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View Diary: Kos On "Real Time with Bill Maher" (306 comments)

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  •  Alan Watts (5+ / 0-)

    Was a ridiculously intelligent, brilliant person.

    And, as Monty Python might say, quite a bugger for the bottle.

    I think the point to make is how can they, as intelligent people, do that to themselves knowing the consequences?  

    The answer - even the smartest among us are not infallible or beyond human weakness.

    •  As Bad as Heroin (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      molls, Nulwee, Monique Radevu

      Intelligence + bad upbringing + bad genes equals Robert Downy or Hitchens or Thomas Mann. A terminal illness that touches most families.

      It's a tragic thing, but some people are just unstoppable. It's tragic and they want to stop, but so often it is a terminal illness. It's just as bad as heroin.

      I don't see how people can be smug about this when if they think real hard about their extended family, even the most sober clans have a couple people that were killed by alcohol.  

    •  Mind if we call you Bruce then? Save confusion... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jaywillie, SheriffBart

      Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
      Who was very rarely stable.
      Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
      Who could think you under the table.

      David Hume could out-consume
      Schopenhauer and Hegel,
      & Wittgenstein was a beery swine
      Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

      There's nothing Nietzche couldn't teach ya
      'Bout the raising of the wrist.
      Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed.

      John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
      On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
      Plato, they say, could stick it away--
      Half a crate of whiskey every day.

      Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle.
      Hobbes was fond of his dram,
      & Rene Descartes was a drunken fart.
      'I drink, therefore I am.'

      Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed,
      A lovely little thinker,
      But a bugger when he's pissed!

      "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

      by Monique Radevu on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 11:36:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Funny thing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Monique Radevu

        Though he is he architect of fascism, Socrates was apparently very lovable when drunk... Probably because he held his liquor better than his peers.

        fancy that...

        •  naw, PLATO is the one to point to; (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bernardpliers

          embittered by Athens' wildly disportionate vengeance on his beloved teacher, Plato's "The Laws" are a model of authoritarianism.
          Karl Popper, for all his faults (cf. Kaufmann) was correct to begin his survey "The Open Society & its Enemies" with a volume contemplating Plato poisoned legacy.

          Leo Strauss, seminal influence for the neo-cons, seems to have considered himself Plato's true heir;

          while JS Mill leads to Isaiah Berlin, who had no good words for Strauss.

          I will try to do what fraction I can, led by what I learn from Berlin.

          "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

          by Monique Radevu on Fri Aug 25, 2006 at 11:58:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Shit, see Crito (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Monique Radevu

            See Phaedo,

            See Protagoras...

            See Apologia.

            See the Republic and the 7th letter,
            and Symposion and Parmenides.

            See Timaeus.

            While Socrates may not be the culprit,
            He was not the Sohpist of Aristophanes.

            What is virtue in virtue of itself?

            What is it with respect to the principles?

            At least Aristotle believed in embodiment...

            Then again, so did Heidegger,
            Who's Sein I can't invoke
            without breaking Godwin's law. :)

            •  holy shit- what have i missed? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Monique Radevu

              terms may be used, but are none of them absolute

              time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

              by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 12:51:55 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  we agree Heidegger is despicable. (0+ / 0-)

              We both should stipulate ... that Socrates is unknowable save through Plato's colored portrait. We DO know Plato's Socrates isn't recognisable in Xenophon or others (X. not even slightly in Plato's league as a literary artist, but his Socrates is SO different it makes unavoidable questions about the degree that Plato parades his own ideas behind the mask of Socratic exegesis)...& of course the Aristophanic Socrates is satire's butt; comedy is no earnest mirror.

              The Laws is the darkest, most fascist; Socrates is absent & I am certain bitter tears have hardened Plato's contempt for the masses.

              "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

              by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 12:52:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A good classics friend of mine (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Monique Radevu

                conspired in Grad school along the along lines...

