21 July 2013

Up at 5:30 AM: in pain: resolved on 200 lowrise steps and a supine workout with weights, but just stopped from pain and exhaustion at 162 steps. Did 75 varied moves supine with weights for a fairly pathetic 15 minute workout. Today is Sunday, so no physio later. Need to remember what my wife said back in my early runs: back off and be tolerant of your failure while still pushing forward best you can. Wise woman: this single precept, in fact, triggered my first successful runs ’round our Evanston neighborhood in the spring. She was the good witch, older than the hills, who handed the little boy the golden box of dreams (details later).

In the light of spring, with Peter hopping excitedly in his crib expecting to join me, having done so in the warmup where pushups are “horsee” and the Incredible Upside Down Nutbar is how you do weight training, very carefully, with your son.

Plan for tomorrow (Monday) is to recover from this failure and get back to 200 lowrise steps. Secondary goal for tomorrow is to get to 30 minutes. Not sure where this extra butt and left leg pain is coming from. Fentanyl patch is on securely. Chemo side-effect (blurry vision later in the day) has apparently disappeared.

Walking less overall despite pro-walking decisions such as to walk to the rest room during the day to urinate, and not use pisspot. That’s because of this computer, with its dongle access to the internet. This access is necessary to maintain contact with family and friends should I be transferred to Tung Wah or some similar place, but I use it a lot.

I love the access to universities and their libraries and informative films on YouTube and no longer access porn. My use of porn was a phase with its own positive aspects but it’s over and it is not appropriate to write of it here.

Need to get butt in dayroom with its friendly staff, and free wireless that, unlike my dongle Netvigator access, costs nothing.

Taking notes with non-computer tools is so bloody sensuous it’s better than porn: the black of the ink and the subtle cream or bluish-white of the paper: the way you can vary your “font”, that is the way you write letters, for the needs of the passage.

Using the techniques of lettering, and drawing straight lines, I learned in art school and in an engineering drawing class, mostly “look and think about where you are going and not where you were”.

It reminds me of Orwell’s portrayal of Winston Smith opening his journal for the first time and wondering what to write that wouldn’t mar the creamy surface of the paper, in 1984.


Just reading the Cambridge Companion: have finished Watkins on the Analytic of Principles. Makes me feel I need to read Newton’s Principia which inspired Kant in many ways but not as a philosophical text.

In the Analytic of Principles, Kant’s concern seems to be expounding “substance”. A common confusion is that he’s doing physics, but if I understand, he’s doing his own form of responsible metaphysics, in which no matter what our physics (Newtonian, relativistic, Copenhagen quantum, etc.) we refer in language to “things” such as substance. We have a need to think in terms of substance to explain change and persistence.

Physics assumes or presupposes quite a lot of things despite the scientist’s love of austerity and claim to start with nothing, or something close to nothing. Physics assumes that results can be communicated which assumes not only a common language but also a common framework, of the sort Kant deals with.

The question might be asked, however, whether philosophy also makes assumptions. I’d reply that it does but to a far less extent, and whereas physics presupposes philosophy, philosophy doesn’t need physics.

Chemistry needs physics but not vice versa: biology needs chemistry but not vice-versa: but philosophy, like Diogenes, is at the top and the queen of the sciences simply because in a hierarchy where asceticism determines rank, philosophy is the most ascetic, the most like Diogenes.

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 10.20.57 AM

Nicholas Poussin, Landscape with Diogenes: 1648. Paris, musée du Louvre

We cannot think EXCEPT in terms of things outside us (which as Emily Dickinson knew could be profoundly “outside”, whether in the room or on the Moon) which have properties.

In ordinary philosophical usage, all ontology is a form of metaphysics but not the reverse. Some forms of metaphysics (Plato’s Forms or the “dreams of a spirit-seeker”, Kant’s satiric term for Swedenborg’s visions of heaven and hell) don’t, in ordinary philosophical usage, constitute responsible ontology. I am being rather arbitrary since there are, probably, “spirit-seekers” who would call what they do “ontology” especially if that gets them into a higher pay grade, but I need to draw the distinction as did Kant. As Hume failed to see and what the Austrian realist Gustav Bergmann did see (in Bergmann’s Metaphysics of Logical Positivism), it’s not easy to get away from doing metaphysics just by terminological fiat.

