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November 29, 2003


Jacob T. Levy

'Annoyance is the mind killer.'

Oooh-- that's good. I wish I'd written that. And I wish I could remember it at crucial moments...

Chun the Unavoidable

I made my other comment before reading this, and it seems we're in substantial agreement.

The horrible abuse of "positivism" is one of the most annoying of literary theoretical sins, I agree.


I'm just now reading a chapter in Gerald Graff's book _Clueless in Academe_ that addresses this topic. The chapter's titled "Scholars and Sound Bites"; here's a sample:

"I want to suggest that the reputation for the obscurity of academic writing, though not completely unearned, rests on misperception, that such obscurity is less frequent--and is more peripheral and local--than we tend to think, especially in the work that makes a significant impact on its field."

He doesn't mention the dreaded Butler or the other B-word, but he does defend Eve Kosofsky-Sedgwick's _Epistemology of the Closet_, pointing out that while its opening pages are choked with stage smoke, she "reductivizes" her point nicely around page 50 in a vernacular phrase: [as a posited mainstream cultural response to hypothetical questions about the existence of a "gay Socrates" or a "gay Proust"] "Don't ask. Or, less laconically, "You shouldn't know."'

He assigned Sedgwick's book to his graduate students, who unanimously declared it unreadable. When he pointed out the pithy summary on page fifty-um, they said they'd read it, but assumed that it couldn't be as clear as it actually was: "By the time they arrived at the clearer section their expectations had been so colored by the impenetrable earlier part that they did not notice when the writing becaem suddenly accessible [. . .] Like most people who encounter an academic text, they figured that if it seems comprehensible they must be making some mistake." He goes on to argue that Sedgwick should have opened this window earlier in the text, before cranking up the smoke machine.

Graff ends up making a good case for defogging, apart from this bit of "You critics are wrong! Well, except where you're right. But you're still wrong!" (I wonder if he's trying to placate academics who fear he's gone over to the evil D'Souzian side.)


Sometimes I think it's time for me to shed my snarkskin and grow up.

No, heaven forfend! I couldn't forgive you.

Might I suggest that each post be a duet--the first a snarky-if-less-than-punctilious takedown; the second a sober statement of the case. I've enjoyed both immensely.


He makes out that logical positivism involves defining the notion of 'clarity' in manifestly horrible, hopeless fashion: in truth-functional terms

I must say I think you're being a leetle bit precious about this. Something is clear if it isn't ambiguous, and one way for a statement to be ambiguous is to have multiple truth-conditions. Furthermore, one way for a statement to be unclear is for it to be meaningless, and the positivists certainly did designate large classes of statements as meaningless due to problems with their truth-conditions. So if you take the general content of that sentence as "analytical philosophers are all hung up on truth conditions, and it's got something to do with the legacy of logical positivism", then it seems about right.

And looking at the passage as a whole, it's perfectly clear to anyone prepared to extend even a modicum of interpretational charity that what he's talking about here is the supposed superior status of scientific statements over those of humanities scholarship which is, nine times out of ten in the minds of the supposers, based on some kind of warmed-over Popperism.

I've always tended toward the belief that most of the War On (Some Kinds Of) Theory is based on two destructive intellectual practices; arguing against things which aren't arguments, and trying to take things literally. I'm not finding myself being convinced otherways.

Arthur D. Hlavaty

Eve Kossofsky Sedgwick is a brilliant thinker who often obscures her own points by writing in the PoMo style. One of the many useful things I learned from her is that same sex/other sex is not the only scale indivdiual orientation can be plotted on (lots of sex/little sex, avoid bad sex/seek good sex...). Besides, she said that the two most rhythmic things in childhood were poetry and spanking.


