13 July 2013
Edward G. Nilges, “Tessa Dances”. 13 July 2013 detail of “Tessa, Esme and Grumpy Cat Study Kant”: copyright 2013 by Edward G. Nilges: moral rights asserted.
30 minute dawn workout at 5:30 AM as always: 200 lowrise steps: attempted with hand weights could not keep my balance: 50 supine movements with said weights: walking.
Kant studies continue with a deepening and evolving knowledge of the Transcendental Deduction as I bang through Guyer’s commentary seven times. On completion I’ll read the critical chapter (On the Clue and the Transcendental Deduction) once more.
Kant messed up in the first edition of 1781 (the “Clue”) by apparently stating that his only difference from Hume’s “bundle of perceptions and nothing more” we have a little tag attached to each perception (visualized as a string or rod, perhaps) saying “I had this perception”. But a more complete account would attach, perhaps, my life history up to that point to the perception.
It’s like something my psychiatrist said way back in the 1970s. When I would gaze upon and ponder my little boy, Eddie, I was no computer dully registering bits but rather a whole person “up to that point in time” gazing upon him as a fish would gaze on a spirit or monster of the deep, knowing everything that brought me up to that moment including my own parents’ care for me as a role model, my wife’s sufferings and joy in childbirth, and my hopes for the future.
Every man should have kids but it’s impossible when you cannot get a middle class job. In the 1970s my programming skills assured me that I could not only get full time corporate and consulting firm jobs I could also earn extra money by being an adjunct CS teacher. Today they use “open source” to NOT PAY for coding work. At best, unless you’re space alien talented like Edward Snowden, it’s hard to get paying work, especially full time. And he had to compromise himself deeply; once he realized he was an accessory to a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment, he was outa there and won’t be pulling down six figures any more.
There are also “deep” jobs such as IBM mainframe specialist for the government or corporation … IBM mainframes and their huge “legacy” of operating system and programming language technology have never gone away, instead mainframes constitute enormous “servers” with the relative opacity of their technology (EBCDIC, case-insensitive file names, Rexx, TSO, VM/CMS, etc) providing something of a safeguard against hackers who believe fileid is not the same as FILEID, who dream in ASCII and don’t know it, and have never heard of Rexx…except for a small band of true hackers such as my friend down in Johannesburg. Knowing these technologies guarantees the middle class existence, vacations abroad, good educations for up to two children, and a nice retirement…
At the cost in many cases of the destruction of one’s autonomy and passion: one tends, I would say, to become like Dickens’ lawyer in Jarndyce who only reads Jarndyce. There are exceptions: I met passionate and involved IBM people at the old SHARE conferences where mainframe types would gather to “share” technology, and drink a bit more than was good for them (us), and coworkers at Princeton when it was invested in the mainframe in the 1980s.
To return, tho, to my theme…every man should have kids. I was setting up one of my paper war-games in the epoch just before desk tops were available, I think it was Simulations Publications’ World War III, with my usual guilt-feelings of the time…what WAS I doing, playing a child’s game in my twenties? Not only that, a child’s game of destruction (as Julie Taymor envisages the child’s wargame at the beginning of her film of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus).
No problem. My wife came into my “study” (we were well housed on my salary alone) with a slightly damp and sticky Eddie in her arms and deposited him on my lap. I greeted him with joy but when Eddie saw the brightly colored pieces of heavy paper stock representing armies and other military assets he did what any self-respecting Monster Space Baby would do to save our planet: he did what the Space Baby does at the end of Kubrick’s 2001.
He dove into the neatly sorted and stacked piles of chips. Nuclear war! Nobody hurt! Just guns and tanks and war toys!! Yay!!!
The chips were all over the desk and floor.
So Eddie and I went to his favorite park and I never played a war game, paper or electronic, again, even after our separation when I could have. Paper war games are out of print and hard to set up; computer war games expensive and hard to learn.
And once one does learn a computer or even paper game it becomes an addiction, one steals time at work, and even highly cultivated individuals get Asbergerey and talk to their friends a lot about the game.
Their information IS interesting and there are nifty games out there. And, one can learn a lot especially about history (military and political) by playing wargames. But I wanted to produce useful things such as compilers.
These days, I’d rather get back into programming: cellular automata are the ticket since research into these might actually discover something relevant to my cancer, which is a cellular automaton. Malignancy can like Conway’s Game of Life, one of the first CAs to be discovered, germinate enormous and complex patterns which can be spoken of teleologically (“your cancer is now hormone-resistant: it recognizes the presence of androgen blockers”).
Hormone resistant, suckah?! OK, try this!! CHEMO BOMB!!! Ha ha! Sa ha! (like Captain Blood)! I don’t get side effects, you douche bag cancer cells!!! So you get ten sessions! Me chilling on comfortable chair while you die! I got plenty more cells than you! Eat chemo death, reactionary Fascistic cancer cells!
[Sorry, I shall take a deep breath and calm down now.]
To return to programming … it is important to stop getting almost deliberately “stuck” in programming paradigms such as IBM or Microsoft which have in the past guaranteed me that my colleagues, who use these paradigms for business applications (.Net and SalesForce) and who are necessarily uninterested in deep culture, would find me overly verbal and odd (flash of a remembered dream: I was at SPH Rural Community School…?).
Need to use the Java/Linux paradigm. Of course, the Mac instantiation of said paradigm is as I have discovered also flawed by Apple’s proprietary tendencies but it is far more elegant…and C Sharp is pure theft. I met its designer. Nice guy. But I am certain he read a Java manual before designing C sharp.
