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Author Topic: Deconstruction/ GI and MIKE M sissy slap fest  (Read 26865 times)
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #150 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:13:15 AM »

If I understand you right:

Différance. I don't agree that it's not describably by language because that also seems evasive to me. It's just bloody hard to do.

Perhaps this is what Mike means with 'line of logic' so I'll try to give it a go in a bit.
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Mike M
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« Reply #151 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:17:10 AM »

I found the new subject of this thread insulting until I noticed my name was in CAPs.

I AM ALL MAN, PUNY FEMALE FLESHBAGS
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well I'll go to college and I'll learn some big words and I'll talk real loud god damn right I'll be heard you'll remember the guy and all those big words he musta learned in college
Mike M
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Posts: 883


« Reply #152 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:18:17 AM »

Dude, if you can describe this stuff with language, that will definitely be a step toward me knowing what it is.

Definitely.
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well I'll go to college and I'll learn some big words and I'll talk real loud god damn right I'll be heard you'll remember the guy and all those big words he musta learned in college
FreddyKnuckles
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Posts: 11705


« Reply #153 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:19:20 AM »

I wonder if woejilli will think its a pm style thread and delete it
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I'm in with Greg Nog, IT'S FUCKING FAFFLE TIME!
DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #154 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:19:53 AM »

GI:

From Riemann sums, we can provide a step-by-step analysis of how one would go about integration, and what it means.

From probability, we can demonstrate standard deviations, means, and thus statistics.

So yeah, they're first principles, but they're descriptive first principles.  There's a subset of elements to each of them.  The first principles of statistics isn't probability, it's counting.  The first principles of integration isn't a Riemann sum, it's arithmetic.

If you were to ask me to provide the first principles of Deconstruction, I would have to provide a lot of conditionalities, I feel.
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But what the fuck do I know, I have a penis.
andronicus
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Posts: 6515


« Reply #155 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:21:45 AM »

Quote from: "FreddyKnuckles"
I wonder if woejilli will think its a pm style thread and delete it

NOT BEFORE I COPY IT FOR MATERIAL FOR MY PLAY, GOD DAMNIT
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hannah
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Posts: 9366


« Reply #156 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:29:18 AM »

re: the new subject... it appeared literally (like, LITERALLY literally) a minute after I was thinking about how awesome Guy Maddin's Sissy Boy Slap Party is.
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hannah
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Posts: 9366


« Reply #157 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:30:32 AM »

Quote from: "andronicus"
Quote from: "FreddyKnuckles"
I wonder if woejilli will think its a pm style thread and delete it

NOT BEFORE I COPY IT FOR MATERIAL FOR MY PLAY, GOD DAMNIT


AND NOT BEFORE I COPY THE MATERIAL YOU COPIED FOR YOUR PLAY FOR MY PLAY, GOD DAMNIT
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andronicus
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Posts: 6515


« Reply #158 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:31:33 AM »

Quote from: "hannah"
Quote from: "andronicus"
Quote from: "FreddyKnuckles"
I wonder if woejilli will think its a pm style thread and delete it

NOT BEFORE I COPY IT FOR MATERIAL FOR MY PLAY, GOD DAMNIT


AND NOT BEFORE I COPY THE MATERIAL YOU COPIED FOR YOUR PLAY FOR MY PLAY, GOD DAMNIT

FIGURATIVELY!  AND BY THAT I MEAN LITERALLY FIGURATIVELY!
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hannah
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Posts: 9366


« Reply #159 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:36:34 AM »

(re)act III

Marinus: Deconstruction only has a use.
Dave: That's no excuse.
Marinus: No, it's a use.
Dave: [self-deconstructs]
Mike M: [sissy slaps Marinus]
Mike M: I AM ALL MAN.
Allman Brothers: Join us.
Mike M & The Allman Brothers: "And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus / Rollin' down highway forty-one..."
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #160 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:38:23 AM »

Quote from: "hannah"
(re)act III

Marinus: Deconstruction only has a use.
Dave: That's no excuse.
Marinus: No, it's a use.
Dave: [self-deconstructs]
Mike M: [sissy slaps Marinus]
Mike M: I AM ALL MAN.
Allman Brothers: Join us.
Mike M & The Allman Brothers: "And I was born in the back seat of a Greyhound bus / Rollin' down highway forty-one..."

