Stray thoughts under partial quarantine

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I guess it also depends on if we read the good/bad as a master/pupil relation, and if that spills over into master/slave.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
not that I have much experience with the Tao Te Ching, but what little I have seen seems to generally be cryptic and ambiguous by design

which has advantages and disadvantages compared to an I guess more epistemically straightforward text

less prone to dogma but harder to draw definite conclusions from

of course that may just be my limited knowledge of the Tao Te Ching and Chinese philosophy in general
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
I think all the articulated interpretation should be floating above the understanding of this stuff, which isn't to say that you either get it or you don't. Just seems like the only way to understand it is to process it in a way that is more raw than words, but that isn't to say words cannot help. Most of the time they hardly do though. We could even argue that the word function to spiral things off into discovery, turning some kind of combinatoric compost bin.
 

padraig (u.s.)

a monkey that will go ape
the good man is possessed of some knowledge the bad man is not

why is the good man "good" and the bad man "bad" to begin with?

what preexisting power relations determined who's good and who's bad?
 

constant escape

winter withered, warm
If its about spiritual development then I think it really starts making sense. But that doesn't necessarily clean up the colonial implications.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
admittedly my comment was mostly an excuse to be snarky

that being said, in isolation, I'm skeptical of that general sentiment. As paradaig pointed out, the ambiguity of 'good' and 'bad' makes this hard to read
 
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luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Well language is necessarily ambiguous because it encodes multiple meanings and not just multiple but contradictory meanings. That's exactly where the fun lies.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
One of the many ways in which you could read that passage is that it refers to not to two individuals, or two classes of people, but to one individual, that is, you.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Clear and precise instructions exist for things like fixing a faulty gas boiler. This is probably of a different nature.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
i was wandering aimlessly through the city today in a mopey way and really noticing how eye level in the city is designed to be completely colonised by signs. but above that band of semiotic pollution things get more interesting again. its easier now with fewer people to lift the eyes up out of the sewage layer
 

HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
i was wandering aimlessly through the city today in a mopey way and really noticing how eye level in the city is designed to be completely colonised by signs. but above that band of semiotic pollution things get more interesting again. its easier now with fewer people to lift the eyes up out of the sewage layer
How do things become more interesting? First thing I thought of was faded, painted Edwardian ads and shop signs you sometimes see up there. What else?
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
How do things become more interesting? First thing I thought of was faded, painted Edwardian ads and shop signs you sometimes see up there. What else?
well it's relative of course... but as you say, that visual band of sign and symbol at eye level conspires to create the illusion of a uniform present, but above it you can see what it is pasted on top of. The actual material substrate of the city.
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
the visual space at eye level gives the impression that a city is made of signs and symbols words and images. lifting your eyes up and out of that band corrects that impression.
 
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HMGovt

Bamber Clatscoigne
Hmmmm. Higher level, lower brain. I like it. This idea will feature in my forthcoming but as yet unwritten major novel.​
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
so long as i get my name in the acknowledgements. my ambition is to have my name in the acknowledgements of over 100 books despite no one knowing who i am.
 
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