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A strange thing about fashion is how 'meta' all the images are. "Here are photos of people looking fashionable while plausibly doing ordinary things." But of course they are not usually images of people doing anything at all except posing as people doing things. It's funny that we model our outfits on people plausibly wearing those outfits to do things rather than on people actually wearing those outfits to do things. Fashion images are hypothetical; floating, detached from life, like tourists. Even the images presented by clothes bloggers, the more professional they are, seem somehow unreal. Not knowing who these people are or what their lives or like accomplishes this.

Perhaps fashion images have to be detached from life; otherwise, the activities shown , or the person, would upstage the clothes in their attractiveness or interest. If I were to be shown an image of the scenarios I most desire to happen, I would not focus on the clothes.

Perhaps I just feel that the image is incomplete until the person wearing the clothes is really in view. This goes with my general contempt for ready-to-wear; it shouldn't exist. Clothes are for particular people and particular purposes. Abstract clothes are something else entirely; they're ideas, or artistic compositions; often both.
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7 April / Indianapolis

A flat bone-colored plain with sparse trees growing out of it like public hair from brown wrinkled skin, the grey sky above it through which moved a few grey clouds like trucks along the grey road....

A terrible dinner in a public dining room at a U-shaped table, with thirty or forty teachers. Apparently no one reads in Indianapolis and the teachers had the discouraged air of vegetarians trying to convert to cannibalism.

9 April

Anyway I had two mornings undisturbed in which to work. Afternoon two to four talk with students. Dinner, then my lecture on the thirties. It went well but really I was completely without confidence. Somehow I have in my own mind no contact with an audience when lecturing. It is as though I were behind a glass screen gesticulating, and everything I say somehow keeps them attentive but is almost meaningless to me. When I am reading poems I do have confidence or at any rate can become absorbed in the problem of trying to read them effectively. After half and hour I broke off and said I would answer questions. Rang B. and told him how appalling I found Indiana. He said, 'It is the most awful state in the union.'

From Journals 1939-1983, 354-5. This was in the 1976-9 section, precise year unlabeled.

I think he exaggerates.

I like what he says about lecturing, as I feel that way sometimes--particularly when teaching something I cannot get into myself, and when I can't make it conversational. Even when I do feel connected to the students, my performance is opaque: I cannot really control what I do. Those higher levels of self-awareness must be shut down in order for me to act.
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The masses of "introvert awareness" posts around are mostly a good thing, in that many personality traits associated with introversion continue to be discouraged, and individuals are encouraged to cure themselves of them. However, I've noticed that 'introversion' collects various traits that need not co-occur. We can distinguish:

1. Being 'private,' not disclosing information about oneself freely, being cagey.

*This may not be sufficient to make someone an introvert. I know a lot of cagey extroverts. And I am very, very suspicious of them.


2. Preferring to do things alone.
(a) a desire to preserve one's autonomy
(b) disliking most people
(c) the activities themselves not being conducive to collaboration


3. Not needing the sense of connection/emotional contribution to motivation that comes from other people.


4. Someone who does not initiate social interactions.
*possibly a necessary and sufficient condition.
(a) Not able to make background assumptions necessary to feel in a position to address another person.
(b) Other causes?

Fulfilling any of these criteria might be enough to make you an introvert, in popular usage (though as noted I suspect that 1 is not sufficient). Plenty of extroverts are private (if anything, more private). And not needing other people for emotional/motivational reasons is not commonly differentiated from just not finding most people very pleasant, being private, or being uncomfortable initiating interaction. But it should be, as the opposite of (3) is commonly more associated with extroversion, but there are plenty of ways of being an introvert without satisfying (3).


Nov. 22nd, 2011 08:26 pm
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I amuse me.

*This is part of Aristotle's argument for the law of noncontradiction. Someone who does not speak or is not capable of argument is like a plant, and to speak is to presuppose a distinction between what one's words depict, and what they do not--i.e. between what is true and what is false. So plants do not accept (follow?) the law of noncontradiction. (See Metaphysics, 1006a 10-30).

** The world of liars is that in which everyone acts on the maxim "Everyone should lie when it is convenient to them," which, were it to come to pass, would eliminate the distinction between truth and falsehood (thus also eliminating lying)--a contradiction in conception in Kantian ethics.

