Commentary on Philosophy War

[Epistemic status: Truth-oriented, but don't want to stake any capital on this. Read only for fun, but you might learn something.]

Currently reading Adorno and interested in this silly little video.

"Zizek" makes a good-faith effort to get people with multiple perspectives talking with each other about subjects related to the set {Wagner, automation, Judaism, Adorno, Wicca} through truly epic levels of conviviality, but they have some sort of Babel problem and can't actually communicate. This leads to a war that pretends to be about philosophical differences, but if you look at what the words cash out to they're not really more meaningful than "Hey! Hey! Hey! I wish to borrow Pakistan!" or "My neighbors suffer, Whee!" - calls to action to expropriate via organized violence, and endorsement of the same. 

In the information-processing system of the combatants, memory of the structural relationships causing their plight is miscoded as episodic memory, which makes it computationally intractable to traverse rationally. "In this episode remember what we've suffered in," "in this episode remember what we supplement," etc. The appearance of violence is just another episode, with an unclear relation to the other "episodes."

Then there's the meta debate between Hegel and Dali. Hegel implies that this breakdown is just another episode in the dialectic of the human mind, which we should expect to be synthesized. His examples are a little silly, since the synthesis of ancient Egypt and the crusades is somehow Israel, but it ends in an interesting place. The synthesis of Israel (autonomy) and Christmas presents (passive consumerism) is outright magical thinking (Wicca). In summary, the conflict is a sort of process of learning, whereby combatants that undergo advantageous structural alterations will win.

Dali replies that there's an obvious structural feature all these "perspectives" share, namely, a desire to seize a certain territory - "Hey! Hey! Hey! I wish to borrow Palestine!" - predicting that Wicca, if it does emerge as a new power, will itself just orient around the same thing in the same way - "Heh! Heh! Heh! A witch to borrow Palestine" since that's what's actually going on, in a succession of episodes with no clear structure.

These perspectives seem obviously compatible, and seem to be a conflict about what to focus on rather than an object-level disagreement.

Not sure what "The Turk was beckoning" is about but it leads to attention towards recursion as a thing worth listening to. Interleaved with that is a lament that we're too immersed in the problem to be willing to examine its details: "We're in the sauce, baking, too pissed to taste the sauce that bakes us."

This leads to the feminine spirit of investigation (not the usual "receptivity"): The Babe that paid Ishtar (Ishtar's cult involves ritual prostitution of women, so a woman paying Ishtar goes against type), the Babe of Scotland Yard, and she's described as having time, "more time than Santa Clause in boredom." (Unless "babe" means "baby," the uncorrupted investigative spirit of the newborn.)

But the philosophers fail to investigate this, instead huddle in the most comfortable refuge, passively hoping to receive presents for being well-behaved from an American empire already known to be unjust, and mostly ask whether this will happen soon, asking a fictional wizard for reassurance. ("A Turk" shows up again as one of Santa's targets, implying that the first obvious way to investigate recursive structures is to accept your enemy's invitations to parley.)

Having given up on the philosophers, captives of the system we want to be saved from, we finally turn to the "Turk" for help, asking if the enemies of the system, "our" enemies, can free us from it:

"Does the rubbish knock him down?"

"Does the backlash knock him down?"

But even that's a dead end, as it turns on Adorno

So we turn back to Rabbinic Judaism as the last player left standing, and specifically the Midrash, the envisioning of recursive possibilities in a static text, the telling of new stories to expose and explore structural features of the old. We ask if the Midrash can rock and roll. Midrash really specifically is about trying to do structural reasoning through episodic imagination, so it's the natural thing to query if everything's become an episode. It's the sort of thing that might still be undamaged.

But no direct reply is made - we are only informed that the law cannot.

(Meanwhile Kant is useless and neurotically worried about philosophizing in his bowling shoes)

"Damn!", we reply.

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