lhexa ([personal profile] lhexa) wrote2010-11-22 10:11 pm

Scraps: "Seeking my black hen"

Our ideas require upkeep.

A new perspective may be found (during a journey, say) but not taught. Instruction cannot change a person's position.

...not an inversion but a refiguring of values...

One ascribes those feats of learning to genius so as not to learn from their example.

If you are inept at metaphor, you will be inept at morality. During my life in graduate school a certain bad metaphor masqueraded as a theory, but I wish to say nothing about it besides the fact that my thoughts are considerably more advanced than viruses or bacteria.

I think that no important activity ever disappears from human life. Though for me cultivation has become figurative, it has lost few of its characteristics.

I recognize five successively rare levels of understanding of a subject, as a person in turn becomes able to use it, explain it, justify it, make it funny, and reveal its beauty.

My writing style involves the selective defiance of grammar.

Yet there are some who cannot commit to ambiguity: they mean a part of what their words do. I revel in ambiguity, straining to exhaust my meaning, and I exhaust myself in the process.

Aye, you gazed long into the abyss, but you flinched when the abyss found you adorable.

Ethics cannot be practiced as though it were a skill.

Superiority is the enemy of mastery.

During my last semester as an undergraduate I earned an infinity in a geometry class, and I have been spending it ever since.

Schedule ourselves as we try, we will always have our days and our nights.

Many times I had to struggle between inspiration and responsibility: to decide between a steady light and a distant, intermittent sound. By my tracks you may trace such decisions.

Boredom is a sin against intelligence: thus are our schools something diabolic.

But I would rather be as eccentric as Mercury, so that higher laws may be discovered in my orbit.

I complicate my ideas in order to not lose them during the trip.

I've asked some of my best questions while tired. Exhaustion is particularly useful when I forget that an assurance is less than an answer.

What one doesn't understand seems like a ritual, and what one misunderstands seems feigned.

After doing so much algebra, /* referring here to the elementary textbooks */ the experience would flow beyond the time spent in front of book and paper. I found my steps forming the rudiments of something that resembled dance, as I gave a tiny joyful dip every time I inverted a rational function, or drew back slightly, as though from a sudden, light impact, every time I cancelled a factor. Of course, one can distinguish between dance and play. By this point I could take multiple steps inside my head, so the pen restrained my body only intermittently. Beyond even that buoyant stage, the actions would enter my dreams themselves, and in doing so exhaust me far more than the waking practice. The night presented me with some formidable task, I think an operation on two functions with a half-dozen factors total; however, the coefficients were nebulous things that sometimes changed during the calculation, so that I always discovered a mistake before completing the problem. Thus I would ceaselessly calculate until morning, never solving the problem. I once regarded such dreams as a kind of nightmare, but now I recognize them to be my most advanced variety of practice -- the most advanced because they invariably leave me exhausted the next day. Dreams such as these make my methods reflexive. The exhaustion they bring is a low price for the permanency and quickness of skill attained with their help.

To acquire a skill, practice it while awake. To acquire a talent, practice it in your dreams.

Some people think that if the fox is immoral, the rooster is thereby moral. Rather, the import there is that in some relationships -- call them hierarchical -- either or neither party, but not both, can be ethical. We vie over everything valuable, morality included.

It is a poor experimentalist who sees only with his eyes.

I do not know why I hate silence. I have cultivated such rare talents to direct against silence, talents such as eloquence, rigor, expressiveness, even volume -- but there always exists a silence greater than I can break. When I find myself alone in basements and tunnels, or rather places of resonance, I sing. I voice myself and can thus accompany myself, but I can only do so while my voice holds out. A greater silence draws me out of every hiding, home and history included. Even if to nobody: what am I when I am exposed?

I savor fear: it sharpens my senses.

Nevertheless, I have to explore my foundations, locked, guarded and policed though they are.

I would tell you to study yourself, except I do not know whether you would do so in a school or in a college. For twelve years the magisters tried to convince me that learning is painful; fortunately, what I learned is that some suffer to know.

