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Published: 2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

 



Richard Petti on: Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

The greatest myth that camoflages the ruling class is that, because we live in a democratic market society—we vote for our political leaders and rights of private property dominate the society—that Americans cannot be dominated by a ruling class. Americans would do well to remember that the key ingredients in a feudal system are (1) concentrated ownership of the key productive assets, and (2) control of government by the snall group of dominant owners. Feudalism does not require an agricultural economy or estates, titles, or crowns.



Bill Benzon on: Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

”...in animation drawing has very little to do with characterization: voice is everything” Um, er, as a general statement, no. After all, in the Road Runner cartoons, there is no dialog at all. & classic Disney worked very hard at animated acting. Michael Barrier has a lot to say about animated acting (just google the name and look around).



Nick J. on: The Valve - Closed For Renovation

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Yes, please don’t wipe this site. It has a lot of rich material and discussions.



Bill Benzon on: Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Ah, the fabled 11th edition. . . .



Norma on: Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

I still have my grandfather’s 11th, 12th, and 13th editions of Britannica.



Bill Benzon on: What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Well, I HAVE written quite a bit about OOO, and while all of that is somewhere on The Valve, the easiest way to get it is to go to this link at my other blog, New Savanna. That’ll take you to all I’ve written on OOO so far. As for whether or not a shadow counts as a object, I sent that post by some OOOers, including, as I recall, Harman, and have gotten no response. I’ve mostly finished The Quadruple Object and, on the basis of that reading I’d have to say that, no, a shadow is not a real object because it’s not autonomous. But if that’s so, then it’s not clear what it might be. My impression is that OOO is still very much in process and these things are still being worked out. Tim Morton has a useful tutorial on OOO at his blog.



john balwit on: What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

I am hoping that you have had time to finish the The Quadruple Object and are now in a position to clarify this matter for us, your reading audience (a set of reading objects?). I think these questions have practical value in understanding aspects of human culture and social organization at various scales. At a very low level (perhaps not the lowest) humans are a collection of cooperation cells. We recognize the aggregate as perhaps the quintessential thing--a person. These “things” aggregate to make families, communities, political parties (tribes), and (if they are lucky) unified nations. Perhaps there is an upper bound represented by some global entity (but why stop there?). In any event, I really like your brief exploration of the ontology of a “shadow"--I will be using that example (with vague attribution “something I saw on the Internet") in my future discussions :) .  I would love to see anything else that you have written on this subject. Perhaps you or someone else reading this could direct to the philosophical literature on this topic. I am interested in complex adaptive systems and understanding the evolution of cooperation. I am looking for formal and maybe, falsifiable examples of what constitutes an entity. John Balwit balwit-at-gmale.com



William Ray on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

To extol a single artist or group of artists as “the greatest” is of course a form of idolatry and separates the artist from the human context, his own and our own insofar as the universal touches the present.  I kind of like the Bob Dylan line, “Each of us has his own special gift, and I believe that this is true, if you don’t underestimate me, I won’t underestimate you.” It is also true that at the beginning of an era or an art form, we see the instinctive epitome of that type, which others are tempted to copy.  Leo Tolstoy was thrilled by seeing a movie.  He thought a new kind of novel could be possible by using the medium.  He didn’t live long enough to try it. But in some ways, all movies have copied the story pattern established right at the beginning.  Originality and Tradition are always dancing.



Bill Benzon on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Jose: It’s complicated, of course. And, while I stuck Shakespeare in the title, it’s not just about Shakespeare. The Stanley Kaufman quote states the issue well enough, in a way, and it doesn’t even mention Shakespeare. History and culture are such that we have been made by the great artists of the past and that is, of course, impossible for any present artist to do. After all, they’ve been made by those same artists. But it’s one thing to recognize that, and another thing to allow that recognition to shade over into a belief that present artists can never ever be as good as the Old Guys. Why not? Have the Old Guys, in principle, given us everything we need from art?



