New McCarthy Piece in Nautilus Magazine

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  • 19 Dec 2017 at 9:54 pm #9985

    Clement
    Member

    Wonder if McCarthy has wrestled with Quentin Meillassoux’s After Finitude. Access to the arche-fossil is mathematical.


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    19 Dec 2017 at 10:57 pm #9986

    Candy Minx
    Member

    What a truly great question!

    I love this Nautilus article so much as well as McCarthy’s response to readers.
    I feel like it’s so exciting.

    After Finitude would be such an amazing topic for us to discuss here. It’s relevance , or not, to “the kekule problem” would be ripe for us to pursue.

    I seem to recall an interview about arche-fossil a movie and Werner Herzog the nature of reality.

    Which also reminds me of the radio interview with Hrtxog and McCarthy… when was that? 2011?


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    20 Dec 2017 at 12:09 pm #9995

    Candy Minx
    Member

    I found the interviews with Herzog I was thinking about…and they really do fit and challenge with what seems to be going on in McCarthy’s essay.

    “In short, correlationism maintains: We cannot conceive of a mind-independent reality without a mind to conceive that mind-independent reality. Correlationism consists of disqualifying the claim that it is possible to consider the realms of subjectivity and objectivity independently of one another. This forms part of what Meillassoux calls the ‘correlationist circle’, in effect, the primacy of relation over related terms of subject and object and ‘a belief in the constituted power of the reciprocal relation’ [AF, p5]. Meillassoux states that the correlate is a ‘transparent cage’ that post-Kantian philosophy is imprisoned within. For the correlationist the only exteriority we can know is merely the pole of the correlate that faces us, like the unsurpassable character of a coin of which we can only know one side. Accordingly, Meillassoux states that contemporary philosophy has ‘lost the great outdoors, the absolute outside of pre-critical thinkers’.

    The correlationist maintains that in the duality between subject and object, the correlation is all we can know and this understanding has the effect of dissolving epistemology. Subject and object (i.e. the mind and reality) are then hypostasized as poles of the correlation, of which we can only grasp one half, and this relation is then treated as actually existing. Therefore the correlation absolutizes the very subject/object dualism that it claims to overcome in metaphysical dogmatism. Metaphysical dogmatism is the often derided naïve realism of Locke, of which primary and secondary quality distinction was already implicitly present in Descartes. Correlationism begins with Bishop Berkley in his attempt to overthrow naïve realism by maintaining that ideas are created by sensations and sensations are all that we can know about the world.”

    from here…

    https://totalassaultonculture.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/ancestrality-and-the-problem-of-the-arche-fossil/


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    20 Dec 2017 at 12:11 pm #9996

    Candy Minx
    Member

    And here is the interview with Herzog and McCarthy….which might be an interesting thing next to the Nautilus article. I had sort of forgotten about this amazing interview.

    http://www.openculture.com/2011/04/werner_herzog_and_cormac_mccarthy.html


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    31 Dec 2017 at 4:28 pm #10065

    Candy Minx
    Member

    There is a risk when one changes their consciousness…or the choice of illusions…and yours are admirable Richard…I feel like in the Kekule Problem…McCarthy is writing in a manner that is off-putting to liberals and others who feel that science is only packaged in one format. McCarthy is so strongly mystical in the Kekule Problem…and then he has just lost patience with the naysayers. What is the gap? What is the gap? Is it a so-called mystical approach to consciousness? He seems to be hinting at that. We are raised according to one set of metaphors describing the nature of reality. When we grow up and become adults we either reject, adopt or choose a set of metaphors about the nature of reality. But it’s all metaphors. Any metaphor fails when it describes the universe as separate bits. There is no Richard, there is no Marc, there is no Candy, there is no Mike, there is no Rick there is no tree, there is no forum, there is no supper or bikes or dogs there is one swirling being…struggling with metaphors. And the metaphors between cultures and societies often differ with each culture believing in their own version as the most valid.

    “”All cultures are famously ethnocentric and fiercely loyal to their own interpretations of reality, not just we in the west. We tend to see ourselves here in the west not as being what we are just another culture! All of our economy all of our way of doing things is simply one constellation of traits that has come together to be an expression of who we are as a culture. We don’t tend to think of that but as an extricable wave of history…that all these other cultures of the world are quaint and colourful perhaps but somehow destined to fade away as if by some natural laws. ..and they are failed attempts at being modern…failed attempts at being us. And nothing could be further from the truth.” Wade Davis.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGOJJWVFIyY


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    31 Dec 2017 at 7:31 pm #10067

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Like many people I love to watch holiday movies during this winter holiday and one of my favorite winter solstice movies is EYES WIDE SHUT. I found myself thinking how Bill Harford was a little like The Counselor. They both seem to think they are about to be a part of an elite and that money and social climbing will allow them to complete their desire for autonomy through being just like the rich and powerful.

