Tag Archives: dialectic
The primary inspiration for this post, which I’ve been meaning to write since I started this blog, is a 1995 webpage titled The Art of Conversation. In fact, as I’ve done with this post, it could be called The Art of Debate, since debate over a topic — a dialectic — is what drives these (in fact ancient) ideas about discourse and rhetoric.
The page’s authors (Dean & Marshall VanDruff) give it other names: Conversational Cheap Shots! (on the site’s main page link) and Conversational Terrorism (on the page itself). The graphic, which I’ve shamelessly recreated here, calls it How Not To Talk.
Regardless, it’s about how to have an honest effective debate that actually goes somewhere. (Be that concordance or disagreement.)
20 Comments | tags: debate, dialectic | posted in Sunday Sermons
It doesn’t matter, because this isn’t about that, but it was a blog page I was reading — about baseball, as it happens — where the writer used the phrase, “who among us is perfect?” I hear variations of that sentiment often. It’s meant to embrace the flawed humanity in all of us, but to my ear it sometimes excuses the egregious.
In this particular case (again, not the point), the writer was excusing the putative racism of a ballplayer during the 1940s, and that’s when a Brain Bubble floated up to my consciousness: Does it seem we use the phrase “no one is perfect” a little too broadly, a little too generously?
Have our standards of acceptable gotten lower in the modern era?
4 Comments | tags: Age of Enlightenment, Ancient Greeks, civilization, debate, dialectic, ego, humanity, id, perfection, rational thought, social mores, super-ego | posted in Brain Bubble
When it comes to feelings (nothing more than feelings), there are two strongly reactive — yet very separate — feelings clubs on my mind these days. The one that surprises me is personal and seems to have only myself as a member. The unsurprising one, the angry, depressed, shocked one, contains nearly all the liberals these days.
A more on-the-nose term might be ‘city folk.’ (Or my personal favorite: “polis people.”) Some see this — I fully agree — as a divide between rural and city sensibilities, between local old-fashioned and global modern tech, between yesterday and tomorrow.
One side is stunned the other won, while the winners are holding their breath wondering what they’ve won…
23 Comments | tags: change, changes, democracy, democratic society, dialectic, election 2016, emotional mind, emotions, feelings, human mind, Leon Wieseltier, opinions, politicians, rational mind, rational thought, social change, social issues, social mores, thoughts | posted in Society
What do you do when you realize that society is an insane asylum and the inmates are the keepers? If reasonable people were running the place, maybe there would be some hope, but as it is we seem to be gleefully accelerating straight towards a cliff. One maniac in particular seems to be stomping on the gas pedal and no one seems able to grab the wheel.
How do we navigate a world so out of touch with the rational (let alone the truthful)? Our collective heads are so far up the collective asses of our brand loyalties that all conversation is muffled by all the shit in our mouths. There is no real dialog, let alone a dialectic.
And I can’t stop running that line from Hamlet in my head.
2 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, Bill Clinton, Clinton for President, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, evil, good, GOP, Hamlet, Hillary Clinton, HRC, politicians, Republican Party, social change, social issues, social media, social mores, stupid, stupid people, stupid stupid stupid, stupid TV, stupidity, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Politics, Society
When you elect for the highest office in the land a feces-flinging “damned dirty ape” (as Charlton Heston famously said), you really can’t be all that surprised when he shits all over your political process. What did you expect would happen?
What depresses, nauseates, and outrages me is what it seems to have taken (and who knows if even this is enough). As final straws go, the business of the Orange Goblin claiming (and, indeed, very possibly truthfully) that he cops feels and steals kisses with impunity pales in comparison to the sheer evil he embodies.
Once again we demonstrate that the big picture is beyond us; it’s the little things that capture our attention.
3 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, Bill Clinton, Clinton for President, democracy, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, GOP, Hillary Clinton, HRC, politicians, social change, social issues, social media, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Politics, Rant
When it comes to doctors (or nurses), lawyers, airplane pilots, the people who prepare and serve us food, the people who design and build our houses, the people who design and build our TV, cars, or cell phones, we naturally expect them to be well-trained and very good at what they do.
