is a psychological process whereby opponents view each other as less than human and thus not deserving of moral consideration.
This is really interesting to me (don’t take that to mean that I think the practice isn’t despicable). From a psychological perspective, dehumanizing the enemy makes it easier to kill them. I assume this. I’ve never been to war, but I have killed bugs and trapped mice without much (key word: much) remorse. In most, or at least some, armed conflicts though, there must be a fair amount of cognitive dissonance involved in the way that the enemy is approached. I watched Restrepo last month (an excellent documentary. Watch it, if you haven’t already). But two scenes stuck out in my mind. One scene a solider describes his home to another soldier; it’s a big ranch with some wild game on it. “What do you do there?” the other solider asks- “I dont know, hang out and shoot stuff. Kind of the same thing we’re doing here I guess”. A fairly typical attitude for soldiers, it seems. The Afghan rebels are being thoughtlessly compared to the wild game on this soldier’s ranch (albeit a much more dangerous game). Later in the film, some soldiers are conversing about why the enemy hasn’t attacked in several days. “Think about it. We just killed 6 of their men. If that happened to us, we’d be hiding out licking our wounds too”. (All of these quotes are paraphrases. like I said it’s been a month since I watched the doc.) Anyway, the point is, the military has to at once dehumanize their enemy, in order to create an effective killing machine, while maintaining that their enemies are humans, with typical human rationality, in order to tactically game the enemies’ responses and intentions re: the conflict. Neuroscience tells us that when we try to understand the intentions of others, a specific part of brain is in use, a collection of brain areas collectively called “the mind reading system”. One theory suggests we use our own rational informational processing systems to simulate the intentions of other humans. Thus we understand each other’s intentions in terms of ourselves, and what our intentions would be in such and such a situation. This seems to be relatively in line with the scene from Restrepo quoted above. This still leaves the question of the dehumanized enemy open. The cognitive dissonance probably include a fair amount of self-deception and switching back and forth. It might be interesting to investigate the relationship between this issue an PTSD… food for thought.
Sorry I meant to keep that discussion going last night, but my internet crapped out. I’m quite fond of Wittgenstein, especially his later work, and the work that he/it inspired. I think pragmatic considerations are more important that a lot of mainstream philosophy has assumed they are. That said, I don’t think they completely explain where/how meaning comes from/to be. Semantic considerations help explain how the meaning of a language is understood systematically, especially in cases where we encounter a sentence we’ve never encountered before. Grammar/syntax and linguistic meaning (as opposed to speaker meaning) help establish a semantic framework which can be modified or refined by knowledge of a speakers intentions. Now to go out on a limb, and I don’t know if this has been worked on, but it might be possible to develop a formal semantic framework which helps lighten the role of pragmatic considerations… bringing more and more of the pragmatic side of meaning into the fold of a formal semantic theory…or something like that.
- Sarah: Krista’s allergic to dogs? Why’d she volunteer to watch Malchik?? whaaaat is going onnnnnnnnn
- Kevin: She's allergic, but that doesn't mean she doesn't looove them oh so much.
- Slate: You were defending Tracy Morgan on Twitter this week for some controversial jokes he made at a show in Nashville. [Morgan said that homosexuality is a choice, and that if he had a gay son he would stab him to death.] Why did you think it was clear that he was "fucking around"?
- Louis C.K.: Well I've said a lot of things that were worse than what he said. I have my things that make it OK for people when I say them. I have my irony and different levels that I'm working at, so that makes it OK for people around me, for people that come to my shows. And people heard this Tracy shit mostly third-hand. He didn't stand on a public stage and say this stuff. He didn't make these announcements: "Here, America, are my views." Where you say something makes a huge difference about what you say and what it means and what you let yourself say.
- There's a lot of times when I let myself channel bad ideas as a way to do comedy. I think it's something that's a healthy thing to do, honestly. And I think the person who really fucked people up and hurt people with Tracy's words was whoever took it out of that Nashville club and put it on the national stage—whoever called Huffington Post or whoever started this shit, and said, "Guess what Tracy Morgan said," and announced it to the rest of the world. He wasn't trying to say it to the rest of the world. So when I read stuff like, How are gay people going to feel when they read this? Well they didn't have to read it! They weren't part of that show. Maybe there were gay people there who were laughing. You don't fucking know. Nobody gets to say that they represent anybody and they're offended on behalf of the whole world.
- You can see this shit really bothers me. I didn't carefully inspect what he said. I heard some of it, and it made me laugh. I didn't get the context, but I have to defend it, because if I was in his role, if I was in his situation, which I might be someday—which I already am for having said something on his behalf—I would want someone to step forward and say something. This is a freedom that I live off of. I think, whatever, if Tracy made a mistake, he certainly didn't deserve all of this. And I don't know him well, but he's a good guy. So I'm using that judgment, of just, hey, I met him and he's a good guy. And I get a sense of him as a father, and there's no way he would stab his kid.
- It's a dumb thing to take at face value. You'd have to be a moron. And if you do, you are not allowed to laugh at any more jokes. You are not allowed to laugh at any jokes that have any violence or negative feelings attached to them, ironically or otherwise. I think there's a lot of hypocrisy in that. If anybody thinks that what he said is true and there's no comedy in it, don't come to my shows. I've said to many audiences that I think you shouldn't rape someone unless you have a good reason, like you want to fuck them and they won't let you. That's worse than what he said! And I didn't wink and say, just kidding. I just said it.
So I’ve heard. I can’t bring myself to drop the 40-60$ on it though. especially when most of those articles are out there for free.
L’esprit de escalier: (French) The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of all the things you should have said. Translated it means “the spirit of the staircase.”
Waldeinsamkeit: (German) The feeling of being alone in the woods.
Meraki: (Greek) Doing something with soul, creativity, or love.
Forelsket: (Norwegian) The euphoria you experience when you are first falling in love.
Gheegle: (Filipino) The urge to pinch or squeeze something that is unbearably cute.
Pochemuchka: (Russian) A person who asks a lot of questions.
Pena ajena: (Mexican Spanish) The embarrassment you feel watching someone else’s humiliation.
Cualacino: (Italian) The mark left on a table by a cold glass.
Ilunga: (Tshiluba, Congo) A person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time.” —Words that don’t exist in English
from the Author’s Note, in David Foster Wallace’s The Pale King.
Reminds me of something G. K. Chesterton wrote:
“We have all forgotten what we really are. All that we call common sense and rationality and practicality and positivism only means that for certain dead levels of our life we forget that we have forgotten. All that we call spirit and art and ecstasy only means that for one awful instant we remember that we forget.”(via themadeshop)
Yeah, you might be able to find it out in the world, otherwise Amazon definitely has some nice sets. The stones can be kind of expensive, but it’s a beautiful game to have and play. It’s incorporated nicely in D. Aronofsky’s “Pi” - which if you haven’t seen is cool to see :)