Putting this out there.

It’s just a rant. Don’t read if you’re not in the mood, whoever sorry devil you are, stumbling upon this.

I’m studying Philosophy, and it is a passion. The way of philosophical thinking is universal, fundamental even. It became an ingrained and essential part of what I am. 

Yet I struggle. The more I know, the longer I study - it becomes harder and harder to actually be able to convert all this to some tangible output. I’ve written three paragraphs today, filling a scant page. I threw away dozens of garbage paragraphs in the process.

Writing a paragraph is not so much writing but evading and deleting. Evading traps of formulations I know are not sufficient. Deleting incoherent thoughts and premises leading nowhere. Trimming every piece of fat.

Text should be clear, clean and precise.

Mine isn’t, and I’m only getting worse by getting to know even more mistakes.

I’m desperate. Right now, I don’t know if I will ever be able to just write a paragraph again and not instantly delete it. It’s so frustrating and I’m close to giving up. 

A simple 9 to 5 may look like the dullest thing ever, but it starts to look like a relief. Screw Philosophy! 

No, I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. 

Literary Studies are not Sciences. Seriously, wtf.

”(…) Susan Greenwood writes also as a practitioner: ‘When I first started my doctoral research in the 1990s, I made the decision to study magic from the inside, as a practitioner of magic as well as an anthropologist. (…) Over the years, I have explored various approaches to magic with Western magical practitioners, and I have participated in many witchcraft rituals, trained as a high magician, and worked with shamans’ (Greenwood 2009: 1) In her case, the border between researcher and researched breaks down (…) she wants to build bridges between practitioners and the academic discourse.”

From the editor’s introduction to Greenwood’s contribution to the volume “Defining Magic”.


Errr, what? 


Bars 2013

This is a perfect picture in so many ways. 


Bars 2013

This is a perfect picture in so many ways. 

Idle Expectations: Archaeologists Officially Declare Collective Sigh Over “Paleo Diet”


In a rare display of professional consensus, an international consortium of anthropologists, archaeologists, and molecular biologists have formally released an exasperated sigh over the popularity of the so-called “Paleo Diet” during a two-day conference dedicated to…

Apparently, it seems that this text is actually fake. There are no sources cited, and I can’t find Dr. Hoyes anywhere, nor anything about the conference. 
Plus, among the paleo people I know, most of the arguments don’t even attack something central to the paleo diet. 

I really want something I can trust scientifically here. 

(Source: hells-ditch.com)

Having Unknowable Reasons

Reasons do a lot of things for us humans.

1. “I did it for this reason.” They explain actions. If someone gives you her reason for doing X, she puts her action in context, enabling you to understand why she did it. That’s an explanatory reason.

2. “This reason brought me to do it.” Reasons motivate us to do things. On one quite popular account, we want something and have an accompanying belief which outlines how we get that specific thing. Together, those things can be called a motivating reason.

3. “She’s got a reason to leave the hotel, since it is burning.” Reasons can count in favor of some action a person can do, even if the person herself does not know it yet (probably because she is taking a bath and listening to music). Yet it makes sense to talk like this: Unknown to her, she has a reason to leave the hotel. If she came to know that the hotel is burning, she’d (pretty surely) have a motivating reason, too.

However, here’s the catch. From a third person perspective, a person can have a so called “normative reason” (=something that counts in favor of some action) to leave the burning hotel, yet not have a motivating reason, for example, if she doesn’t know that the hotel is, in fact, on fire.

I get why the distinction exists: At the very least, it preserves an important way of speaking about the perceived reasons of other people regardless of the factual motivational or normative reasons that are present in the other person’s mind. The bathing woman definitely has a reason to leave the hotel (provided she generally enjoys to be alive), yet she is not motivated by it since she does not know of the fire yet. This feels like an accurate description of the whole story.

I struggle with the notion of having reasons without knowing of them, though. There may be a lot of reasons for me to do certain things, but I’m not aware of them since the content of my mind does not match up to the facts that generate these reasons. It’s just weird to talk of me actually *having* these reasons. It may even be the case that I have no way of obtaining the required knowledge. What does it mean for me to have such reasons, then? How are these obscure reasons connected to my motivating reasons?

It may well be only a fight over words. I can accept that thereis a reason forthe woman to leave the hotel immediately, but I can’t accept that she, in fact,has a reason toleave the hotel. Is it simply that the language is vague?

I’ve kept myself well away from commenting on American politics up until this point, but I’m really very fucking sick of it by now so there’s a rant incoming.
[[MORE]]The way you people - ALL of you - are hatemongering and making the other side out to be the devil is absurd. How do you propose people make a well thought-out choice if you spoon-feed them the idea that the other candidate is the absolute WORST and will lead to a veritable apocalypse? Since when does making a choice out of hatred beats making a choice out of common sense?
Maybe it’s because I’m not an American and don’t understand your campaigning strategies, but it seems idiotic to me to go “oh hey the other side is spreading bad rumors about us! LET’S SPREAD BAD RUMOURS ABOUT THEM!”, instead of putting some effort into focussing your campaign on your own positive sides, and, I don’t know, refuting these claims (if at all possible)? Whether deployed by conservatives or liberals, scare tactics are stupid. Period.
And while I do prefer Obama over Romney, I think it’s pathetic that people are making fun of the conservatives who are now voicing their opinion on the internet - because don’t fucking tell me liberals wouldn’t have done the same if Romney had won. This goes beyond the message some of these people are carrying out, by the way, because I also think that wishing someone and his family dead just because you don’t agree with his views is pathetic all the same.
Do unto others, guys.

Idle Expectations:  

I get what you’re saying. I’m not advocating hatemongering (what a word!) in any way. However, the whole fight for Presidency kind of escalated, and under the premise that truth itself becomes obscure due to media coverage and unsubstantiated claims on both sides, no one can abstain from fighting dirty.

Even if one side’s attacks were blunt lies, it would be hard if not impossible for strategies relying on proving their wrongness to take effect. The opponent will simply criticize the data/the correlation/the causal connection. And what to do then?

You fight dirty, since there is no other way to get ground.

Naturally, my point fails if the premise that truth becomes relative (or at least obstructingly hard to see) in these kind of fights is wrong. Yet I think that when a combined six billion dollars are involved, getting to the truth or falsity of a claim becomes a losing proposition compared to just throwing something equally filthy back.

So, I’d claim that this hating on each other, for better or worse, is necessitated by the very nature of the fight. If you try and play the good guy defending himself and trying to rely on truth, logic and honesty, you lose.