                Socrates wasn't actually a Sophist. He specifically trained the Aristocracy, against what he saw at the Agora. He brought them to the Agora to face the Meno's, the Glaucon's, the Thrasymachus', and the Protagoras'. And he taught them to equivocate, like the best of our politicians.

                To ask for things they would then weave into their own twisted version of truth.

                To stab to death the true menaing of the words
                and ressurect their undead.

                Equivocation began with Socrates - whatever version you play. The 7:30 and the 9:30 shows, are indeed the same.

                •  not sure of any of that, quite speculative... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  lucid

                  But I DID mean to include the rather obvious "If Xenophon was a stilted/graceless writer, that still ought not suggest he wasn't a keen observer of humanity & bold leader. We only need to know of the extraordinary difficulties of the Anabasis (the Expedition of the Ten Thousand) to be certain of his special genius."

                  So I believe his insights can't be knocked out of court, they must be weighed in evidence. Socrates clearly was not exactly as Plato paints.

                  "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

                  by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 01:57:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  i'm just going to step in here (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    lucid, Monique Radevu

                    and also add that plato's depictions of the sophists were also, clearly, deliberately distorted. their arguments are uniformly shallow and logically flawed- straw men. he was not trying to elucidate through debate, but to advocate. and nothing more than the concept that there are comprehensible absolute truths. it is a bee-line from him to newton to those still struggling to find a unified field theory.

                    and i'll add a touch of leguin, from "lathe of heaven": no matter how we strive to rationally order a more just society, there will always be irrational, unknowable forces that skew our attempts, often undermining them.

                    as former head of the forest service jack ward thomas put it:

                    An ecosystem... is not only more complicated than we think, it is more complicated than we can think.

                    time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

                    by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 02:17:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  yes it is quite speculative (0+ / 0-)

                    but it jives with the same question he asks over and over:

                    'what is 'the alsdkfj' in virtue of itself...

                    that is the constant.

                    The thing in virtue of itself.

                    That is exactly what Kant brackets in the First Critique as being unanswerable by reason.

                    'things in themselves', that which is 'in virtue of itself'.

                    It is not a question of knowledge.

                    It can be a question of will, or art, or subjective imagination...

                    And that is the difference between the idea of democracy and aristocratic rule. Aristocracy envisions the 'thing in itself', democracy envisions our shared knowledge.

                    But there is still plenty of room in Democracy for 'hell raising', after all, Kant described the First Crtique as opening the world for faith...

                    And seeing as how I have serious issues with he 'Third Critique', I'll take the space left by the 'First' and run with it.

                    •  ashbery (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Monique Radevu

                      The secret is too plain. The pity of it smarts,
                      Makes hot tears spurt: that the soul is not a soul,
                      Has no secret, is small, and it fits
                      Its hollow perfectly: its room, our moment of attention.

                      "thing in itself": a pleonasm.

                      time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

                      by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 03:17:08 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Bar pleonasms & metaphysics be toast! (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lucid, Turkana

                        Oddly, the basic ideas of a philosopher are usually not too complex - the fuzzy fog rolls in due to the dizzying efforts to anticipate all challenges to those basic ideas; add in the unnecessary difficulties some thinkers spackle on thickly, suspicious of art, of clear language. Nietzsche a truly gifted writer, makes mock of this thickness, this unwillingness to let words & thought dance, to live.

                        Hegel seems the Great Uncommunicator, most crabbed & incoherent of major thinkers, while Derrida, suspicious of rationality, places one obstacle to it after another, carelessly building an edifice of Escherian paradox. But we reach the perverted pinnacle in Leo Strauss, feigning humility while proudly praising his 'difficulty' & taking great pains to write badly as though it were Virtue itself to do so.

                        "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

                        by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 04:08:02 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  and that, my dear mon (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          lucid, Monique Radevu

                          is why i prefer poetry. of course, derrida's obstacles weren't intended to resolve in some grand new schematic- they were what they were. kant & hegel both took the game out about as far as it could be, which is why nietzsche and wittgenstein then became inevitable. and for intentional obscurity, no one beats lacan- except when he beats his own sad self... i've not read strauss, but he sounds like another i'd find myself wondering about- as in why anyone cared!