William Ray on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

I don’t follow that jargon or what Francis Ford Coppola has to do with Shakespeare. That is a case of missing identity, with all the circumstantial evidence aligning with Edward de Vere--his life, his writing style, his station, his interests, his learning, his travel, his inner turmoil, his wife, his father-in-law, his autobiography paralleling Hamlet, all that and more, quite specific and verifiable.  And the “lost” plays that are so mysteriously lost weren’t lost at all, simply re-written from his court plays, to which were added the more mature plays, adaptations of early works.  The Sonnets read like a confession and testament of his son’s crisis during the Essex Rebellion aftermath. What kind of testament? To a never-crowned King, shunted out of power in favor of a more pliable person, James VI of Scotland. Why does it matter now? The politically expedient lie at the very beginning of the English nation-state sacrificed the language’s most impressive writer because of his having written the works, told the story, on his class, time, and peers.  That wouldn’t do. Far too honest and tracable. Hence the fabrication that a similarly named figure, William Shakspere, who had been in and out of the author’s life, was made into a sui generis genius.  And I assume you still believe that. And the Big Lie tactic continues as an adjunct of state policy, such as three steel skyscrapers falling from being bumped by two passenger airplanes.



JoseAngel on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Dear Bill: I could agree less with what you say, but not much less. I must admit I’m a bit more on the Bloomian side here. The gist of the issue is that you’re ignoring historical distance. Coppola is great, sure, but he towers (if indeed tower he does) over other practitioners of his art much less (much- much- less) than Shakespeare did on anything early modern. He made lots of things up, as Bloom says, including in part our sensibility. And there is no way we can cut him out and let him drift away because he’s right here on our raft. There is a sense in which he wasn’t as great as people seem to think, ok, and that’s again an issue of historical distance. He’s a classic now, he wasn’t a classic then, but he can’t make himself into a classic without lots of people helping; that’s beyond his means. But now it’s happened and he’s there, and he’s there to stay. No way you’re going to discover his near equivalent, if only because it’s already a fact that people haven’t been pouring such a flood of commentary and attention and performance on anyone else, and that’s lots kilowatts of social energy. Attention now doesn’t hold, it’s Lady Gaga this year and Adele last year, or was it the other way round, but there’s nothing in sight with even a hundredth of Shakespeare’s staying power.



Bill Benzon on: Objects and Graeber's Debt

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Yes, mutual recognition. Now, just how one engineers that across a large group, I’m not sure we can do more than talk around that one.



Bill Benzon on: A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

”. . .  it is after all a neat way of reappropriating them for the aims of the system and the plans of the generals . . . “ Yes. As criminals they have been thrust outside of (legitimate) society. By accempting this mission, however, they can become reintegrated into society. But, as you say, there are restrictions. There are ALWAYS restrictions. But in this situation, they’re glaringly obvious. “Sounds like a pretty dose of authoritarianism and Cold War Era ideology, to me. One can can sense this ambivalence throughout the film.” Yes, there’s a delicate balancing act going on. There’s enough rebellion in there that people can identify with that, if that’s what they want to do. But the legitimate order is never really threatened. The Inglorious Bastards connection is interesting. I hadn’t thought of that. What I had thought of, though, was The Magnificient Seven and, thus, Seven Samurai. The thing about those bands of misfits is that they weren’t part of a larger military organization engaged in a larger war. But now we’ve got a chain going from Seven Samurai to Inglorious Bastards. Sounds like job for a bit of Lévi-Straussian mythologizing.



JoseAngel on: A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

"Dirty Dozen” was “Inglorious Basterds” before “Inglorious Basterds”, although I’m not saying that it can stand comparison with Tarantino, being somewhat more aimless in its narrative drive. There is, more than an anti-authoritarian, an anti-system strain in its apologetic use of criminals and outcasts as heroes, but this cuts both ways: it is after all a neat way of reappropriating them for the aims of the system and the plans of the generals, however maligned they are. And most of the outcasts are treated as free subjects exercising their subjectivity in the one compulsory direction of becoming tools, and accepting the risk of death, and they do die. Sounds like a pretty dose of authoritarianism and Cold War Era ideology, to me. One can can sense this ambivalence throughout the film.



