to blog or not to blog or to notblog-blog

…am not much moved by current events… almost everything I’ve written over the last few weeks has had no particular peg to “what’s happening in the world” beyond the fact that it happened to be what I happened to be writing… so I haven’t been posting it…I’m not sure I believe much these days in the importance of being current…  It may be at least as important not to be current… from time to time…   I think that, and that’s where I’ve been finding myself going.  Sometimes, if there’s much of a “now” to an (intended) blog inspiration at all, by the time I’m through with it, it’s the longer and vaguer now…at nowest..

I had the idea ferinstance that the WikiLeaks story fit nicely into a Theory of the Internet that I’ve been thinking about… this invention whose origins were in military research 40-some years ago now represents and actively facilitates the undermining of that same order of things that gave birth to it… how that fact has something to do with this double nature of the American idea that I’ve also been thinking about all year… which in turn relates to phases of world history, and brought to mind a to me very striking passage from The Philosophy of Right that we’ve discussed before, at the time in relation to military service, but that also spoke to the gun as an expression, and objectification, or an alteration in human relations…  implicitly how the gun (musket, cannon) was a weapon of the nation-state, not just in the sense that it was employed by the armies of nation-states and determined how they fought, but that its uses, its possibilities, both typified and enforced the particular social structures of the “modern” European way of life, and also shaped the most significant and important experiences of the human beings who lived and died and killed and were most highly honored within nation-states…

…and, well, the internet is only one invention among others, but only a handful of others, that I argue typify the transition from national to global history… … and by the time I’m done with the essay, WikiLeaks is just the unnamed inspiration for a phrase in a series of phrases… and you know there were a lot of other things I could have been doing with the time and thought I was pouring into this unpublishable and determinedly uninterested essay…

In Russian there are two “nows”… I don’t recall the exact transliteration rules, but I seem to recall that there are “sey-tchas,” right now, and “tepyer,” generally now.  In Spanish there’s “ahora” and little “ahorita.” In English we can say “right now” or “now” or we can say “these days” or we can say “in these times,” but by the time we’ve reached “in these times,” are we still in blog time?

To make matters worse, I’ve been writing on the kind of subjects that academics normally work on, except that it’s my impression that academics don’t write on them the way that I’m writing on them. Extremely useless stuff!

Now I could write about what’s going on in my life –  canine and human difficulties, a writing project, an editing project, an Xmas season I’m not participating in, yard work and other housework I’m not doing… exciting stuff… too damn exciting for a blog…

I think I’m going to have to get the useless and untimely pieces out of my system, though in the back of my mind there’s still an idea of somehow moving from the untimely, or through the untimely, to the present time again, to something that bears on right now or will bear on later right nows… or at least on some future tepyer.   If I can somehow think my way to useful perspectives… lay an intellectual groundwork or finish moving some debris out of the way…

I’ve created a category called “philosophy” and another category called “writing” – the latter was mainly for bob, but I invite you all to use it. I think I’ll change the default category on the blog to “writing,” since you lazy so-and-so’s often don’t pick any category at all, and so we get bob’s beaver pond under “Politics.”   For all I know, that amuses bob, or maybe bob thinks his beaver pond is pretty darn political… But I changed it, as I usually do…  (Also created a “Yoga” category for Scott.  Betcha his posts end up in “Writing” though, even when they’re all about yoga.)

I still think a blog has to be current, but I’m thinking we’ve already started widening the definition of “current,” while letting the RecBrow handled a big part of the “current” load.  So maybe I’m just catching on to how y’all want things to be…

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution.

23 comments on “to blog or not to blog or to notblog-blog

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  1. Just geting the post up takes a lot of focus, so I forget about the category and tags until after it’s up and then yes laziness kicks in altho the politics category does amuse me and yes I do see the pond as political too.

    The political part apart from global warming ecology et al has to do with the Obect Oriented Ontology sites I’ve linked to a couple of times. That’s what the Flat refers to.

