Like a Tsurezuregusa for a philosophy grad student.
Sonia Sotomayor in her dissent in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. It’s worth a read.
Sonia Sotomayor, on why pretending that America is a colorblind, post racial society does not make it so (via odinsblog)
Let’s play a game.
Type the following words into your tags box, then post the first automatic tag that comes up.
you, also, what, when, why, how, look, because, never
So I’m taking a break from working on my prospectus to consider something.
In the west, we’re taught to treat the world as if it is, or ought to be, composed of objects of knowledge. Actually, that might be too technical of a way to put it, allow me to rephrase. In the west, we treat the world as if it were made up of things that can be known in an absolute sense. All of our habits of inquiry, the way we investigate the world and ourselves, are organized with the aim of turning the thing that we’re investigating into something that we can know concretely and absolutely. This is the project of science, of Aristotle: to get to first principles so that we can have a firm ground from which to talk about the world.
But the way we engage in this kind of investigation is looking for some kind of objective principle, something that exists outside of the influences of biases and ideologies: it is looking for something that can’t exist. Knowledge, of all kinds, is not something that is outside of our human world, but emerges from how we are in the world. Applied to, say, American culture, this is why we have so many contentious arguments about who or what a thing is: we want to know “objectively” what the thing in question is, without realizing that even our desire to know is directed by our culture. The very demand for a thing to be only what it is and nothing else is a product of a long history stretching back to Aristotle, the British empiricists, Kant, Analytic philosophy. It is a product of western culture, and it is killing us.
What do I mean by that? It means that the quest to transform the whole world into things that can be known tends to treat the world as only something apprehended by the faculty of knowledge. Again, too technical, so let me rephrase. Our primary drive to get to “the bottom” of a thing tends to be directed through a privileging of a thing only if you can know about it. Because you’re trying to transform this thing you’re investigating into something you can know about, the only way you can engage with it is through your ability to know it. You literally cannot see the thing in any other disposition besides knowing about it.
Here, knowing about a thing usually involves understanding the causal conditions for it being there in front of you, whether or not the thing in front of you (falsification), and all of the other modes of inquiry that have been inculcated into us through our privileging of the scientific method. What this ends up doing is generating a world full of things that are “known,” where known is synonymous with real, and eliminates anything that cannot be “known.” An example of this is scientific-reductionism and the related arguments that science is the only reliable measure of telling us what is real. Fuck that, science is the only reliable measure of telling us what is real from a particular cultural perspective. And even then, it only describes events through an enhanced version of our embodied experience.
So, why is this killing us? Because it tends to generate the understanding that modes of interaction with things in the world that have nothing to do with generating knowledge about something are less “real” than modes of interacting with the world that don’t rely upon the generation of knowledge about that thing. “True” knowledge about a sunset is irrelevant to creating art about the sunset. I don’t need to know that the sun appears to waver on the horizon because of the distortion of the atmosphere in order to capture my how the sunset makes me feel. "True" knowledge about sadness in the presence of something that reminds me of a long lost friend is irrelevant to my being sad. My sadness is contingent on my relationship to the thing before me, and it is through that emotional engagement that I feel sad.
To give a more contentious example: faith in something does not depend on “knowledge” of that thing except through a relation of feeling, rather than absolute knowing.
We can even look at the way that knowing is subordinated to feeling in our daily lives: we’ve all asked someone “why do you love that person,” or “why do you like that food,” or “how can you enjoy that music,” these are questions that demand an objective answer to the question. And, for the most part, “I just do,” is unsatisfactory as an answer, because it doesn’t provide knowledge about the thing. So, as opposed to understanding that most instances of feeling are not predicated upon knowing, we treat feeling as if it can become an object of knowledge. Since feeling tends to operate in spite of knowledge, we take it to be irrational, especially when action proceeds from that feeling.
Pushing even further, and good philosophers might see some of Dewey come out here, knowing does not change the reality of the fact that the feeling existed. It is only because that the feeling was there, it existed, that we can talk about it in reference to it’s “unreality” following our acquisition of knowledge. Put another way, an act of “knowing,” or an experience, allows us to reinterpret our feelings to call them “unreal,” but it does not deny their presence. It is not that you “never really loved” a person, you loved them to the extent that, in that moment, that feeling existed. If that feeling wasn’t “real,” how could you question it? Denying the reality of that feeling is a reinterpretation of the feeling in light of new experience, which is not reducible to knowledge. Hell, sometimes “knowledge” doesn’t even cause the act of reinterpretation that is denial.
I guess what I’m saying here is that there are more ways of engaging with the world than those that are based in “knowledge” of the world, particularly “scientific knowledge.” Either that, or what we take as knowledge, connected with reality, needs to be expanded. I don’t have to “know” why I love my cat, I just do, nor can I find a “first principle” that will explain my love for my cat, or my motorcycle, or anything else that I have an emotional attachment to. In fact, I think that if I had exact knowledge of why I felt the way I do, I might not feel it as strongly.
