Thursday, May 10, 2007

End of the School Year

The school year is coming to a close and I have a headache. That headache means quite a bit. I am getting tired of school. I am getting tired of schoolwork and I am getting tired of my head hurting because I haven't worn my glasses all day. The meanings behind it are quite immense.
But more importantly I am sick of the school system and the ideas behind school and everything attached to what it means. I don't want to be a functioning capitalist citizen. But it's getting harder and harder to hold control.
Lately I have been reading blogs about finance and financial control and it's kind of fun to keep track almost as a sort of game. But I find myself falling victem to a fiscal machine.
Recently I read about creating and organizing co-ops and I would really appreciate and love doing that. We will see.
This brings me to the next point I want to discuss: I am sick of the lack of activism in Eau Claire. I want to see it grow and be a powerful thing that everyone knows and understands and sees as necessary. But those are some intense goals. This means that I will have to truly focus. I intend to use this summer without school work to get involved and start organizing such things. Eventually, I would like to see the next lease I sign be one for a cooperative with people that are willing to combine and work together. We will see if this happens, but it is certainly I goal that I have.
On another note, I have been working on the hopefully new flipside website. I am not even the webmaster but I really want to see this happen. It will make editing and even publishing our issues easier and more involved with the internet.
Otherwise, I am off. I think that I can get my glasses and get cleaned up after a day of volleyball, soccer and a lot of heat.

Monday, March 26, 2007

New Left Network Created

I found a social networking site that is open-source and free to use. You might be thinking "all social networking sites I have seen have been free to use." But I would argue that there is still a certain amount of corporate connection to the site you use as these sites are created, backed and served by financially-oriented corporations.

Anyways, this site, called The People Aggregator, is open for anyone to create a network that can connect many people.

I have created a network that is called the New Left Network which I hope will connect people around a New Left movement. Whether they be anarchists, anti-globalizationists, pareconists, or any of the other movements spreading in this new century, I hope that the New Left Network becomes a communication hub for ideas and for supporting and promoting activism.

So I invite anyone who reads this to come join in the discussion about what a New Left Movement would be in this century and how we can all work together to make it possible.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Blogging and Not Blogging

Well It seems that I lack the ability to post on a regular basis. I think that it is pretty normal for ADD kids to start things and then never finish them. This blog has always been on my mind, I hope that at some point I will continue this blog and in fact I plan on doing it. I just need to get control of myself as a person first.

For instance, I seemingly spent an entire break doing nothing. I mean nothing useful for myself and my stress-levels. Sad that in this day-and-age we consider ourselves and our being in terms of how much stress we have. Though I am sure that this has never really been any other way even if as a society we continually diagnose ourselves with countless syndromes and disorders so that we can manage in a world fixated on efficient functionality.

I for one don't want to consider myself as an "efficient functioning member of society." I would rather be a friend, a lover, a community member than anything materially-oriented or efficiency-oriented. But what can we do, right? This is where we are in this world and this is what we must function as.

Though I find myself constantly searching for some better world and some better place and time. I often wonder to what extent this world is my imagined world and that other imagined worlds are others imagined worlds and nothing more. That we imagine better times and we idealize great things but these are personal and subjective visions. This is a fairly postmodern analysis of life. And in that I am glad I can actually find consolation that there are people out there who attempt to synthesize a postmodern miscommunicative vision with an idealist and community-oriented vision.

But away from that philosophical rant, I still must bunker down and understand myself. Through the recent annals of a friends use of psychology, I myself will venture into the world of psychoanalysis and I hope to find someone and/or something that can help me.

In some sense this is a cop-out to my being. I have always been against medicine for fear of losing my personality. Though recently I have decided that my personality will not go with the use of psychoactive drugs even if the rough edges will be smoothed out a bit.

But whatever happens, I think I need to do this, because where I am right now--though I found a wonderful girlfriend, who I love very much--is a place that is stressful and is pressuring me to act and organize in a capitalist world. As much as I despise that vision for our world I must be able to act within it if I am to gain numbers in any cause that I wish to support and work with. Anarchists still organize and leftists still organize and they understand that to gain numbers we must work with the capitalist schedule until that schedule can be finally broken down.

Again I find myself lost within thoughts. But I consider this message a goodbye to the rant-driven quirk-filled mind jaunts and hello to hopefully a more focused a refined drive that can help me fulfill the many goals that I have attained while anarchically jaunting through the forest of my own mind. My vision of freedom and liberty is nothing without a focused response through activism and hard work.

Adieu and cheers to all! Hopefully my adventure will bear the fruit of focused visioning!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

National Slander

The U.S. has consistently slandered Venezuela's democracy and called it a nationalist fascist regime. But realistically this is far from the truth. The beautiful thing about what has been going on lately is that corporate interest is greatly enjoying the stability of Venezuela's oil industry. But our Secretary Rice has again defamed Venezuela's reputation in a bout of slander that is criminal.