You have the manners of a boorish Yalie
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But what the fuck do I know, I have a penis.
hannah
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Posts: 9366


« Reply #161 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:41:24 AM »

Quote from: "DCDave"

You have the manners of a boorish Yalie


Now that you mention it...
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DCDave
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Posts: 10387


« Reply #162 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:42:39 AM »

The first principle of my philosophy is that life imitates the simpsons.
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But what the fuck do I know, I have a penis.
hannah
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Posts: 9366


« Reply #163 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:45:19 AM »

well, naturally

but I do think it's funny (you know, lollerskates, and all that) that I wrote a review of a band I made up called Boor for a Yale publication, AND my review uses the word "deconstruct," that's all! coinkydink, that's all! and/or sublimated simpsons ref!
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FreddyKnuckles
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« Reply #164 on: Mar 09, 2006, 12:56:14 AM »

I thought it was you have the boorish manners of a yalie, not you have the manners of a boorish yalie.
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I'm in with Greg Nog, IT'S FUCKING FAFFLE TIME!
Andrew_TSKS
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Posts: 39426


« Reply #165 on: Mar 09, 2006, 01:19:15 AM »

so like, i looked up "differance" on wikipedia.

Quote from: "wikipedia"
In the thought of Jacques Derrida, différance refers roughly to the fact that words and signs can never summon forth what they mean (the "absent signified", which Derrida called the trace) but can only be defined or explained in other words. Therefore, words and signs are always different from what they mean, and the actual things they refer to are always postponed by human language. Derrida introduced this neologism in the course of an argument against the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, who sought a rigorous analysis of the role of memory and perception in our understanding of sequential data such as music or language. Derrida's différance argued that because the perceiver's mental state was constantly in a state of flux, and differed from one re-reading to the next, a general theory describing this phenomenon was unachievable.


so ok, the word "dog" can never summon forth a dog when you speak it. [i'm not sure why saying something like this was even necessary.] and apparently memory/perception's role in understanding of language can't be quantified because it's always changing. that's "differance".

Quote from: "wikipedia"
Because of this, we are trapped inside an inescapable web of language, which, moreover, shifts each time we hear or read a given human utterance. There is a deferment of meaning with each act of rereading. There is a difference of readings with each rereading. Adrift on a sea of words, we suffer from an epistemological seasickness.


hmm. i don't know about this whole "epistemological seasickness" business. i'm feeling just fine, on a metaphysical level.

Quote from: "wikipedia"
We are, keep in mind, discussing just one text -- every text. No distinction is necessarily made between texts in this very "basic" level. The difference/deferment is between one text and itself, not between texts, this is the crucial distinction between traditional prespectives and deconstruction.


now THAT says something to me. i.e. that the separation between different writings is of no consequence. there's no divide between beethoven and the count five, no divide between joseph conrad and danielle steele... hell, no divide between joseph conrad and the count five. this is a principle i find useful, and one i agree with.

but the rest of it is based upon a fundamental assumption that my reactions to the world are oriented in a certain way. at least, i THINK that's what it's based on. and i just don't know that i agree with that. this whole "epistemological seasickness" bit just doesn't wash with me.

hell, what the shit is "epistemology" anyway?

Quote from: "wikipedia"
Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. Historically, it has been one of the most investigated and most debated of all philosophical subjects. Much of this debate has focused on analysing the nature and variety of knowledge and how it relates to similar notions such as truth and belief. Much of this discussion concerns the justification of knowledge claims, that is the grounds on which one can claim to know a particular fact.


so what deconstruction is postulating is that i don't know what i do and don't know?

fuck, why does anyone think about anything on this level? i see no purpose in it.

bowing out of the discussion as of now.

p.s.--hannah, lately reading your writing is making me think i should give richard meltzer another chance. which i guess is my way of saying that i like your stuff.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
FreddyKnuckles
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Posts: 11705


« Reply #166 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:06:54 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
so like, i looked up "differance" on wikipedia.