Of course we do. We avail ourselves to these things because we trust the experience and ability of those workers to do their job reliably, accurately, and correctly.
So why is it that, when it comes to politics, so many are so unwilling to listen to those who clearly know what they’re talking about?
1 Comment | tags: Anyone But Trump, Bill Clinton, Clinton for President, Clinton-Trump debate, Clintonville, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, evil, good, GOP, Hillary Clinton, Mordor, politicians, Republican Party, Sauron, social change, social issues, social media, social mores, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Politics, Society
When did we change? When did we decide that torture was an okay idea? When did we begin to so tolerate the very presence of nationalism, racism, and gender politics? When did we decide to so forsake the values that defined us as a nation?
Why do we think popular or successful means — even defines — what is right? Why do we cling to clearly false beliefs rather than accepting demonstrated facts? Why do we confuse what we like with what is good?
Where is our moral high ground, the set of values espoused by the founders of the USA and which, until recently, have largely been at the center of our national identity. Where is one of the most important questions of all: Is it the right thing?
What is wrong with us that an obviously unqualified raging narcissistic reality TV show star has even a chance of being elected President of the country? How can we possibly be this foolish? What makes anyone think he can even begin to deliver?
Who will we elect, someone who — like her or not — is clearly qualified to run the country, or an ignorant human monster surfing a wave of hate, fear, and angry frustration? Perhaps more importantly, who are we as a people?
Who do we want to be?
Which way will we turn? Towards the Dark Side? Or towards the light?
Leave a comment | tags: Anyone But Trump, Clinton for President, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, GOP, Hillary Clinton, HRC, politicians, Republican Party, social change, social issues, social media, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Opinion, Politics, Society
With modern live moving at such a fast pace, the span of a week often moves things along rapidly (even when one has deliberately taken the rat race off-ramp). My personal life doesn’t change much (’cause of that whole off-ramp thing), but the world at large careens along in its usual Zippy way
But as I continue the summer project of converting my long-time storage room into an office-library (as intended when I moved in back in 2003), I do unearth long-lost personal archeology finds that take me back. A few bits go back to high school, but a lot of it is from college.
One significant find is from a few years after…
4 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, GOP, Hillary Clinton, HRC, Khizr Khan, Olympics, politicians, Republican Party, social issues, social media, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster, tyranny of the majority, US Constitution | posted in Life, Politics, Society
Watching the antics at the GOP debate this past week, I realized something: the Comment Section has won; it’s taken over public discourse. I wrote recently about how the interweb, especially Twitter, has embedded into modern life. Now I realize just how true that is!
Think about this: Republican candidates for one of the highest and most important public offices in the world — the so-called Leader of the Free World — are exchanging third-grade insults about sweating and pant wetting.
Surely fart jokes are just a drop in the polls away.
4 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, bat-poop bonkers, bat-shit crazy, Bernie Sanders, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, Facebook, funny, GOP, Hillary Clinton, HRC, humor, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, politicians, Republican Party, social change, social issues, social media, Ted Cruz, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster, Twitter, YouTube | posted in Politics, Rant
Here we go again…
Here we go again! Political mechanics (rather than celestial mechanics, quantum mechanics, or auto mechanics) brings the Silly Season of a presidential election around once more. Tonight, in Iowa, the results of the first of the Primaries will give us the first clues whether He Who Must Not Be Named gets traction.
The social mechanics, along with technology, seems to make this election cycle unlike any seen in American politics. Despite a common assertion, the world (society, really) does evolve and change!
So no one knows what will happen tonight!
13 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, beer, Bernie Sanders, Cygnus X-1, democracy, Democratic Party, democratic society, dialectic, Donald Trump, election 2016, Flat Earth Brewing, GOP, Hillary Clinton, HRC, Iowa Primary, Leon Wieseltier, Marco Rubio, politicians, Republican Party, rhetoric, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Silly Season, social issues, Ted Cruz, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Opinion, Politics