    Anyway, timely/untimely. I’ve found myself in a similar place minus the gobal history thing. But I find Rec Bro pretty unsatisfying for the current part.

  2. bob wrote:

    But I find Rec Bro pretty unsatisfying for the current part.

    Ach, you know how sensitive I am to any whiff of complaint. Are you saying you miss the political play-by-play and color commentary?

  3. @ CK MacLeod:

    Well yeah.

    But fuster’s comment got me to thinking about “on to how y’all want things to be…”

    Up to a point, that’s fine. But if that’s your basic approach, well…

    The question seems to me to be how do you want things to be.

  4. @ bob:
    I want to be happy
    But I won’t be happy
    Till I make you happy too.

    Also, before indulging in an act – succumbing to vice, encouraging a decadence – that I have previously asked or even instructed others not to indulge in, I think I otter confess, give fair warning, pay honor to virtue, lest all the walls come tumbling down and we are blasted into voidy randomness never to return.

    But also I want to look at the process. I was serious about a path to a path. In my own mind, I’ve blasted apart my own inadequate framework, my wrong set of “elements of a philosophy of right” that previously allowed me to situate myself, if somewhat uneasily, on the political right, working from the implicit assumptions of “conservative blogging.” It would be easy to say that I don’t need a framework, and can and should just “write anything,” but that’s like saying you should just write in any language that happens to appeal to you, or just type freely and expect others to put the letters together. We’re always in the middle of the thing, moving from somewhere to anotherwhere, and only ever seeking to describe that movement. If we were entirely in the priorwhere or the nextwhere we would be unintelligible even to ourselves.

  5. @ CK MacLeod:

    We’re always in the middle of the thing, moving from somewhere to anotherwhere, and only ever seeking to describe that movement. If we were entirely in the priorwhere or the nextwhere we would be unintelligible even to ourselves.

    “There’s no there there.” Gertrude Stein Geographical History of America

  6. bob wrote:

    We’re always in the middle of the thing, moving from somewhere to anotherwhere, and only ever seeking to describe that movement. If we were entirely in the priorwhere or the nextwhere we would be unintelligible even to ourselves.
    “There’s no there there.” Gertrude Stein Geographical History of America

    bob wrote:

    bob wrote:
    @ CK MacLeod:</blockquote
    There, there, fellas.

  7. Also, here’s a new low in respect to our laziness. Instead of writing a new post, I’m going to put one here. It has the advantage of being buried in a mostly dead comment hole and will hopefully hurt Fuster’s feeling less that way.
    Lee Ving was the lead singer of Black Flag, I think it was. To put a Black Flag video here I’ll have to, I don’t know, break the blog. That would be very punk.

  8. @ fuster:
    Okay. But I was hoping the Lee Ving video would help you get over Cliff. So Lee Ving is the collective Yankee yelling at Cliff Lee, “I don’t care about you! Fuck you!”

  9. @ Scott Miller: I’m going to be…OK, Scott.

    Lee would have been a good addition, but we don’t need every bon-bon in the box.
    I’ll be quite happy if Pettitte and Kerry Wood re-sign and we return the same team with a few additions coming from our minor leaguers.

  10. @ fuster:
    I feel the same way about the Giants. Critics are saying they should be more active in the free-agent market, but I think that would be like saying, “We just got lucky winning the World Series.” It would be an insult to the players to act as if the team wasn’t good enough as is. Even if it isn’t, the right message is being sent. I love the fact that the Giants beat Holliday, Oswalt, and Lee in the playoffs. They don’t scare us.

  11. @ Scott Miller:
    The Giants played great ball and they went about things correctly. They developed the core of their team, pitchers and catcher in a pitchers’ park, and picked up players to goose the offense.

    The Phillies have adjusted their roster, electing to shed offense and spend for more pitching, to match the Giants’ strength.

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TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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