    Both men…do not have any idea how deep the rabbit hole goes and how terrible the control system is that they think they can buy their way into. The control system is a mystery to them because they are both idealistic liberals who do not believe in evil. They think the world is logical and rationale and superstition, mysticism is something left to ignorant lower persons. They both find out that not only is mysticism alive and well…the powerful elite have co-opted the sacred…using it as their own occult source of power.

    When the counselor speaks to Jefe…Jefe tells him…now you can be a poet. The Counselor says he doesn’t want to be a poet. Aha! That was your first crime…that is when you left the garden. The only way we can understand the nature of reality is through poetry and art…it’s the only way we can “speak” of it. Language can not explain consciousness in a way to satisfy the ego or the intellect. The power elite have removed and hidden the mysteries, the intellectuals prefer science as a metaphor over ritual and spirituality. The power elite live their corrupt dreams beheading women and using women as slaves in human trafficking. The movie EYES WIDE SHUT might have seemed farfetched when it came out with its erotic cult…but in the last two months we have seen this erotic cult exposed in all diciplines and careers/workplaces. The powerful elite have been using women as slaves.

    In THE COUNSELOR not only are some women used for human trafficking and their identities removed….they seem to be objects to attain through the control system of money and power. (Except for Kidman and Diaz…who are both outwitting the control system)

    The power elite are so successful in main because the population below them craves their lifestyle and have no idea how corrupt and sick their power has become.

    Finally…through having their vision cleared these two men can see how the world is really working…they are also slaves trying to aspire to rise up and become powerful. But that power is only maintained by a few pwople. They aren’t sharing.

    At last…the unconscious drives grasping for power are revealed and these men now can live as poets, as their true selves. They find out that the gods/powerful people feed on them and their suffering. Now they own their own suffering and can possibly live a more simple honest life in tune with the earth opposed to the elite who suck the planet of life…and use the sacred rituals the “ordinary” men have turned away from to maintain their power. Now these two men may be able to embrace and return to their own spiritual quests….in tune with the earth….restored…or at least realize how insignificant they are…in the corrupt world. That might be a blessing itself for spirituality.

    Much of McCarthy’s essay seems to be saying to me…that our intellect and our idea of what intelligence and language may be is another form of vanity.

    For me this article is a total embracing of the joy of conversation…of soliloquy. We find out what we think and feel by talking to someone else. We must be careful not to tell them what they say or think…instead we must surrender and listen…because true conversations and communication is between our mutual unconsciousnesses…not our egos…

    Something I think about when I read this article…is McCarthy’s spiritual term “optical democracy”. How can the intellect explain that …it’s good the novel itself just LIVES IT…

    ” It may be that the influential persons imagine all mammals waiting for language to appear”…this ties into the quote by Wade Davis that our society tends to see other societies as failing at what we do. And here…we see animals failing at language “not as good as us”…failed versions of us…

    “How the unconscious goes about its work is not so much poorly understood as not understood at all”

    Another soaring celebration. Another stab at the pretensions and vanity of humans…

    “It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the unconscious is laboring under a moral compulsion to educate us.” (How appropriate to Michael Fassbinder and Tom Cruise…as fools…walking through corruption and decadence..both not knowing how the world has become…)

    “Actually a hundred thousand would be a pretty good guess. It dates the earliest known graphics—found in the Blombos Cave in South Africa. These scratchings have everything to do with our chap waking up in his cave. For while it is fairly certain that art preceded language it probably didnt precede it by much. Some influential persons have actually claimed that language could be up to a million years old. They havent explained what we have been doing with it all this time. What we do know—pretty much without question—is that once you have language everything else follows pretty quickly. The simple understanding that one thing can be another thing is at the root of all things of our doing. From using colored pebbles for the trading of goats to art and language and on to using symbolic marks to represent pieces of the world too small to see.”

    “When each of you in this room were born, there were 6,000 languages spoken on the planet. Now, a language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It’s a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed, a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities.” Wade Davis

    https://www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_endangered_cultures/transcript

    “And so, what I’d like to do with you today is sort of take you on a journey through the ethnosphere, a brief journey through the ethnosphere, to try to begin to give you a sense of what in fact is being lost. Now, there are many of us who sort of forget that when I say “different ways of being,” I really do mean different ways of being.

    04:50
    Take, for example, this child of a Barasana in the Northwest Amazon, the people of the anaconda who believe that mythologically they came up the milk river from the east in the belly of sacred snakes. Now, this is a people who cognitively do not distinguish the color blue from the color green because the canopy of the heavens is equated to the canopy of the forest upon which the people depend. They have a curious language and marriage rule which is called “linguistic exogamy:” you must marry someone who speaks a different language. And this is all rooted in the mythological past, yet the curious thing is in these long houses, where there are six or seven languages spoken because of intermarriage, you never hear anyone practicing a language. They simply listen and then begin to speak.”