*** Intuitionism = a position in philosophy of mathematics that rejects the law of noncontradiction.

**** We all know about knights of faith here. They simultaneously believe their Wish will be fulfilled and do not believe it.
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"Somewhere in the casual flow of things I always forget, in the rowdiness of discussions, that these are the fragile things, thoughts that flutter or fly straight and sharp, like rays or sparks in glass windows. I forget my intellectual spirituality. And as a spirituality, it perhaps wants more grace and awe and mystery and is offended by constant peeking away at ideas. Or is this only my understanding--which still seems to operate fundamentally on a level prior to (or perhaps past) more primitive (or perhaps more advanced) than language. My wonder was always wordless.

"Why must we seek through language? Heidegger's explanation--that language encompasses many, seemingly pre-linguistic levels--is becoming more and more welcome. The things that long ago I said my goal was to take apart and put back together again were names of abstract ideas--forms. Do the ideas arise first, vague and dim, waiting for words which come later? Are the ideas there before the words that name them, calling for words? Are the same ideas embedded in our minds, regardless, these things for which we later find the words--?"

And on another page, above a sketch of College Avenue:

"Must such thinking [philosophical thinking] necessarily be thought about oneself and one's world? It must be; for these are the things for which we have names. Both the human things and the scientific things can be discussed...."

  1. I was the cutest baby philosopher ever.

  2. If nothing else, in 12 years, I've learned to get to the point. On the other hand, people are more likely to complain now that I don't do enough stage-setting. But I don't think I could write like this any more if I tried. Poem-writing, story-writing, song-writing: all apparently lost.

[Analytic philosophy Gods, this was a very long time ago in my timeline. My frontal lobes weren't done yet.]
apolliana: (Cordelia)



Both since repatriated. Crickets are my house insect; cave crickets in the bathroom, long-horned grasshoppers in the bedroom, ...whatever that is in the living room.

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*for me.


The Third Doctor & Jo, probably around 1970. Sadly I would look ridiculous with a giant bow on my head. Or in a cape, probably. (I want to be both of them simultaneously: that's how it works.)
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No one will notice when I faint.


From Miss Peel Pants's blog.
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Originally posted, 1/31/2005.

If my emotions were plotted on a Cartesian graph, the positive range would include:

  • euphoria (Quadrant 1)

  • love (Quadrant 1)

  • anger (Quadrant 2--or 4, depending on where it's coming from and where it's going)

The negative range would include:

  • shame (Quadrant 3. All other negative emotions produce shame)

  • anxiety (Quadrant 3. Including subtypes fear of nothingness and numbness that can come from feeling threatened)

  • exasperation (Quadrants 2/4. The negative face of anger.)

These are the main categories.

The updated version would have determination with positive anger in Quadrant 2, and would replace both shame and exasperation with anxiety, as described (though the feeling that "someone is walking over one's grave" might be a better description). I'm having trouble remembering exasperation ever being one of my primary emotions, but I did live with a creepy landlord when I wrote the original entry. There would be a place for negative anger, but it's an inherently unstable position, which becomes quickly transmuted to positive anger, determination, or love.

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Dr. Marius: "What is it?"
K9: "Unidentified noetic viral type organism seated in the mind-brain interface, and therefore having no ascertainable mass or structure" (Doctor Who: The Invisible Enemy).

What this means, they explain, is that the virus is only detectable during consciousness, and feeds on intellectual activity. Leela is immune because her "way of looking at things" is instinctual.

It gets better. The Doctor miniaturizes a clone of himself and goes inside his brain in order to locate the virus. They come upon a vast ravine.

Doctor: "This is the gap between one side of my mind and the other."
Leela: "it's dark on the other side!"
Doctor: "Well of course it's dark! That's the gap between logic and imagination! You can't see one side from the other side."
Leela: "But it is there? There is something on the other side?"
Doctor: "This is the mind-brain interface, Leela! At least I think it is. That's the mind (points ahead); that's the brain (points up). Two things, entirely different, but part of the same thing."
Leela: "Like the land and the sea?"
Doctor: "Yes. Sometimes I don't think I quite understand it myself." (She crosses, holding on to his scarf.)

Perhaps the explanatory gap is to be bridged on foot.

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