Read for the scoop on U.S slander and the real Venezuelan picture. This stuff really gets you riled up.

For now, I am off to work on the Flipside. Hopefully we will get this issue done soon! I don't think I will have an article in this issue, but it will definitely have one for the next issue.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Late Night Discussions

Jennie, Matej, and I had an intense discussion last night about our lives and about what we want to do with them and what, if anything, is the ultimate purpose of each of us. A lot of the times I feel like I have no real purpose in life and that I am useless like all of humankind. This comes from the fact that, at least right now in my life, I feel like nothing really has meaning and that there really is no reason to fight for anything. The reason this really irks me so is that my life goal has always been, in some way, to help the human race. Or to bring something to the forefront. Well this nihilistic approach that I have developed really doesn't accent my life goal very well and I am left with this feeling of total emptiness.
But the discussion we had last night helped a lot. It really got me thinking about what it means to be an acceptable person, or what it means to realize your full potential as humans. So Matej and I pulled out a doctrine--each of us in our own way--that kind of matches what we are talking about. Matej has this idea of fundamentally viewing human interactions and recognizing the many layers of communication and that nihilism is a base core but that so much builds off of that.
I find that idea definitely concurrent with my own perception of what really is the case here. I defined a dialectic that I think is a proponent of all of being. In fact I am coming to the initial conclusions of Kant but I really don't like that he passed on through, trying to trudge on out into reason. As if he failed to see one of the dialectics, the one that is at the core of his entire theory, that between reason and areason (nihil).
In some senses, the battles of philosophy have, for generations, always been about fighting rationalism versus materialism. Rationalism holds that the mind is the most important facet of our existence and from it all can originate. Kant extended on this viewpoint with his slightly twisted form of idealism (perception and cognition are constant interactions between our perceptual schema and the objects themselves of which we have no access other than what squeezes through the schema). Materialism was built off of empirical beliefs that center on the constancy of matter and nature. This battle still rages to this day--though in highly focused areas mostly. The existential philosophy of Europe still builds off of a deep rationalism. The analytic philosophy still builds off of foundations of matter and material psychology, etc..
But these two strands of philosophy, as dialectical as they are and can be, are not the ultimate dialectic of which we can philosophize about. There is a metaphilosophy of which Matej and I were discussing last night. The idea that there are two forces within us that push us towards belief on one side (we called this the Egoist side) and that push us towards non-belief on the other side (We called this the nihilist side). I would argue, as well as Nietzsche--of which I think much of this resembles--, that we need to have a proper mix of both in order to prosper. I say 'prosper' because I consider this just as much a descriptive analysis of the crises of philosophy but also as a way of attaining prosperity in a mental/philosophical/existential sense.

For now, I will leave it at that. Ponder these thoughts if you will. I have schoolwork.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Synthesis in Language