Quote from: "wikipedia"
In the thought of Jacques Derrida, différance refers roughly to the fact that words and signs can never summon forth what they mean (the "absent signified", which Derrida called the trace) but can only be defined or explained in other words. Therefore, words and signs are always different from what they mean, and the actual things they refer to are always postponed by human language. Derrida introduced this neologism in the course of an argument against the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl, who sought a rigorous analysis of the role of memory and perception in our understanding of sequential data such as music or language. Derrida's différance argued that because the perceiver's mental state was constantly in a state of flux, and differed from one re-reading to the next, a general theory describing this phenomenon was unachievable.


so ok, the word "dog" can never summon forth a dog when you speak it. [i'm not sure why saying something like this was even necessary.] and apparently memory/perception's role in understanding of language can't be quantified because it's always changing. that's "differance".


It doesn't literally mean "summon forth".  It's sort of like the saussure thing.  He means that linguistically all words exist only in a negative relationship with other words.  A dog is not a dog because it is a dog: a dog is a dog because it is not a cat, it is not a hampster, it is not an andrew, etc.  

Don't worry, he starts Differance (the essay) by explaining when he says "differance" he refers to both defer, and differ.  I have notes on this actually, lemme copy paste em

Credit: Loius Economides.

DECONTRUCTIONISM

When:  1960’s – 1980’s (begins in France, later adopted in America)

Key figures:  Jacques Derrida, Julia Kristeva, Paul de Man

Critical Foundations:  Structuralism (Saussure, Levi-Strauss, Barthes), Julian Casablancas (language theory and existentialism), Husserl / Heidegger (phenomenology of Being), 60’s politics in France

Key concepts and terminology

Post-structuralism:  term that refers to a new approach to critical theory that arises during the 1960’s (including Deconstructionism).  While influenced by structuralism, post-structuralism also breaks significantly with structuralist models.  In particular, Derrida radicalizes Saussure’s idea that signs derive their meaning negatively from other signs in the language system (not from their representation of things in the world), underscoring linguistic difference (différance) and the unending “play” of signs.

Absence of origin (decentering):  Unlike structuralists, Derrida claims that language really isn’t a “system” in a classical sense at all.  This is because in writing (ecriture) as opposed to speech (logos) it is impossible to trace the text to a single “origin” or source which guarantees and/or stabilizes its meaning.  In classical accounts of language, the ultimate “origin” is often a transcendental signified (God term or ultimate source of authority) that at once governs the structure of the system while simultaneously escaping its operation (term which isn’t reducible to play of signs).  Without an origin (center) the “play” of signification can never be halted and therefore any authority or “truth” attributed to language is entirely contingent.  Derrida coins the term “logocentrism” to indicate an attempt to halt linguistic play by privileging speech over writing, thereby trying to guarantee origin (and authority) by grounding language in a speaking subject.

Linguistic play and différance:  Instead of regarding language as something that makes meaning unconditionally present, Derrida regards the “play” of signs as something which permanently differs finite articulation of meaning.  Therefore, as in Julian Casablancas’s philosophy, Derrida sees language as something that attempts to signify primarily because of a fundamental absence of truth in the world (analogy: Apollonian language only exists because of a more fundamental Dionysian abyss/absence).  Linguistic signs create the illusion of “meaning” via play, a series of infinite substitutions (Julian Casablancas’s metaphors and metonymies) and/or revisions of previous meanings.  However, as on a magic writing pad, the trace of previous signification is never entirely erased by new linguistic forms.  Logic and coherence in language is based upon a fundamental suppression of différance, the way in which signs derive their meaning from one another only via an endless chain of differences.  Signs are therefore never self-identical, never arrive at an origin and are therefore never capable of grounding final (universal) truth.  Hence, there are two key meanings of différance: 1) refers to differences between signs  2) refers to way in which meaning is permanently differed (put off) in language.

