14 August 2013: So foul and fair a day

Big ass typhoon seems to be missing us, but the city (o City city) has shut down nonetheless. These typhoons were a serious matter even before global warming.

First thing (6 AM) workout included 75 lowrise steps, supine weights, cycling and air conducting for a 20 minute total workout. Will try a standup free dance (if I can find my iPod) or walk with weights tomorrow morning.

However, I got nauseated while eating my congee, surprisingly enough. Was able to finish the Egg later and now am drinking an Ensure, the milk of the gods and of cancer sufferers. I am bored to tears, and sometimes to nausea, by the constant sameness of the food here. I long for dim sum, pizza, steak…anything but chicken, veggies and rice every day.

Kant Study

Finished the Cambridge Companion to the Critique with very interesting articles on the neo-Kantians and the use of Kant by analytic philosophers including Clarence Irving Lewis, the Strawson at least of The Bounds of Sense and Wilfred Sellars. Not going to finish my copy of the Bounds of Sense since according to more than one authority (including the author of the Kant/analytic philosophy essay, Kenneth R Westphal), the Strawson book is overrated and out of date.

This means that except for one essay taken from an Open Courseware class on Kant, and my essay on the complexity of Kant’s style, I have completed this self-administered beating, I mean, class on Kant’s Critique. It certainly confirms that the best of Kant is not his ontology or metaphysics, it is his work on ethics and aesthetics in which he applies the metaphysics to real problems.

But within ontology, Kant is good on the healthy-minded distinction between Object and Concept. I am familiar with a syndrome in programming where an idea is overgeneralized. Let’s make the existence of this [software object] a property, create all POSSIBLE objects and then, before using the possibly nonexistent object, test its existence property. Essentially, you’re doing work the system can do for you as well as crafting a recipe for trouble.

Kant’s critique of the Ontological Proof as found in Anselm and Descartes is a pattern repeated throughout the Critique notably in the Transcendental Aesthetic, where Kant intuitively recognizes that there’s an ontological similarity (in difference) between time and space, and an ontological difference (in similarity) between space and the things in space and time, and the events in time.

Space, and spatial relations, are not properties of objects, for example. Objects are not properties of space. This all sounds to me like a properly “factored” design in object-oriented software.

Owing to tiredness, possible delayed effects of chemotherapy which doctor says are unlikely, I deal with Kant in a fug, I read him in a fog. But the very act of reading and rereading, reacquaintance with concepts I have visited before, awakens me and sharpens me up a bit.

I’d love a strong coffee, and the lovely staff in the day centre make a lovely powerful cup. So I struggled out of bed and to the day centre only to find that because of the level 8 typhoon warning, the staff hasn’t shown up. I am fatalistic. I have plenty of green tea which relieves my pain.

No matter how much sleep I get I am sleepy during the day, just one more artifact of the chemo or now, so long (2+ weeks) after chemo, the cancer. I slip into micronaps and dream fragments. I will be thinking of Kant’s distinctions only to be, for a microsecond, a crew of a boat in time and space with ethical duties in excess of job duties…you get the picture.

This could be frightening if it is death but if it is death it is foretold. I am dying, if I am dying, alone (if you don’t count my friends which I do) but not in pain (because of Fentanyl). Things could therefore be worse.

But then as an hart my healthy thigh leaps because I want to dance and to walk, not just “go gently”. The pain drops away and I wiggle, feeling high, because the pain’s gone away. It returns but the left hip pain has been an old friend since April 2012.

“Let me be your father”, said the pain,
“Let me be your big brother”
“And all this will be just a bovver,”
“A smallish sacrifice on the floor.”


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