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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Science and sanity. Oh, the humanity!

It has oft been claimed that one sign of insanity is repeating the same action over and over while expecting a different result. This may well be true, but it’s opposite does not follow. That is, it is not necessarily a sign of sanity to repeat the same action over and over while expecting the same result. That is not sanity it is science. But life/nature is constantly displaying for us a wondrous sense of irony that confounds all expectations. The sun comes up everyday (indeed the sun coming up defines the day), but weather patterns are vastly more unpredictable than we would like to believe. We wake up everyday, but our mood upon waking is oft unpredictable. We walk through life taking our breath for granted, but never knowing when our last breath may come. However, science would have us believe otherwise, wittingly or not. One deeply buried a priori at the heart of science is the concept ceteris paribus, or all things being equal. For the sake of scientific experimentation certain impossible-to-account-for factors must be disqualified in order to trust the results of the experiment, thus ceteris paribus. Any scientist, upon questioning, will readily acknowledge this. But this necessary scientific premise has been, for the most part, buried in our scientific civilization. For centuries now we have conducted a more and more ambitious scientization of culture. But after centuries of this ordinarizing process what if something vital has been lost? In science ceteris paribus may be acceptable and, in fact, often necessary to conduct research, but in life nothing is ever “all equal.”

What is missing in the scientific approach to life and culture is the cultivation of humanity’s glorious divine gift of evaluation. That is the ability to not simply read, but interpret. When King Belshazzar and his partying cohorts saw the writing on the wall, they could read it perfectly well, what they could NOT do was interpret its value. They knew the definitions of the words, but what was their meaning? These words were common terms of technical measurement (they were the names for different monetary units), i.e. scientific, but in order to comprehend their true meaning the prophetic powers of Daniel were necessary. Missing in the scientific equation of life are the natural and intuitive interpretive powers of humanity. And the more wholly scientized we become the more starved and entropic those evaluative energies and dynamics become. Our interpretive powers are only fed and augmented by disciplined and consistent practice. Prophets have always been the men and women who exercised their genius for evaluation more actively than their contemporaries. Science unquestionably has its place and its value, but when you need to interpret the writing on the wall don’t turn to a scientist. Hopefully when that day comes, you will have either found a good prophet, or have been diligently practicing your own prophetic ABCs and 123s.

The sun comes up every day, but every day is not the same.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr. Ponch-uhh-trane,

let's take a brief stab at a Lacanian interpretation of your latest work, shall we? Jacques encourages us to assess the "psychodynamics submerged in the text" does he not? When we look at this latest piece, and your latest scribblings for that matter, what do we see?

By analogy:
if Joshua-Ray Stephany = Nietzsche. Nietzches longing for the √úbermench = what within Mr. Stephany's work?


You with me so far? Relax, i'm aware that your surname is in fact Stephens. I would posit that Mr. Stephens - as articulated through the image of the king - longs for a kind of sanitized and fallacious nobility of lost cultures. Further Mr. Stephens seems to long for the golden chalice of knowledge, represented by (of all things) the golden chalice.

Further, Lacan encourages us to attempt to understand what this text would like to say, but finds it impossible to say. What... WHAT... do we find hidden here...?????

( I gotta jet... got make that money, so i'm going to keep this short)

Well the actual text in the image is all fucked up. What is that Latin? An Anagram? I really should just google it. But Fuk it. Remember, I gotta jet. Back to our question: "Lacan encourages us to attempt to understand what this text would like to say, but finds it impossible to say "

What are the desires animating this text???????.... ok here it is:

The repressed desire for "Authority." Take that with all of it's negative and positive cultural baggage. What are we talking about here? The WILL TO POWER? or are we talking about a repressed desire to help maintain and re-claim the ruling classes economic and social power? Is this piece actually about Mr. Stephens desire to become a self-actualized human ( a "king") or is it actually simply buttressing and longing for a hegomonic order that seeks to further the suffering of the exploited classes??????? in the most dastardly sense, maybe both interpretations have correspondence in the text.

what - WHAT is submerged in this text!!!!!!!!!

gotta jet,

Colin Lingus
President of the U.S. arm of Aer Lingus
Official Air Line of the Republican Army of Ireland.

( My Friends call me "Kunnie" )

Anonymous said...

Koonie, this will help you better understand the meaning of when Mr. Stephens is saying.

Daniel 5:1–31

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPARSIN is From the Book of Daniel


“during a drunken feast, King Belshazzar of Babylon takes sacred golden and silver vessels, which had been removed from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar. Using these holy items, the King and his court praise 'the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone'. Immediately, the disembodied fingers of a human hand appear and write on the wall of the royal palace the words, (MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN (or UPHARSIN in a slightly different interpretation of the word)). Although usually left untranslated in English translations of Daniel, these words are known Aramaic names of measures of currency: MENE, a mina, TEKEL, a spelling of shekel, PERES, half a mena. (A mina would be about 50 shekels.[citation needed])
Despite various inducements, none of the royal magicians or advisors could interpret the omen. The King sends for Daniel, an exiled Jew, taken himself from Jerusalem, who had served in high office under Nebuchadnezzar. The meaning that Daniel decrypts from these words is based on passive verbs corresponding to the measure names. Rejecting offers of reward, Daniel warns the King of the folly of his arrogant blasphemy before reading the text (vs 25–28).

And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and UPARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE (literally a "monetary toll"), God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL (literally a "tokenary weight"), you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; UPARSIN (literally a "division" or "portion"), your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. (NRSV)” ---taken off of wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Koonie, this will help you better understand the meaning of when Mr. Stephens is saying.

Daniel 5:1–31

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPARSIN is From the Book of Daniel


“during a drunken feast, King Belshazzar of Babylon takes sacred golden and silver vessels, which had been removed from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by his predecessor Nebuchadnezzar. Using these holy items, the King and his court praise 'the gods of gold and silver, bronze, iron, wood, and stone'. Immediately, the disembodied fingers of a human hand appear and write on the wall of the royal palace the words, (MENE, MENE, TEKEL, PARSIN (or UPHARSIN in a slightly different interpretation of the word)). Although usually left untranslated in English translations of Daniel, these words are known Aramaic names of measures of currency: MENE, a mina, TEKEL, a spelling of shekel, PERES, half a mena. (A mina would be about 50 shekels.[citation needed])
Despite various inducements, none of the royal magicians or advisors could interpret the omen. The King sends for Daniel, an exiled Jew, taken himself from Jerusalem, who had served in high office under Nebuchadnezzar. The meaning that Daniel decrypts from these words is based on passive verbs corresponding to the measure names. Rejecting offers of reward, Daniel warns the King of the folly of his arrogant blasphemy before reading the text (vs 25–28).

And this is the writing that was inscribed: MENE, MENE, TEKEL, and UPARSIN. This is the interpretation of the matter: MENE (literally a "monetary toll"), God has numbered the days of your kingdom and brought it to an end; TEKEL (literally a "tokenary weight"), you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting; UPARSIN (literally a "division" or "portion"), your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians. (NRSV)” ---taken off of wikipedia

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!