    “All of these peoples teach us that there are other ways of being, other ways of thinking, other ways of orienting yourself in the Earth. And this is an idea, if you think about it, can only fill you with hope. Now, together the myriad cultures of the world make up a web of spiritual life and cultural life that envelops the planet, and is as important to the well-being of the planet as indeed is the biological web of life that you know as a biosphere. And you might think of this cultural web of life as being an ethnosphere, and you might define the ethnosphere as being the sum total of all thoughts and dreams, myths, ideas, inspirations, intuitions brought into being by the human imagination since the dawn of consciousness. The ethnosphere is humanity’s great legacy. It’s the symbol of all that we are and all that we can be as an astonishingly inquisitive species.”

    something in both the men Fassbinder and Cruise characters could not learn by intellect.

    “The unconscious is just not used to giving verbal instructions and is not happy doing so.”

    They had to learn by environment soaked in ritual…initiation. And we live in a society that dismisses or even ridicules ritual (and art…which is where art/poetry is so successful). Fasbinder literally says he doesn’t want to be a poet. Yet the answer to the mysteries of the universe are in rituals, art, poetry….because those things “speak”to and from the unconscious.

    We can not just tell someone the answer to a problem. They will not likely accept it…as the nature of many problems…and our society…seem to be in the position of no faith. And this no faith can be symbolized in the easy disrespect for knowledge that we find “unofficial” as served and sanctioned by the control system.

    But…the ritual format is a better way to learn. And ritual is part of what the unconscious responds and creates…at the same time maybe…


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    31 Dec 2017 at 10:07 pm #10069

    Language is not always about making an argument or conveying information in the cleanest, simplest way possible. It’s often about building relationships. It’s about making yourself understood and trying to understand someone else. As anyone who’s ever shared an inside joke knows, it’s fun. This can be true even at work or in public — places where women are most likely to be dismissed because of the way they speak. To assume that our verbal tics are always negative is to assume that the goal of all speech is the same. Which of course is patently ridiculous.

    Maybe women are undermining themselves a bit when they, like, speak in a way they find more natural. But only in the sense that they are seeking to articulate their thoughts more authentically and connect more directly with the people listening to them. Next time I read some advice from a podcast listener or from some self-styled expert on the internet about how women are too creaky-voiced, too apologetic, or using a word too much, I know exactly how I’ll respond: As if.

    Stop telling women how to talk (or to not talk)

    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/thecut/can-we-just-get-over-the-way-women-talk_b_7770534.html

    A ream of studies affirm such anecdotes. Researchers consistently find that women are interrupted more and that men dominate conversations and decision-making, in corporate offices, town meetings, school boards and the United States Senate.

    Academic studies and countless anecdotes make it clear that being interrupted, talked over, shut down or penalized for speaking out is nearly a universal experience for women when they are outnumbered by men.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/14/business/women-sexism-work-huffington-kamala-harris.html

    Women sometimes do this thing where they talk and we’re supposed to listen, but they sound so annoying that it’s hard to focus on the content of their message. I mean, who cares what a woman has to say when she keeps doing that croaky vocal fry tone bullshit and every other word is um, like, sorry, just, actually — it’s so unprofessional! What if we made an app that stopped them from using those weak filler words? Maybe then we could take them seriously!

    https://medium.com/@amyngyn/stop-policing-how-women-speak-7499ba3bb61d

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2015/7/stop-telling-women-how-to-talk.html


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    01 Jan 2018 at 1:32 pm #10071

    Candy Minx
    Member

    I’ve been trying to think about the question of whether Cormac McCarthy has wrestled with Quentin Meillassoux’s AFTER FINITUDE.

    My feeling is…that McCarthy might think it’s laughable. But I really don’t know. First there is the convoluted writing of AFTER FINITUDE to compare it to the essay of McCarthy’s…which seems to tease and demand our unconscious to follow rather than our intellect….makes me feel the two thinkers are coming at the world from different places. Very different places.

    But this feeling also depends on whether I understood Meillassoux’s book…and it was so difficult to read I’m not sure if I did. I was attracted to the book because one of my favorites books is AFTER VIRTUE by Alasdair MacIntyre…and surely Meillassaoux must have been riffing on that title.

    The arguments I took away from AFTER FINITUDE were that…every thing can be described by mathematical means and mathematical means can not be explained by any relations to thought. In fact…if I was a conspiracy theorist I might think this is the source of 117. On page 117 of Meillassoux’s book is this….” what is mathematizable cannot be reduced to a correlate of thought.” But gosh daring…NCFOM came out before AF.

