Friday, August 29, 2003

I'm still reading various post at 'Pedantry' and having a good time. I don't want to go through the process, at the moment, of linking to the various points of interest, so one comment will fill the role of many.

Reading the posts I get the sense of someone who is trying to construct a logical notion of collectivity without having an innate feeling for it. I want to imagine a Lutheran Minister trying to describe the significance of communal activity in Italy. Here, for example, and I'm breaking my promises already, is the author's commentary on Israel and moral equivalence. I agree in general but the use of the terms collection and collectivity are too abstract. He is too willing to give things names and then to follow the logic that develops from the name he gives. But 'Israel' and 'The Palestinians' are both Collections AND Collectives; and I find myself making similar comments often as I read. I am interested, however, in anyone who is trying to come to terms with an idea of 'collective' intelligence, since I find it more profound than the singular variety. As an anti-libertarian I find Mozart more profound than Ayn Rand, and Mozart was part of a collection and the product of a collective, while Rand in denying collectivity, has been religated, by most fully formed adults, to the role of an historical object. I think it is more fruitful to examine the complexity of these relationships than to attempt to create an algorythm that mimics them, but I'm not tossing insults at the author's attempt.
I can make a point here that applies also to the question of language politics: Languages can only die a natural death. Invasion and conquest are as natural as the search for food, but we are at the point in our history that in the cause of our morality we defend an ethos of artifcial preservation and museification. My civil morality makes me defend this process, but not without regret. The author of "Pedantry" is too willing for my taste, to replace living culture with its simulacrum, but he is trying to come to terms with just what that culture is.
I'm adding him to my link list.

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