It is to her credit that my former wife could follow these digressions, this garden of forking paths, and didn’t tell me to fork off ha ha. Back to the issue of kids.
Men free of family in their early to middle twenties as I was can be charming rogues as I was such a rogue. But past 30 one sours as I did in separation and divorce into a Stranger unless one treads a recovery path and often even then. I desperately tracked back to Evanston to be a father but not enough. A father has to come home most evenings, treading wearily and heavily like Frankenstein, or my own Dad. I would try instead to be an Ariel, with success, but the kids didn’t need someone without anger. It sounds strange but I needed my Dad, anger and weariness included. My kids never saw how tired I was and this may be why I never got a break from them. My father would lash out like Lash Larrieu if I asked him “what is wrong” and only my eldest son would express any concern about me, and he only rarely. They were more needy than I and I in my guilt settled for this.
I don’t blame anyone for lack of concern. You get what you ask for (“knock and it shall be opened unto you”). With my eldest died a language of concern for the father also died. I acted like I didn’t need concern or care, as if I could be a real cowboy, wandering the West, and people took me at my word.
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. A neighbor in Mountain View, on Easy Street, had a little kid, and I was heading to work. Kid asks me, are you a cowboy and do you have kids? He wanted kids to play with but dang, I said, mine were far away. Cute kid. That’s what my bro and I did when we moved to Gary, we just knocked on doors and asked the Mom if she had kids our age we could play with. Worked, too.
Kids help a man be less a kid: but a man has to bring something to the table, a small business or a skilled job, or, in a pinch a great degree (not an MBA) such as a Juris Doctorate from Harvard, Stanford, Chicago and nowhere else given the state of the legal jobmarket. Or a medical degree or residency.
But even for these honest jobs a middle class existence is no longer guaranteed. In my case, divorce destroyed it: from the magnificent Anglo Saxon of The Wanderer poem:
Wat se þe cunnað He who has tried it knows
hu sliþen bið how cruel is
sorg to geferan sorrow as a companion
þam þe him lyt hafað to the one who has few
leofra geholena: beloved friends:
warað hine wræclast, the path of exile (wræclast) holds him,
nales wunden gold, not at all twisted gold,
ferðloca freorig, a frozen spirit,
nalæs foldan blæd. not the bounty of the earth.
Gemon he selesecgas He remembers hall-warriors
ond sincþege, and the giving of treasure
hu hine on geoguðe How in youth his lord (gold-friend)
his goldwine accustomed him
wenede to wiste. to the feasting.
Ancient words for ancient feelings such as sorrow never change: see “sorg to geferan” (sorrow as a companion) above: the Anglo Saxon for “sorrow”, “sorg” has hardly changed from the modern English “sorrow” or modern German “sorge”.
From Wikipedia: “From Middle High German sorge, from Old High German sorga, sworga, from Proto-Germanic *surgō, ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *swergʰ- (“watch over, worry; be ill, suffer”). Compare Dutch zorg, English sorrow, Danish sorg.”
My Friend Professor Cornel West Speaks Out
Watch Professor Cornel West, African-American philosopher who’s held faculty positions at Harvard and Princeton and is now with Union Theological Seminary, speak out: Obama has betrayed women, children and minorities to such an extent that he shouldn’t invoke the legacy of Martin Luther King.
I was honored to know Cornel personally when I was at Princeton.
I am a white guy but I’m going to say this. Anyone don’t like it can find me and whip my ass if you have the heart to whip it.
OK, here goes: Black men in Africa and the USA don’t get admitted into the white power structure unless they are academics like Brother West here, OR they BETRAY black women and black children.
Obama has BETRAYED black women and black children.
So has Clarence Thomas.
So has Nelson Mandela. The Madiba betrayed one-third of South Africa’s population: the one third that’s unemployed today, men who can’t start a family or support the one they have owing to underinvestment in English training and general education.
Brother West has NOT betrayed black women or children because as a college professor he has stood firm for truth without any compromise. He wrote “The American Evasion of Philosophy”, an excellent analysis of how we ignore our prophets including the real MLK and the frightening John Ossawatomie Brown. Lawrence Summers tried to bring Obama to heel at Harvard but as a great teacher and scholar Brother West was too much in demand at Princeton and elsewhere, so he stood up to the then-President of Harvard…who is no longer President in part because of his behavior with Cornel.
I learned in the corporate world that if you stand up for the truth, a bad boss can find himself no longer your boss. It’s just hard and scarey when you have a family.
It’s really not for me to write about black on black betrayal; the only parallel is my leaving my family and fixing child support at a number that was generous but inflexible; when I did so, my father said that I was being like a badass black man and this wasn’t praise at all.
As Cornel has written, white people can float like angels or ghosts through black neighborhoods while the homes and the bloods are shooting at each other and they will let the white folks pass…because they don’t want every cop in the city up their ass in a heartbeat.
“Free market ideology” is just racism on stilts and it’s a right wing lie that MLK would have approved of free market ideology. “The content of his character” did NOT mean that my DeVry students would STILL be considered not eligible for programming jobs after I taught them Visual Basic in 1999. I was there in 1968 and Martin was talking about democratic socialism which would as a matter of course and far more than right wing ideology take into account, not the color of your skin but the content of your character.
Cornel doesn’t get the invites and as far as Obama is concerned this man is just one of the boys in the band. Damnation, Corn should be President.