5.11.2016

From a Truck Stop

Ticonderoga, NY

4. Legibility takes an equational structure. As an accounting technology the debits must be equal to the credits. With the balance sheet the concept of BALANCE in life is originated. A life lived according to the golden mean is not simply the good life, but good accounting.

5. Legibility begins with naming and then is extended structurally in the form of equations and arguments. Philosophical disagreement has historically taken two forms: a disagreement over what has been made legible (the named), and/or a disagreement over the equational argument built upon what has been made legible. 

6. The project of what to name is determined by a man's objectives and biases. A man of fiat profit will name to increase his bank accounts and to justify the state's protection. Whereas the philosopher will name according to his biases, his instincts, perhaps some unknown power speaking through him.

38. The Unabomber's Manifesto is a beautiful work of mathematics, a work of philosophy made by a talented mathemetician. It is hard to disagree with its equational logic. But what has been named, and what has been left unnamed and unequated, is open to disagreement. An equation may itself be perfect, but a disagreement with how X, Y, and Z have been defined is always personal.

56. There are two movements in the scientific project of legibility: (1) finding the smallest, tiniest building block of the world and naming it; and (2) finding the most general, expansive argument/equation to make the world reasonable and completely understood. Both tendencies of legibility disregard the middle, the local, the small group, the family, the tribe, the understanding of men of a particular place and time. 

57. Man lives neither at the most essential nor the most general. He lives, even when blinded by the logic of the state and corporation, inseparable from a specific place and a time, from blood and its lineage. Legible language and  its argument draws man into inhospitable, inhuman places. The global competition of fiat; the competition of worldly fame and other competitions. The equational logic of legibility leads him to develop the world and himself into ugliness and unhappiness. 

60. Science performs best locally. Men and their forms of life function best locally. Yet strangely philosophers, statists, and scientists neglect the local, and are even contemptuous of it. The languages of specific and isolated forms of life are disregarded and soon destroyed. 

69. Philosophy's task (it it can have one) is to interrogate legibilities; to show how the project of making legible fails and its unintended consequences;  to question why a name has been given, to expose the objectives and biases behind the naming; the failure of the equations and arguments constructed upon the names. Philosophy's rightful task is with making the world less legible, protecting the local, protecting its silence. 

77. LW demonstrated this was possible for philosophy: he showed where legibility failed and could not go; his work was a defense of hidden transcripts; a rebuke to those global corporate and state powers that would make of man an economic individual, subject to a global accounting. 

81. As long as there are men, there will be hidden transcripts. 

85. The proper end of philosophy is not silence, but silent prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Such an important message - truths need not be universally true to be important or worth understanding. Scientists and philosophers spend so much energy disproving or proving things that might not matter (i.e. the tiny and the universal), with a vast expanse in the middle ignored. Great stuff here. God.

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