                          time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

                          by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 04:15:47 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  But Berlin, Mill, Nietzsche are all a pleasure (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lucid, Turkana

                            to read - mustn't leave a bad impression for others, that philosophers are some dead end when really this is the constant rebirth of our possibility. All must wrestle with big issues - ethics are a daily concern for anyone alive... & we all have late night thoughts about ultimate matters. How magnificent to find that others have explored the labyrinth too & offer some light in the darkness...& some caution against mirages of an easy fix, a false answer that stifles inconvenient questions, that stifles independence & sprit.

                            Nietzsche's poems alone would be enough to win him readers for centuries. Voltaire, & Sartre at his best, wrote with a passionate wit that perfectly delivers the idea pulsing inside it. John Mill, Bertrand Russell, George Santayana, Isaiah Berlin sparkle, provoke. I just picked up an anthology of new Canadian philosophy & am getting a great kick out of John Dixon, Mark Kingwell, John Russell & Andrew Irvine on obscenity & censorship, terrorism, tyranny, racism - our daily diet at dKos!

                            "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

                            by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 05:05:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  and i still read some (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lucid

                            and i would add foucault- always chipping away at society's edges to provide a fresh perspective on how we self-define- and always in clean, fresh prose. but the quest for the big answers will not be found in the written word- the literalists everywhere deluded, if not dangerous. and it can be a challenge- fanon, for one, always pokes me in the ribs- my fundamental pacifism finding no adequate response to his proposed existential necessity for the colonized and subjugated. serequeberhan also raises questions that my life-experience makes me incapable of answering. but on the big questions- and the massive mental constructs they inspire- it still all comes down to the tao- and emma goldman. if i were inclined to pursue structure for the pure fascination with structure itself, i'd opt for mathematics, which, in its own ways, at its higher levels, gets rather artistic, if not psychedelic. otherwise, i'd rather dance. why waste time on hegel's obtuse labyrinth when it's so much more fun to read a borges story about labyrinths? why slog through deleuze (whom, pathetically, i haven't given up on- in deference to a step-brother- but need take breaks from, lest my brain turn to sludge- as he takes hundreds of pages to explicate what could be in a few dozen!) when there are so many beautiful writers? if it's all literature- which was the essence of derrida's argument- then why waste time on obscurantists? i do it- more out of ego than anything else- to buttress my own biases- but my spirit and brain seem to grow so much more when the language and meaning have music. simply put- a volume of mary oliver is so much more satisfying than anything penned by plato, descartes, kant, etc. and i do make exceptions for the rare philosophers whose literature was literature...

                            Something like living occurs, a movement
                            Out of the dream into its codification.
                                                  -ashbery

                            time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

                            by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 12:00:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  Do Fascists write in code ? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          lucid, Monique Radevu

                          This whole dialectic thing is confusing, and then there is this tradition that the Contitution and Federalist Papers mean the opposite of what they say.

                          But we reach the perverted pinnacle in Leo Strauss, feigning humility while proudly praising his 'difficulty' & taking great pains to write badly as though it were Virtue itself to do so.

                          His protege, Alan Bloom, in "Closing of the American Mind" argues that we have fallen into moral relativism because of multiculturalism. So although he calls his book the "Closing of the American Mind" he is really argueing that it has become too open and that our culture is meant to be isolated and self sufficient. The the neocons somehow decided this was also military strategy and decided to export the culture.