    However…I can still deeply enjoy that Meillassoux said, “what is mathematizable cannot be reduced to a correlate of thought.” on page 117.

    ( I not only think this idea is laughable I could list…and I DO list in my films and writing that this is exactly the opposite of what humans do LOL)

    But then…I don’t know if maybe I am not understanding if thought means thought in Meillassoux’s view or philosophy.

    I do think his arguments on everything is here without reason. Meillasoux thinks there is no reason and that there is no superior law holding existence into place and it could completely disappear. Everything could go away and probably will go away.

    That feels similar to what I think, believe, know. That makes a kind of sense to me…I could understand that and it holds together with meditation, with other ways of looking at the world and cultures. It blends chaos theory and the Rig Veda. And Rothko lol. So that made sense to me.

    I just see mathematizing as part of that whole…and therefore if a human can create a circle with a stick in the sand a human can correlate a thought to something mathematized.

    Meillassoux also argues that there can not be anything that is contradictory. I believe that is true too. I think contradiction is an illusion. And then of course that might mean I somehow must come to agree with Meillassoux that “”what is mathematizable cannot be reduced to a correlate of thought.”

    And somehow because there is no reason….there can be no contradiction. Again, I am not sure if that is what was the argument…it is what I got out of the book and I am not sure. No reason equals no contradiction. Maybe? And somehow..intuitively that feels right to me. I suspect because I have practiced meditation all my life…this is like a koan…and there is no contradiction when one practices meditation since everything is connected. When one is angry at someone else…they are actually angry at seeing themselves in that other person. Not fair to analyze a koan with another koan…right?

    I don’t think it is me that is feeling contradictory though…I think Meillassoux’s experience with mathematical and other objects is perhaps lacking. I think under the perfect setting he might see that in fact everything can be correlated to thought lol.

    In McCarthy’s essay…also this is following if I at all understand his meaning…which I am not sure I do…McCarthy seems to be saying that the unconscious is like a wild card. The unconscious is there to support human life and therefore that he uses the metaphor of portraying the unconscious as a sort of “character” that is here to help us.

    I’m not uncomfortable with that metaphor…however I sense it would make Meillassoux squirm.

    I’m still thinking about if there is a connection in some way to McCarthy’s argument or not in a way I could write about here…to be clear. Ha!

    I’d love to know what Meillassoux is like at a party! I can’t even imagine.


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    01 Jan 2018 at 3:42 pm #10074

    Candy Minx
    Member

    Stanley Kubrick…In an interview with William Kloman of The New York Times, when asked why there is hardly any dialogue in 2001, Kubrick explained:

    “I don’t have the slightest doubt that to tell a story like this, you couldn’t do it with words. There are only 46 minutes of dialogue scenes in the film, and 113 of non-dialogue. There are certain areas of feeling and reality—or unreality or innermost yearning, whatever you want to call it—which are notably inaccessible to words. Music can get into these areas. Painting can get into them. Non-verbal forms of expression can. But words are a terrible straitjacket. It’s interesting how many prisoners of that straitjacket resent its being loosened or taken off. There’s a side to the human personality that somehow senses that wherever the cosmic truth may lie, it doesn’t lie in A, B, C, D. It lies somewhere in the mysterious, unknowable aspects of thought and life and experience. Man has always responded to it. Religion, mythology, allegories—it’s always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what’s happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism. One wants to break out of the clearly arguable, demonstrable things which really are not very meaningful, or very useful or inspiring, nor does one even sense any enormous truth in them.”

    This ties in with both McCarthy’s NAUTILUS article and Meillassoux’s book. There was another idea in AFTER FINITUDE that because we had gone so far into reasoning…there was a rise in religion (maybe rise in religious fanaticism). Meillassoux argues in order to give us a way to look at life without feeling a finality from reason. I’m not sure he convinced me life is okay with out “magic”.

    And Kubrick says this…which supports why Meillassoux strives to find a way to embrace the conquest of reason/rationalism…(is that what he is doing?)

    Kubrick “Religion, mythology, allegories—it’s always been one of the most responsive chords in man. With rationalism, modern man has tried to eliminate it, and successfully dealt some pretty jarring blows to religion. In a sense, what’s happening now in films and in popular music is a reaction to the stifling limitations of rationalism.”

    It seems to me that McCarthy is saying that the unconscious is always going to be a safety mechanism and emergency switch to provide “answers” to our problems/mysteries. And the subconscious prefers images/poettics as it’s transmission vehicle.


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    02 Jan 2018 at 12:17 pm #10075

    Candy Minx
    Member

    For old times sake… he so is so sweet and it’s so delightful to listen to a conversation…

    (he says subconscious several times, I think we just casually mix up the words unconscious and subconscious all the time, easy to do)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qidyx3oXqpY


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