I once wondered what it would be like to be diagonalized. She or I, but not both, could bring my own values to the center and leave me otherwise empty. Whose basis am I now in? Whose basis might I be?

...to take my expansion to the next higher order, though the new term may prove too complicated.

...my joy: developing the rudiments of the ethical geometry in solitude, and applying them in friendship...

...a man of small angles and small deviations. He was a special case of himself. Eventually a final approximation had been made, putting him in exact form, a human being who could be solved. But has the equation of your life been written yet?

...and I spent a year of winter without friends. Everything bright in me turned colors of flames then fell away. In response to false springs I have bloomed irrationally.

My friends are something heroic: they have slain monsters in me.

My friends have sometimes been hurt by my words, and perhaps I will someday help them to heal. Etymologically, to write is to wound, and to read is to counsel. But what business do you have with your words' history?

...speaking to each other in concepts of endearment...

What others call comfort I name calm. (Have we existed together inside, and safe from, a storm?)

I always fall in a straight line. Once I learned that the landings became easier.

I can recognize a mood that a person rarely experiences by the stiffness of its (his?) expression.

:I once wondered at the disparity between thinking and doing in a certain essay.: There comes a time in every thinker's life when he commits to a greater task than he can achieve. When you spend much more time thinking than doing -- and that is not a bad thing! -- then you "do" unreasonably.

Most of us would correct, but not teach, someone we dislike. People will often learn more from your lessons than you want them to.

I walked all paths but arrived by one, which I call my own.

Stupidity is more complex than brilliance, but brilliant people do not like to acknowledge that fact.

Wonder is the easiest emotion to exploit.

:Take this paragraph apart.: I carried four white, male, and for the most part dead philosophers to Austin, namely Austin himself, Cavell, Thoreau, and Emerson. Austin taught me that I do in saying, and moreover do in writing. Cavell steals raccoon-like into grand and secure abodes, where I, with lesser dexterity, have often followed. Emerson shows me the greed and appetite of profuse thinkers. Finally, Thoreau I can call a philosopher without reservation. I love physics, so I refused to carry a history of philosophy to Austin, though after moving there I discovered that I had packed one away irregardless. I am a graduate student, not a philosopher, but I still cannot avoid philosophy: it is in my way.

Every action can be done ethically, but that does not mean every action should be done ethically. Not everything can be significant.

Often I mean myself. How could I communicate otherwise?

A good reason to understand the laws of physics is to weaken the laws of humanity.

The people in first-tier schools have more talent, those in the second-tier more dignity, and those in the third-tier more kindness than the remainder.

I dearly enjoy living as a counterexample to many a contemporary thesis.

I have sometimes felt betrayed by a friend. That is another reason for gratitude. Everything coming from humanity comes better from a friend.

Extreme moods are not conveyed well in extreme terms.

I can never be completely true to my capacity for reason, just as I can never completely honor what is good in me, and can never be completely faithful to what I am.

The art of thinking is to converse with yourself in a single identity, an identity you cannot be given.

Midnight: Who scattered the seeds of wisdom in such a cruel pattern? So that now beauty and wisdom only grow together in walled gardens, and the seeds that grow in city streets and urban cracks are gassed, trampled and hated? We hate urban wisdom. It grows in the cracks in us: it decays us. From the highest points of our structures we rage at what we overshadow. There are internal catastrophes waiting to happen, when what is loftiest in us will most surely collapse.

How shall we create ourselves?
davv: The bluegreen quadruped. (Default)

[personal profile] davv 2010-11-24 11:27 pm (UTC)(link)
It reminds me of my "log files". They contain things like "the more we can specify by ourselves, the less we need the bureaucracy", but also longer, more technical things.

A good reason to understand the laws of physics is to weaken the laws of humanity.

Yet applying that understanding can make the laws of humanity stronger. Technology can show us how to implement what we want - how to rearrange parts of the universe and bring them under the dynamics of said laws of humanity.