The New Age browser in the superstore would know where to find Swedenborgian style metaphysics which many New Age spirit seekers, bless their heart, seek, but they would not know what constitutes “ontology” never having seen the word. I dearly hope for a metaphysical solution to my plight (my Stage IV/D1 cancer) like that baby who in a recent viral image sticks her little hand out of the womb so as to get hauled into “this breathing world” mindful as the baby might be that this world ain’t no picnic. But “eyes have not seen” so I must merely watch and pray. Glad you asked, here’s the baby, but this discussion is about philosophy, and so we need to get back to philosophy.

Screen Shot 2013-07-21 at 9.16.25 AM

Philosophical ontology and metaphysics (where post Kant they are one and the same) can only abstractly identify these forms of intuition which replace the “castles in the air” of Plato or Swedenborg.

Now, for a very interesting bunch (the Stanford Metaphysics Lab) this form of ontology can be done and is useful. This was my own discovery in object oriented programming. You had to choose the most perspicuous object structure in order to capture as wide a variety of “applications” as possible. Probably only metaphorically, probably only poetically, this is the “metaphysics”, or more perspicuously the “ontology” of software design.

The Stanford Metaphysics Lab takes its cue from a post-Kantian and Kant-aware philosophy, that of one Alexius Meinong Ritter von Handschuchsheim, more commonly known as just Meinong, not as the Knight von Handschuchsheim. Meinong is definitely in the realist tradition, and as such his thought is less gaseous overall than his idealist contemporaries, including a very interesting solution to the problem of fictional entities which Kant didn’t address, to my knowledge. But deeper down, the Metaphysics boys at Stanford are post-Kantian, and seem Kant-aware, not just fans of the Knight.

Metaphysics, even though limited to a responsible ontology (with practical applications to software) seems like a silly preoccupation but it would play a part, whether or not identified as such, in contact with intelligent life to find out whether the little green men even think like Kantian beings. One discovery of science is that the other can be profoundly other yet understood. We should be using metaphysics, and we are, officially or sub rosa able to analyze our contact with animals who may be profoundly intelligent along another axis than our own Kantian axis…perhaps, before non-human species gather under a mountain and agree to make war on us to stop us killing them, destroying species and trashing Earth.

So a bounded metaphysics has its place…even though it needs to be kept a secret from the boys in the state legislature.

The Incomprehensible Maestro

Somebody spoke and I fell into a dream – John Lennon

The Incomprehensible Maestro is in town as the guest conductor of the Chicago boys and he and his sons Max undt Moritz visit his grandchildren by way of his former wife Frau Ritter von Handschuchsheim! Sesame is the quiet and thoughful one, who loves to read. Theresa loves to read, but not as much because Theresa also loves to sing and dance, and slam her paws on the piano in a disturbing matter. Theresa loves the Booger song! Theresa says I dance! Look at me!

This causes both the Incomprehensible Maestro and Sesame to have a fit laughing which for the Maestro ends in a coughing fit owing to his consumption, albeit moderate, of Cuban cigars and for Sesame ends in her toppling over just like that! Which of course Sesame finds even more droll which doubles her laughing fit!

Change Record

22 Jan 2013

Change pronoun (“it”) to its antecedent (“porn”) for clarity.

Altho the Maestro is unspeakable as a consequence of his incomprehensibility, this is a secondary and empirical accident: change unspeakable to incomprehensible.

3 Responses to “21 July 2013”

  1. With havin so much content do you ever run into any problems of
    plagorism or copyright violation? My site has a lot of
    unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods to help prevent content from being stolen? I’d really appreciate it.

    • spinoza1111 Says:

      So far, “learn singing online”, I have not run into problems of plagiarism and not being copyrighted except for the poetry and art explicitly marked as copyrighted, or copyright either. And this material is content rich, highly original and may be anthologized at a future date. But then, so was Vachel Lindsay, and as in the case of so many American poets, it’s apparent that the worth of this material and the value of ripping it off isn’t obvious to thugs and thieves. So it’s safe for now.

      • spinoza1111 Says:

        So, the answer to your question, what do you do when your content is “popping up all over the Web” is to make it either useless crap (which my poetry and prose may be) or solid gold (which I think it is) but not “useful”. It seems to me that you produce useful material which is more immediately prone to theft by thugs and thieves.

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