As opposed to addictive drugs, or to psychedelics not produced by the brain, or being in the DNA synthesis library - taking exogenic Harmine, actually stimulates the Pineal gland to produce more Pinoline for itself, increasing the other essential neurotransmitters recycling.

such as a specific compound that has been given a name from the binomial of the plant where it had been discovered, as in Leptaflorine from Leptactinia densiflora

I look for two clues. The first is a sound that catches my attention immediately, the prefix, "harm-." This demands that there is a methyl group in the molecule and that it is at the 1-position. The second clue is the vowel that follows the harm-. It will usually be an "a" or an "i" or occasionally and "o." The harma- things have nothing on the aromatic ring, and the harmi- things have a 7-methoxy group there, and the harmo- things are usually phenolic, with an oxygen attachment there. And the numbering systems can be totally off the wall.

However, as usually in the older literature but still seen sometimes today, the indole nitrogen is the 1-position (as it still is when a structure is seen as an indole) and then every atom, substitutable or not, is numbered sequentially. This brings the 7-substitution identifier of harmine (which is the indolic 6-position) up to the number 11. This makes harmine 3-methyl-11-methoxy-beta-carboline. Some years ago the general term "tryptolines" was introduced to embrace the family of compounds with no methyl group on the 1-position. The numbering required that the pyridine nitrogen be called the 1-position effectively maintaining the position numbers of the parent indoles

The UDV and the Santo Daime sects are the largest and most visible of several syncretic religious movements in Brasil that have incorporated the use of ayahuasca into their ritual practices. Of the two larger sects, it is the UDV that possesses the strongest organizational structure as well as the most highly disciplined membership. Of all the ayahuasca churches in Brasil, the UDV has also been the most pivotal in convincing the government to remove ayahuasca from its list of banned drugs. In 1987, the government of Brasil approved the ritual use of hoasca tea ('hoasca' is a Portugese shortening of 'ayahuasca' and is sometimes used to differentiate UDV brew from non-UDV ayahuasca) in the context of group religious ceremonies. This ruling has potentially significant implications, not only for Brasil, but for global drug policy, as it marks the first time in over 1600 years that a government has granted permission to its non-indigenous citizens to use a psychedelic substance in the context of religious practices.

During this time, the Vedas were still held in high regard, but this new generation of seekers sought a more enlightened meaning to life. This period is commonly referred to as the Vedantic Age. The collection of teachings generated by the ascetics who meditated on the mysteries of human existence became known as the Upanishads, and the seekers who produced the writings were called Upanishads, which literally means "sitting near" the gurus. Over a hundred Upanishads have survived, but only a dozen, or so, are considered authentic. To lend credibility to the teachings, they were invariably compiled as appendages to the Vedas. Vedanta, then, means the "end of the Vedas." In this respect, the Vedas are considered the foundation of the faith while the Upanishads are considered the vehicle whereby the devotee may attain enlightenment as to the nature of god and man's role in the cosmos.


7 years after the bicycle accident that propelled me into 5meoDMT interactivity online surfing into Neo Think, I sought to test what the Civilisation of the Universe had revealed in Integrated Thinking.
Beginning 6 years ago, I locked myself up, in absolute darkness for 14 days. This floods the brain with Melatonin, and forces the pineal gland to produce and be active.
Once there is a threshold of Melatonin, then Pinoline results. After some 4-7 days 5-meo-DMT awakens. One can see in 3 dimensional Holon pictures, as the thoughts behind language, exactly as in the Civilisation of the Universe lapses I had earlier.

In 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster of Mt. Sinai Medical Center published a paper called "Auditory Beats in the Brain" identifying a characteristic of the brain in which the brain would resonate to the frequency difference between two tones presented to opposite ears. Because the hemispheres are not entirely separate, but connected, they actually respond to these two tones by producing a third tone representing the difference between the two original tones. Here's an example:

Tone of 230 Hz played to right ear
Tone of 240 Hz played to left ear

Difference = 10 Hz. (Alpha State)

So by using the above two tones a calm alpha brainwave state can be created for the listener. ~http://magicalmindonline.com/faq.htm#carrier

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