Earlier today I was walking into the library and I overheard a discussion which I will paraphrase for you. Three individuals were talking about how two of the group had bad knees but they still wanted to compete in some form of physical activity. One of them proposes that they do a three-legged race and they all chuckle a little. Then she decides it would be interesting to extrapolate on this and begins to talk about how they should make the two bad knees in the center so that they have two good legs; also noting that “two weak legs [in the middle] make one strong leg.” This is the most important aspect of their conversation. She carefully noted that the situation seemed incredibly advantageous to the other two for the fact that adding two weak legs makes a strong leg.
The problem with this assumption is that it builds off of notions within language that have become skewed between mathematical synthesis and language skills. The individual in my example was proclaiming that it would be totally fine because two weak legs added together get you a strong leg. This is a concept that we gained from math, but it is also an attitude built on causal relationships. The problem with this causal relationship is that throughout nature it isn’t always proved accurate. The concept of weak, if involving two things, synthesized together could gain you a bigger weak thing, a strong thing (as is believed in the example), as well as even the destruction of the two things. There are even more possibilities dependant on the situation. But the important thing to note is that language really has no bearing on whether or not the two qualities of weak will join together and become a strong concept. If you look at a spectrum of qualitative statements, one could find that “weak” is on one end and “strong” is on another end, but the spectrum nor any language concept allows you to deem whether or not the quantities of weak statements can create strong statements. An incredibly large amount of weak minded individuals will fall just as easily to mind control than just two or three weak individuals.
The ultimate question that needs to be asked in this situation then is where does math fit into all this. This, as well as the points I am drawing on already are, as far as I am told (I haven’t read anything by this man yet), extensively written about by Immanuel Kant. Kant believes that there is a different between a mathematical concept and a language-based concept.
The notions that society holds towards addition are most likely drawn from the heavy use of math on a daily basis to do all of the simple things. Interestingly enough, we add, count, subtract, and do simple measurements regularly and it eventually has become so deeply rooted in our culture that it could be argued that it is the foundation of modern causality.
Hume had an excellent point in arguing that causality lacks any foundation in real knowledge, or knowledge of the supposed causal situation. Many have scoffed at his belief and argued how far from “common sense” it really was. But if you really think about what he is saying, “common sense” doesn’t seem to be the right term for him.
When people think of “common sense” they think of the popular way of thinking, or the popular belief on a particular issue. A popular idea that is widespread in a population (strong or weak….) will undoubtedly scoff at anything new that comes along. Such was what happened with Galileo, Da Vinci, as well as many other minds presenting new thoughts/creations to the world. A group of people had an idea for the ‘personal computer’ they brought it to a major company that scoffed at the individuals noting that it would never catch on and would never be anything big, those individuals went on to create the Macintosh computer and soon grew immensely rich. The company that thought the idea was horrible was Hewlett-Packard, a move that, undoubtedly, they regret to this day. HP serves as a perfect example of this common sensical attitude we have towards ideas and towards thoughts. It really is centered on an instinctual feeling of security that all human beings would prefer over a chaotic state. Chaotic states mean that the brain and the body must to work harder to stay involved, and if this is a constant thing, it becomes difficult and taxing on the body. So we, as human tend towards routines and attributes that remain constant. This attitude stems into preferring the “common” things as they are, technically speaking, common. Hence the term “common sense” applies to beliefs that seem to be the easiest, fastest, understandable, etc, concept that could be applied.
So we see these new ideas that people bring to the mass population and the ideas are shot down, preferring those views that they have accepted for years, whether or not they are thinking about security, it is a subconscious process that pigeonholes the ideas.
Now that we understand that human nature is coded, currently, to default to perspectives that are common or currently accepted and considered rational. What is interesting about this is that it seems completely strange to call Hume a common sense philosopher based on the idea of “common sense” as described above.
So the ultimate question then becomes, if causality is an assumption we create, is math an assumption we create? Or is math a representation of reality in a different form, and where do the relationships that it has come from?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


Today I had an epistemology class and I was stricken by a few things in that class. One of them being that the teacher can go on endlessly talking about tangents, something that I would agree is a lot of fun. But I think that it could be representative of a core facet of philosophy that is extremely strange.

We are currently discussing some attributes of Hume, Berkeley, and Reid. Talking, specifically, on their positions in regards to perception, most of them referencing the qualities that Locke categorizes as primary and secondary qualities.

But as I saw in the debates on skepticism, it always seems that they all have problems with the definitions of words. Hume, as far as I am concerned, was the most realistic about the whole thing. But Reid comes in and argues against both Berkeley and Hume but in regards to some words that Reid views differently. And actually, Hume does a similar thing with "abstraction" in regards to Berkeley's idealism.

But it got me wondering, most of these philosophical debates seem to be just debating terms and their meanings. That throughout history it has just been about how to define particular words and feelings.

And I currently see this as a wholly wrong position to take. Because as Hume and Moore both show in many of their writings, that you just can't show that something exists, but that is wholly irrelevant to use and practicality.

So why are philosophers still, to this day, debating about direct realism (the belief that things exist because we can sense them)?

It seems that philosophers are not satisfied with that definition, but also, on some levels they probably already have a preconcieved notion of what existence is and should be.

If you look at Berkeley's arguments, they can wholly be applied to existence without changing any perception at all of anything, in a sense this is the perfect viewpoint because it does not affect anything about reality as we know it.

But another argument is that we exist within this realm, as many common sense philosophers have shown, and that is all that matters.

But this point is also irrelevant to my real point that I want to discuss, which is the fact that all philosophical debates seem to be wholly involved in terminology. It could be the use of philosophy is to expand terminology, definitions, ideas within language. But I think that accepting language as the purest tool and the one by which we can explain and understand, is kind of egocentric.

THis is where I will potentially lose people. If we have a beautiful landscape that we see and we stand back in awe. Is it because the tree is placed in the right place? is it because the grass sways in the right way? Have you ever just thought something was beautiful for no true reason at all?

Nature is the best example of this because some could argue that the composition of a painting is about techinical beauty (to which I would ask: name any painting you know, and tell me what, on a technical level, makes it beautiful).

But nature kind of defies this because it isnt about how someone can interpret, its pure, already depicted reality.

So, imagine some beautiful scenery, and please tell me, in detail, what makes this scenery beautiful?

Finding meaning in it all

In the past couple days I have found myself having this feeling that can be reflected in a couple things that I particularly want to blog about. I don't know if anyone will be interested, and I possibly could be wrong, but this blog is more of the feelings that are going through my mind on a daily basis.

So if you're interested, have a read. otherwise just past this by.