Derrida regards infinite linguistic play in a world where meaning and truth are ultimately absent as a positive thing.  This is why he sees “nostalgia for the origin” as a negative response to this existential condition, and celebrates linguistic “play” as an affirmation of life, wherein the human being is always in a state of becoming rather than longing for the past:

   
   “Turned towards the lost or impossible presence of the absent
   origin, [the] structuralist thematic of broken immediacy is
   therefore the saddened, negative, nostalgic, guilty, Rousseauistic
   side of the thinking of play whose other side would be Julian Casablancasan
   affirmation, that is the joyous affirmation of the play of the world
   and of the innocence of becoming, the affirmation of a world of
   signs without fault, without truth, without origin which is offered
   to an active interpretation”  (“Structure, Sign and Play”)








Philosophical significance:  one of the most radical differences in Derrida’s concept of language versus that in structuralism is deconstructionism’s erasure of the gap between signifier and signified [between words and the ideas (or world) they point to].  For Derrida, this gap is based upon a metaphysical assumption that being (presence of things in the world) exists before or outside of language.  Martin Heidegger challenges this assumption by arguing that language makes the “being” of all things possible, by creating “clearings” in which they acquire meaning and therefore “presence” – all truth and being ultimately having their origin in such clearings.  Derrida radicalizes this constructivist position further, by claiming that things in the world only “exist” in a constant play of presence and absence made possible by signification.  This implies that everything in existence can be regarded as behaving like a linguistic sign:  i.e. that there is “nothing outside the text.”  Nothing really has stable “presence” – neither language nor things in the world.
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Quote from: Heathcote
I'm in with Greg Nog, IT'S FUCKING FAFFLE TIME!
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #167 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:13:39 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
so ok, the word "dog" can never summon forth a dog when you speak it. [i'm not sure why saying something like this was even necessary.] and apparently memory/perception's role in understanding of language can't be quantified because it's always changing. that's "differance".

It needed to be said because metaphysics (the dominant strain of Western philosophy) disagrees.

I haven't found a single introductory description of deconstruction that I've liked (otherwise I would just have pointed you guys to it, yuo know how much I love to link to things) and the wiki entry shows why (like I've said before, it's one of the better stock-standard explanations - I think the stock-standard explanantions are deficient).
The thing is that isn't différance at all. It's probably more useful to disregard "ever-changing perspectives" at first and concentrate on how terms have been caught in stone in a text (from where on the "changing perspectives" will become obvious).
I'm getting to what it actually is.

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
but the rest of it is based upon a fundamental assumption that my reactions to the world are oriented in a certain way.

Yes.

Are you going to tell me it isn't? That you don't have a certain approach to things, one that is different to that of other people? That you don't have your own way of understanding things?

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
so what deconstruction is postulating is that i don't know what i do and don't know?

A common conclusion, but one that is incorrect. It suggest that a lot of writers should be more careful with what they claim.

I will say this again: deconstruction is only a technique. It is not a philosophy. It is not a set of ethics. It is not a field of its own. No deconstruction of a text can stand apart from that text. Deconstruction as we have discussed it here has exactly the same relationship to the world as a statistics textbook, and is studied for the same reasons. "Deconstruction says" means exactly as much as "statistics says" - nothing, it's putting the cart before the horse.

I'm choosing this example because when people say "statistics show" they are lying. Studies show. Going "statistics show" is supposed to impress me by its 'science' and claims authority thereby. Those statistics are only as reliable as the person who compiled them and the data it describes. The data it describes, which existed fine before and independently of  it was compiled into a box chart.

The meaningful terms is not "deconstruction says" but rather "deconstruction allows me to say" - "statistical tests on our production line allows me to say that only a minute amount of our products don't conform to standards".

