Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another entry in the Public Address Medical Journal

433 Responses

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  • giovanni tiso,

    Look. My brain wants there to be meaning; yet there is obviously no external source of meaning. These two things are incompatible

    Oh no they're not. It's what Jameson calls the meaningless materiality of the body and nature versus the meaning-endowment of history and of the social. We produce the meaning, it doesn't need to be validated by immanent and absolute laws of the universe for it to be, well, valid.

    For a dung beetle its little ball of shit is the most meaningful thing in the world, and the beetle isn't wrong.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    So go on, make your life meaningful.
    (I know this sounds like annoying hippy drivel, but I do actually believe this.)

    Well, then....

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Caleb D'Anvers,

    Man, I am so having a Lost marathon this weekend ...

    London SE16 • Since Mar 2008 • 482 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Existence isn't meaningless. It's just that there's no external source of meaning. Things only have meaning and force insofar as we give it to them. So go on, make your life meaningful.

    Quite. The idea of meaninglessness is itself meaningless.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Old hippie alert: there's a for-a-short-time-only clip of Neil Young tearing up Glastonbury last weekend with an epic version of 'Keep On Rockin' in the Free World' in today's Hard News.

    The bloody BBC keeps removing all its coverage from YouTube so I had to put it up myself. Be quick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    The idea of meaninglessness is itself meaningless.

    Oh, a pox on all of you mature self-actualised beings, and your calm acceptance of everything. A pox, I say! :)

    (However, in my new incarnation as a postmodern hippy dungbeetle, I have this little ball of shit over here I'll be working on, with Giovanni's blessing.)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Old hippie alert: there's a for-a-short-time-only clip of Neil Young tearing up Glastonbury last weekend with an epic version of 'Keep On Rockin' in the Free World' in today's Hard News.

    Link whore.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    in my new incarnation as a postmodern hippy dungbeetle,

    Fantastic band name, The Postmodern Hippy Dungbeetles.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 830 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I had to put it up myself

    as a demonstration of the importance of context.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    The Postmodern Hippy Dungbeetle.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Heard interesting talk last week on meaning of meaning by philosophy professor from Beijing.
    Later made pilgrimage to dugongs in Sydney aquarium Philosophically problematic - should these endangered wild animals be in zoo for fish?

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Oops link doesn't seem to work. Here's another

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Where'd my capacity to engage on these matters go I wonder? I did the basic theological training via Catholic schooling and the metaphysics at uni and yet... I've so little to add.

    Existence isn't meaningless. It's just that there's no external source of meaning.

    I'm not all that opposed to this conceptulisation although the "no external" validation might be too narrowly defined for me (though I'm guessing you mean no deity?) I'd not disagree with this, I simply don't know, but does that mean none, or rather just no supernatural? What about the meaning of our lives validated by others? My kids validate me, I think. I know that's very local and personal, so how about global recognition of the humanity of Nelson Mandela? I rewatched Gandhi recently, I understand the meaning of his life as being both his commitment to his principles but also the political change he achieved. Is that external validation?

    Or is that what you mean in the next sentence when you say:

    Things only have meaning and force insofar as we give it to them

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I rewatched Gandhi recently, I understand the meaning of his life as being both his commitment to his principles but also the political change he achieved. Is that external validation?

    It's internal to the human race, but rarely if ever a property of the individual in absolute isolation. 'The meaning endowment of history and the social' works for me.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Paul - I think it was you who first mentioned the dugongs in Sydney Aquarium. Thanks. Sydney quite nice too last week - 20+C degrees and people swimming! in the east coast beaches.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Gio, I might have missed that conceptualisation if it appeared earlier in the thread, I like it a lot. I've not given up on the thought that there might be some super-sentience, though I've have given up on its various Biblical descriptions.

    Hilary, great, glad you enjoyed them. I didn't see them myself but my four-year old still raves about them some months later (she's convinced that they are mermaids). Incidentally, Sydney's cold as hell today - winds that remind me of Wellington (not a bad memory).

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Gio, I might have missed that conceptualisation if it appeared earlier in the thread

    Top of this very page.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Saw it after I posted my comment - I took a while with my comment during which others appeared...

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Oh, this is also too pertinent for words - Doctors prescribe drugs that don't work.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Oh, this is also too pertinent for words - Doctors prescribe drugs that don't work.

    Aw shit. Got a new pill this week and I thought it was workin' now I jus' dunno. :)
    To be completely honest, the hospital came up with the exact same suspicion as my acupuncturist with regard to my sensation ( acutely different to my right side) down the left side of my body. Once again I discover similarities amongst the different professions, just different approaches in fixing them.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    a monolith somewhere

    So long as there is someone left to thank for all the fish. (Hey, it was the most philosophical I could get right now.)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19719 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Boil and Reduce to get close to the Source...

    Quite. The idea of meaninglessness is itself meaningless.

    and if meaning means sense
    ergo senselessness = e
    ...by gum!

    Something to chew over indeed...


    Ears lookin' achoo kid...

    We should probably leave a monolith somewhere...

    we don't need no steenkin' monoliths!
    Shibboleths that's what we need...
    so the hip replacements can have a ball...
    Well maybe a Rosetta Stone for the cognoscenti...

    ...but really once our transient standing waves have collapsed back into the unified field background noise (and all our monoliths and constructed conceits are regolith anything coming after us will probably want to forge its own way and not be led into the evolutionary cul de sacs, blind alleys and box canyons that we have explored and championed.

    Love hertz
    tune in

    yrs
    Leery Old Tim
    let's make some LSD...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    ...but really once our transient standing waves have collapsed back into the unified field background noise (and all our monoliths and constructed conceits are regolith anything coming after us will probably want to forge its own way and not be led into the evolutionary cul de sacs, blind alleys and box canyons that we have explored and championed.

    Perhaps they'll toy with our coproliths.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Way to bring it back to the dungbeetle! Class.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    Hey, I'm your figment.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

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