Reply To: Suggestions of how discussions might be framed

  • Peter Barus

    December 26, 2023 at 3:49 pm

    I found this forum while preparing to post an article in General. It might be relevant here, but might go unnoticed by many people I would like to see it.

    But as it happens I share many aspects with some members here, such as living in Vermont, a career as a drummer, a 1958 epiphany about peace & war (not the last I hope), highschool dropout, but class of ’66, some deep Scots-Englishness, etc. I mention this but to indicate a sense of the speaking/listening here. I have a few comments, and a citation.

    Can somebody post the statement on Feudalism? I missed it in my state of rapt awe at going through everything I could find from Iain since his latest reintroduced me to his astonishing work.

    It seems odd to read about studies measuring comparative “happiness” in the context of hemisphere specialization, a measure of the immeasurable, a comparison of the incomparable.

    Regarding “power that maintains structure,” I see it the other way around. There is one rule seen as natural law, but is a human artifact: nothing can be done unless seen as profitable by investors. This is a cultural structure (see anything by Howard Richards

    Also “Philosophical Journalist” brings to mind an interesting idea about the conversational roles people tend to fall into, and their effectiveness in different contexts, using the metaphor of a sporting event. Players speak in action; Coaches speak in strategy and tactics; Fans in the bleachers hear and speak only “boo!” and “yay!”; and Journalists report on Monday. All contribute to the game, with diminishing influence on actual play in the moment “on the court.” It gets complicated when we don’t attend to our roles, for example when I speak as a Coach to somebody listening as a Fan, or as a Journalist to a Player. And this is not to knock Journalism, without them the game might very well cease to exist at all.

    On Feudalism vs Democracy my view, since I was taught a definitive (very questionable) description of Feudalism in elementary school, has been that it is the default setting for human societies, and has never been replaced: we just change the labels. And that Feudalism is a cultural adaptation. Cultural selection displaced the Darwinian kind some time ago, and now drives our evolution. “Happiness” has little to do with it, although resistance seems to lead to persistence.

    Lately my inquiries concern acceleration and scale, which combined with Feudalism portend doom in no uncertain terms.

    About Zen, the Samurai, and most of the other related issues, may I suggest a book of my own about my studies in Japanese swordsmanship, “Maters of Life and Death: Essays in Budō” (2013)

    Also try “Before War” by Elisha Daeva, and try to find out about Marija Gimbutas’ amazing work, so long suppressed, and now back in serious consideration. Stonehenge was built by women…

    There is also a fascinating book looking at Heidegger in parallel with Werner Erhard’s remarkable large-group workshops (a verbatim transcription of the last “est Training”):

    I guess it’s not inappropriate to add my Substack feed: “Surviving Extinction at the Dawn of the Attention Age”

    And thanks for a wonderful romp through the maize…