If you understand what I mean with the statistics example, it should be clear how I think one should approach deconstruction.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #168 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:39:54 AM »

freddy: thanks for that stuff. in particular this:

Quote
It doesn't literally mean "summon forth". It's sort of like the saussure thing. He means that linguistically all words exist only in a negative relationship with other words. A dog is not a dog because it is a dog: a dog is a dog because it is not a cat, it is not a hampster, it is not an andrew, etc.


helps me to understand, and is less "duh", but not something i really see as all that valid. sorry gi, i know you do think it's valid, but i gotta disagree here.

Quote from: "Good Intentions"
Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
but the rest of it is based upon a fundamental assumption that my reactions to the world are oriented in a certain way.


Yes.

Are you going to tell me it isn't? That you don't have a certain approach to things, one that is different to that of other people? That you don't have your own way of understanding things?


i don't really feel like i can even know the answer to that question. i've got my way of approaching things, but i can't state with any accuracy whether it's unique or even all that different from that of others.

man, i don't feel like i agree with phenomenology, but i don't feel like i agree with those opposed to it either. i have no idea how i feel at this point.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #169 on: Mar 09, 2006, 02:51:29 AM »

Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
Quote from: "Good Intentions"
Are you going to tell me it isn't? That you don't have a certain approach to things, one that is different to that of other people? That you don't have your own way of understanding things?

i don't really feel like i can even know the answer to that question. i've got my way of approaching things, but i can't state with any accuracy whether it's unique or even all that different from that of others.

It doesn't need to be unique and can be as similar to others as you'd like, but seeing that how you understand something (like this conversation) differently than say alistarr does kinda invalidates this objection:
Quote from: "Andrew_TSKS"
but the rest of it is based upon a fundamental assumption that my reactions to the world are oriented in a certain way.
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Good Intentions
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« Reply #170 on: Mar 09, 2006, 06:05:43 AM »

While looking for references and confirmations for my next post (which I'll finish tomorrow) I found this, which made me laugh more than anything has for a week.
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Mike M
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Posts: 883


« Reply #171 on: Mar 09, 2006, 07:26:16 AM »

Freddy's notes help, here, though they haven't made me think more of this as an idea. I'm still stuck here saying, "So what?"

It's like when somebody says, "It's all relative." He or she might be right, but it ends all hope of productive conversation.

And I am seriously, seriously skeptical of anything that posits no meaning in the universe.
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well I'll go to college and I'll learn some big words and I'll talk real loud god damn right I'll be heard you'll remember the guy and all those big words he musta learned in college
Good Intentions
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Posts: 13882


« Reply #172 on: Mar 09, 2006, 08:15:09 AM »

Might I politely point out that the topic of the thread isn't to convince you that deconstruction will radically change the world, but to explain what it is?

I'm going on because your and Andrew's objections seem to me indicative of a misunderstanding, but mostly because this is excellent exercise for me getting my ideas together.

In that note I'd like to point out that a meaning that gets blown out of the water by deconstruction wasn't that great, or it would have been more resilient. Also, any attempt to smear deconstuction (or existentialism, or relativism, or hedonism, etc) as nihilism is dishonest in holding itself blind to the values that are affirmed by deconstruction (or ...) - communication (identity, integrity, personal value, etc).
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Mike M
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Posts: 883


« Reply #173 on: Mar 09, 2006, 08:53:20 AM »

Well, it sure seemed to me that Klaus's notes strongly suggested meaning was an illusion.

Did he mean only linguistically? This occured to me as a possibility, and that much I would be willing to concede to an extent -- not because I agree, but because I see the argument and parts of it are very strong, if perhaps not the best at accounting for the uniqueness of being a human -- but I didn't really feel it was the case. It seemed a broader statement.
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well I'll go to college and I'll learn some big words and I'll talk real loud god damn right I'll be heard you'll remember the guy and all those big words he musta learned in college
Good Intentions
Registered user

Posts: 13882


« Reply #174 on: Mar 09, 2006, 04:15:43 PM »

Quote from: "Mike M"
Well, it sure seemed to me that Klaus's notes strongly suggested meaning was an illusion.

No. Meaning is a construct. Just because meaning doesn't exist independently of a statement of meaning doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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