JoseAngel on: Objects and Graeber's Debt

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

I suppose it al boils down to social networks of mutual recognition. Mutual recognition of subjectivity (slaves are our) and of ownership (here you do expect the slave to recognize his own status a something owned, but that is secondary to the mutual recognition between those in power that you do have a right to own slaves, and specifically this one). It is the mutual recognition of property and obligations that makes money, and debt, possible, but that rests on previous protocols for reciprocal recognition and for the making of social identities.



Bill Benzon on: The Sins of Steven Pinker: Or, Let’s Get on with It

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Pinker has created a FAQ about the book & the response to it: http://stevenpinker.com/pages/frequently-asked-questions-about-better-angels-our-nature-why-violence-has-declined



Robert Sheppard on: Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

With regard to Occupy Wall Street books, the novel Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard is already being serialized every week on the website of the Arts & Culture Working Group Occupy Wall Street movement as a contribution to the movement and reading resource for the occupiers, see: http://www.nycga.net/groups/arts-and-culture/forum/topic/introducing-the-new-novel-spiritus-mundi-by-robert-sheppard-featuring-the-occupy-movement-in-support-of-the-cause-and-for-the-enjoyment-of-those-in-the-movement/ This is the Occupy Wall Street novel, Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard. The novel also contains the Occupy Earth Manifesto, a key document of the OWS movement: http://occupytogether.com/forum/discussion/1293/the-occupy-earth-manifesto-from-the-general-assembly-ows-website-a-program-of-demands-#Item_2 The following is an introduction to this first Occupy Wall Street novel: This is to introduce the new novel, Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard, which features the events of the Occupy Movement and the “People’s Power” movement in support of establishing a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. It is reccomended as part of the common struggle. You can check it out at the following websites: Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard For Introduction and Overview of the Novel: https://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/ For Updates on the Upcoming Movie Version of the Novel, Spiritus Mundi & Casting of Actors and Actresses for Leading Roles See: http://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/ For Author’s Blog: https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/ To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/ To Read Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundifantasymythandmagicalrealism.wordpress.com/ To Read Spy, Espionage and Counter-terrorism Thriller Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: http://spiritusmundispyespionagecounterterrorism.wordpress.com/ To Read Geopolitical and World War Three Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundigeopoliticalworldwar3.wordpress.com/ To Read Spiritual and Religious Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundionspiritualityandreligion.wordpress.com/ To Read about the Global Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundiunitednationsparliamentaryassembly.wordpress.com/ To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundi:https://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/ For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycriticism.wordpress.com/ For Discussions of World History and World Civilization in Spiritus Mundi: https://worldhistoryandcivilizationspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/ To Read the Blog of Eva Strong from Spiritus Mundi: https://evasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/ To Read the Blog of Andreas Sarkozy from Spiritus Mundi: http://andreasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/ To Read the Blog of Yoriko Oe from Spiritus Mundi: http://yorikosblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/ To Read the Blog of Robert Sartorius from Spiritus Mundi: http://sartoriusblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/ I write to introduce to your attention the double novel Spiritus Mundi, consisting of Spiritus Mundi, the Novel—Book I, and Spiritus Mundi, the Romance—Book II. Book I’s espionage-terror-political-religious thriller-action criss-crosses the globe from Beijing to London to Washington, Mexico City and Jerusalem presenting a vast panorama of the contemporary international world, including compelling action, deep and realistic characters and surreal adven[...]



John S Wilkins on: Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

To be honest, the bigness is the most interesting question to me. We live now in a time of corporateness - big government, big business and big unions (in Australia, anyway). All these go to form oligarchies. The rest of us are locked into fixed structures and exploited more or less as serfs.



William Ray on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

Time will tell Who has fell And who’s been left behind When you go your way And I go MINE



GeoX on: That Shakespeare Thing

2012-03-18T15:50:00-05:00

No, Dan’s right.  Shakespeare conspiracy theorists are all very, very stupid.