Hell, I’m willing to hazard that we have more objects of affection, objects that we have an emotional relation to, than we do objects of knowledge.
me, after earning my Ph.D
Black parents will shit on white parents for putting their kids in time out and raising spoiled brats as if beating your kids for every little fucking thing and fighting and raising niggas who end up not giving a a fuck about human life or decency because their parents been punching them in the face since they was 7 years old and shit is better but im in finals week.
What’s a “micro-aggression” to a nigga whos mother legit kicked his chest in for losing a school sweater
Gave me a flashback.
Hold on, though, let’s not get this twisted.
If we’re going to take my case, even though I suffered at the hands of my father, micro-aggressions would still cut me apart. I’d have to deal with the micro-aggressions from my white teachers and both my white and black peers for doing the very things that would avoid corporal punishment at home. It became kind of a double-bind: on the one hand, I could perform in a way that would stop the micro and macro aggressions at school, or I could avoid the things at home by doing the things at school that invited micro and macro aggressions.
When corporal punishment is tied to academic performance, and academic performance is what invites micro and macro aggressions, then there’s really no winning: it’s either take the beating at home for acting in a way that was perceived to impede your education process, or excel and deal with the system telling you that you were impossible because no Black student had any right to be as smart as you were. Granted, my situation was uniquely fucked up, but I present it for that very uniqueness.
It’s because of that experience, that I can’t privilege one form of systemic abuse over another because they can intersect in some pretty nasty ways. I mean, sometimes you do things to escape one form of suffering, only to invite another kind back in. There was, once, a time when I believed what the combined weight of the micro-aggressions were telling me, which resulted in a lack of performance, which invited more nonsense at home. For me, at least, I chose the lesser of two forms of suffering: at school, I could run to the library and hide from the crap in a book At home? Well there’s no where really to hide when the place that’s supposed to be safe is not-safe.
The jolly author wrote on his blog: ‘I think the “butterfly effect” that I have spoken of so often was at work here.
‘In the novels, Jaime is not present at Joffrey’s death, and indeed, Cersei has been fearful that he is dead himself, that she has lost both the son and the father/ lover/ brother. And then suddenly Jaime is there before her. Maimed and changed, but Jaime nonetheless.
‘Though the time and place is wildly inappropriate and Cersei is fearful of discovery, she is as hungry for him as he is for her.’
And he explained how while the TV adaptation and the original book series tell much of the same story, there are important differences.
He said: ‘The whole dynamic is different in the show, where Jaime has been back for weeks at the least, maybe longer, and he and Cersei have been in each other’s company on numerous occasions, often quarreling.
‘The setting is the same, but neither character is in the same place as in the books, which may be why Dan (Weiss) & David (Benioff) played the sept out differently. But that’s just my surmise; we never discussed this scene, to the best of my recollection.’
The 65-year-old also explained how readers would experience a very different scene to viewers.
He said: ‘I was writing the scene from Jaime’s POV, so the reader is inside his head, hearing his thoughts.
‘On the TV show, the camera is necessarily external. You don’t know what anyone is thinking or feeling, just what they are saying and doing.
‘If the show had retained some of Cersei’s dialogue from the books, it might have left a somewhat different impression — but that dialogue was very much shaped by the circumstances of the books, delivered by a woman who is seeing her lover again for the first time after a long while apart during which she feared he was dead. I am not sure it would have worked with the new timeline.
‘That’s really all I can say on this issue. The scene was always intended to be disturbing… but I do regret if it has disturbed people for the wrong reasons.’
IT DOESN’T MATTER THAT THE CAMERA IS EXTERNAL THEY CHANGED THE FUCKING SCENE INTO A RAPE SCENE IT LITERALLY DOES NOT MATTER THAT THE NATURE OF TV PREVENTS US FROM HEARING JAIME’S THOUGHTS THEY FUNDAMENTALLY ALTERED JAIME
It was disturbing in the book because they had sex next to the body of their dead son NOT BECAUSE JAIME RAPED CERSEI
Let’s take this shit up a notch, shall we?
“It becomes a really kind of horrifying scene, because you see, obviously, Joffrey’s body right there, and you see that Cersei is resisting this. She’s saying no, and he’s forcing himself on her. So it was a really uncomfortable scene, and a tricky scene to shoot.” - David Benioff
This from one of the men running the show. His understanding of the “horrifying” nature of the scene is derived from both Jaime’s forcing himself on Cersei and the fact that he’s doing it on Joffrey’s grave. So my thinking is that he willfully interpreted the scene in such a way as to set Jaime up to force himself on Cersei and is not terribly ambiguous about it.