamoors wanted to learn English to get good jobs, and people were killed.

I was on the side of the angels last year, drawing my breath in pain to make classes in the City of Sadness after the onset of cancer and despite the fact that I can now live without working, I thought of how little I really do for others. And in one class in Tin Muen there was that poor little girl who couldn’t take her eyes off me in our few classes, applied to be my Facebook Friend, and implored me to come back.

Am I a sap? Well, yeah. I am post-cynical because a global cynicism is just more sappiness. Sapientiae (wisdom) not sappiness recognizes real needs. Wisdom cries aloud in the market place and no man [sic] pays it mind.

But despite the fact that I mentioned this little girl’s request more than once to my employers, I never got to go back.

The student/teacher bond is under a demonic world-wide assault by capitalism which is in my opinion all too ready to accuse teachers of vile sexual interests when the teachers merely are able to keep order without emotional or physical abuse, and bond in some degree to all students, perhaps more to bright and hardworking students.

But this contempt for academia, combined with the brutal exploitation of people with academic knowledge in science, technology and education, is going to bring about a new Dark Age as the physical environment collapses.

In my kindergarten class last September where I danced with the kids to teach them body parts and numbers in English as the school requested, monitoring my leg for injury, the admins said “we love his results but where are his lesson plans and where is he going?”

Well they might ask for I did not know! I just wanted to stay healthy enough, with my diagnosis, to make it to the classes (they paid well for only three days a week and this was a factor, of course). But when in the third week of September I got that call from my post-traumatic brother, who’s more than once had to deal with the after-effects of the collapse of my family, saying siddown, prepare yourself…your son is dead.

A stronger man would have kept working but I called my employers immediately and told them to take me off the project. I knew I wouldn’t be able to deliver. And in October, my calcium and other critical balances went all to hell and I arrived in the ER of Queen Mary in a confused state. The nice thing about October, its Joyful Mystery if you please, was my sister’s visit.

2012 wasn’t the end of the world like it was supposed to be. For me, it was worse, an annus horribilis. 2013 so far hasn’t been great but it’s better.

“Heaven…is exactly like where you are now…only much…much…nicer!” – Laurie Anderson

Grand High Re-read of Kant’s Kritik

Cannot read chapters seven times, it’s too time-consuming, although I did this for Analytic of Concepts. Just reading slowly and making sure I understand, stopping occasionally for various exercises and to consult Professor Rae Langton’s lecture notes, part of the MIT Open Courseware initiative: she taught a class on the Critique in 2005.

Noticed for the first time the publisher’s “blurb” on the back of the book where it is said that the Guyer-Wood translation preserves Kant’s sentence structure. This is why it is a difficult book to read.

Here’s an example. The English on the status of noumena is this Whopper:

“I call a concept problematic that contains no contradiction, but that is also, as a boundary for given concepts, connected with other cognitions, the objective reality of which can in no way be cognized. The concept of a noumenon, i.e., of a thing which is not to be thought of as an object of the senses but rather as a thing in itself (solely through pure understanding), is not at all contradictory; for one cannot assert of sensibility that it is the only possible kind of intuition. Further, this concept is necessary in order not to extend sensible intuition to things in themselves, and thus to limit the objective validity of sensible cognition (for the other things, which sensibility does not reach, are called noumena just in order to indicate that those cognitions cannot extend their domain to everything that the understanding thinks).”

This Whopper closely tracks Kant’s 18th Century German:

“Ich nenne einen Begriff problematisch, der keinen Widerspruch enthält, der auch als eine Begrenzung gegebener Begriffe mit anderen Erkenntnissen zusammenhängt, dessen objektive Realität aber auf keine Weise erkannt werden kann. Der Begriff eines Noumenon, d.i. eines Dinges, welches gar nicht als Gegenstand der Sinne, sondern als ein Ding an sich selbst, (lediglich durch einen reinen Verstand) gedacht werden soll, ist gar nicht widersprechend; denn man kann von der Sinnlichkeit doch nicht behaupten, daß sie die einzige mögliche Art der Anschauung sei. Ferner ist dieser Begriff notwendig, um die sinnliche Anschauung nicht bis über die Dinge an sich selbst auszudehnen, und also, um die objektive Gültigkeit der sinnlichen Erkenntnis einzuschränken, (denn das übrige, worauf jene nicht reicht, heißen eben darum Noumena, damit man dadurch anzeige, jene Erkenntnisse können ihr Gebiet nicht über alles, was der Verstand denkt, erstrecken).”

Up until very recently, long but well-structured sentences, using the similar rules of European languages and their grammar, were thought to be impressively learned, and to better connect ideas than choppy simple sentences. And it is indeed easier to memorize a sentence as opposed to a paragraph. But ever since Strunk and White, this style has fallen into extreme disfavor. When I used a simplified version of that syle naturally, having succeeded in Catholic school with it, I would get Fs at my secular university and called in for a Talk at my employers.

But…if you “simplify” a real idea, you’re just moving lumber around without reducing anyone’s work load. The very idea that texts can be simplified rests on the very American idea that we can create reality and we’re seeing where that little hummer leads…to disaster.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: