Saturday, July 03, 2004

[continuing from here]
So it's den Beste she's talking about. There's a book to be written here but I'm too lazy to do it. The response to the whole thing shocks me however so I should expand on my comments a little.

"If one operates on the assumption that one acts without bias, that one's responses to information are neutral and 'objective,' then one can wonder why anyone would ever feel the urge to be rude."

That's a neatening up of my original sentence, written after reading den Beste.

I could argue that rudeness is always unnecessary but that's not the point. It exists. And the logic behind a shocked and wounded response to its presence is an assumption of the purity of the interests of the wounded party. This is the anti Freudianism of technocracy, the assumption of the transparency of language. Only someone who assumes her own reason, and reasonableness, could be hurt by no more than someone else's unreasonableness. Of course who's more fragile, L. or den Beste? Both want to deal with the world only on their own terms. Both of them are afraid of the sloppy engagements of democracy, but den Beste's response is not intellectual but visceral. He makes no claim to clarity. On the other hand there's something invidious, even foul, about the response to his behavior. And, as I continue to argue, there's something illogical in shallow presumptions of one's own logic. One does not learn by subsuming oneself in systems, one learns by using systems to organize information; but there are always things that do not fit. den Beste's pontificating blather is annoying. The emotional and intellectual passivity of the author of the blog Apt 11d, is either tragic or grotesque

It's not philosophy that's become decadent, it's the academic notion of debate. Modernism has grown stale, and we're living in an intellectual's Weimar Republic. As someone who was born in such a place, I'm actually becoming more fond of democracy as I grow older.

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