                          •  This is exciting- I want to give a full (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            lucid

                            reply - this goes to the heart of a number of fascinating issues but timing is against me; I went to bed FINALLY just before you posted it at 6 am Pacific time, & now when I spot this, I have to be out the door in 5 minutes for lunch at a restaurant.
                            Totally annoying! Man of Pliers you have the tiger by the tail here. I'll be back as Ahnold the Terminator warned. like General MacArthur I shall return!
                            Sir Isaiah Berlin was very impatient/scornful with Strauss (& by extension his protege Allan Bloom- it's two 'll's & no relation to Harold Bloom) & the Straussian nonsense that there were 'secret teachings' in the writings of the ancient masters, esp. Plato & that one somehow needed a "magic eye" to discern the mystic secrets that only the elite (Plato's "Men of Gold") could be trusted to properly understand & possess.
                            Berlin mockingly called this a need for a "Magic Eye" & pointed to some obviously self-serving flaws in the whole approach.

                            "Stop blogging Mon!" "Yes mom!"

                            Later !!
                            (see if you can find Harper's June 2004 - article blasting Strauss & his American neo-con followers - Irving & William Kristol, Perle, Wolfowitz, Fukuyama, Allan Bloom etc)

                            "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

                            by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 11:41:00 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  i find meaning (0+ / 0-)

                            hidden in the pattern tea leaves.

                            time forks perpetually toward innumerable futures - borges

                            by Laurence Lewis on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 12:37:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Please diary your thoughts regards Strauss (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Monique Radevu

                            I believe there is a Strauss tag

                            Check out this post regards Strauss and Popper

                            http://www.dailykos.com/...

                            Last Sat night on Fox they mentioned how much George Sorros likes Popper. Fox mentioned Popper! What alternate universe did I wake up in?

                            Anyway, I've got to go. I burned the living piss out of my hand today, and I'm going to take some industrial strength painkillers and bourbon.

                            Oh props for the Myrna Loy reference!

                          •  Soros studied phil. w Popper at LonSchEconomics (0+ / 0-)

                            "An economist is someone who, if you have forgotten a telephone number, will estimate it for you."
                            -Frank Morton

                            love that quote, the kind that gets stuck in the old peabrain...

                            Stop doing bad things to your hand! I can't stress that enough; hope you have a full recovery soon - & enjoy the bourbon & branchwater (my own comfort & refuge runs to champagne & Italian ice cream ...*sigh, french birds are pretty high maintenance)

                            Thank you so much for your encouragement! I really enjoy posting here but every now & then I get screamed at for 'pretenseness' ... that seems to be the word they're trying to spell. I'll try from now on, to not be early with my tenseness.

                            One reason I hesitate to do any diaries ... I know the idiots will show up.

                            I've posted lengthy comments on Leo Strauss before, Gyorgy Soros & Karl Popper too ... but the phil. diary of choice would be Isaiah Berlin. I can hear the echoing silence already ... which is a shame; he's such an entertaining writer, the kind who instructs painlessly & leaves you feeling delighted in life & smiling cheerfully at strangers.

                            In the surprising range of his interests (opera, Russian poets, Vico) he's a match for the late Edward Said - the Jew & the Palestinian...

                            "There ought to be a law against any man who doesn't want to marry Myrna Loy". - Brigadier-Gen. JM Stewart, noted Republican, also in a few films

                            by Monique Radevu on Sat Aug 26, 2006 at 08:23:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  In defense of Hegel (0+ / 0-)

                          I actually find Hegel's thought incredibly cogent & his writing inspiring. The grafting of Aristotelian causality onto the Kantian project to create an historical philosophy & the biologistic tool of dialectic to unfold that history is nothing short of brilliant in my book. His was a valiant stab at breathing life into reason & his insights into the history of philosophy are more profound in my opinion than just about anyone else [with the possible exception of Nietzsche].

                          Where he failed, however, was in Philosophy of Right, by ushering in Plato's embodied good through the back door in the form of the actualized state. If he'd stopped at Phenomenology or Logic, I would be satisfied, as both contain somewhat open ended dialectics - a final cause that is always deferred. Interestingly enough though, it is from this failure that Marx emerges. Starting from the theory of corporations, Marx goes on to envision a stateless end of history, an actualized anarchy of reason that I find appealling, despite its utopianism - as I always used to say, 'the revolution won't come until we invent the replicator'.

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