Sunday, November 30, 2014

being a zoo (or algebraic gadfly)

When we look at a photograph, we project a third dimension (depth, “going back” “in” the imagespace). 3-space is mapped into the 2-space photo. We see this because we live in 3-space—or rather, we see within the 3-space (4-space actually, of course) in which we move and live.

But someone who was congenitally blind, then gains sight has to learn to see 3-space. You take his hand (which is so familiar to him having done to him, as he has always lived by touch and embodied spatiality) and move it toward the glass on the table. His fingers touch the glass, and he takes hold of it immediately, as he’s always done—yet now amazed that there is the glass seen at the distance that his reach knows well. (Seeing in 3-space is learned by infants, as they also learn to focus).

Suppose an ant on a plane (flat surface, not a jet). Dependent on everything being in his plane, there is no such thing as something being above or below the plane. Above and below don’t exist. (This little fiction is stipulating absurd cognitive ability with severe constraints, but what the heck...). If a circle that is positioned above the plane (to we beings who know an x, y, z coordinate system) passes through the plane, the ant sees a point suddenly emerge, which becomes two points which move away from each other, each stopping, then moving back to each other, finally becoming a point that disappears.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

philosophy lives in highlands

Habermas’ recollections on Jewish émigrés is a partial version of a chapter of The Lure of Technocracy, which will be available between March and May, 2015.

Postmetaphysical Thinking II is due in mid-2017 (German original, 2012!). And he has a big manuscript in process on the evolution of religion, he noted in last June’s interview.

One might easily forget that Habermas is a philosopher in a fully-philosophical sense, not just a political philosopher also being a public intellectual. Someone approaching the challenge of understanding Habermas’ career is met with the best paradigm available of what philosophy may strive to be. At 85, the philosopher is still actively engaged as philosopher. Very few pretend to understand the philosophical example that Habermas continues to work to exemplify. Whatever disagreement one has with particular views, his scale of recognized engagement is in small company, if having any peer.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


One might easily associate my coinage with the craft of textual layout; or maybe: writing itself as presentation—and presentation as design: presenting as a designed endeavor, a deliberateness of presenting, like a poet thinking of immanent belonging in the line that breaks aptly.

I recall David Krell’s Archeticture: Ecstasies of Space, Time, and the Human Body (1997—so long ago) in a Derridean mood, as if the endeavor was about glyphical design in conceptuality: a glyphical fate of the trace in all perception.