July 12th, 2004



93, all!

I've been joining some lj Communities after all, one of which prompts this entry: specifically, one devoted to viewing Jacques Derrida's "deconstructionism" with something between bemusement and alarm*. While I am more than interested enough to lurk on such a list, I am waaaay underqualified to post there**. However, it prompted a thought on what may be humanity's greatest strength, and weakness. Since I originally composed it with that list in mind, it's in quasi-academicese, which I usually try to avoid here. What the hey, it's only one paragraph.  ;)

The ability to engage in higher-level abstractions allows humans to do external things other critters (even those with opposable thumbs) can't. Equally, some internal experiences, valid enough in their own sphere, are only discussable in such terms. That said, if internal theory blinds us to external fact, things tend to break: those who meet oncoming traffic with solipsism have another think coming (well, briefly, anyway). Finally, those who think all of this unimportant should get ahold of a newspaper: the collision of higher-level abstractions with concrete reality seems to have taken on a fresh relevance, of late.

Just a passing thought, inappropriate for the Community itself, but right at home here in that Shrine of Self-Indulgence that is the individual lj page.  :D

93 93/93 -- AJ

* pomophobia -- for "fear of (or aversion to) post-modernism." (I include the explanation just in case you thought it said Pornophobia, and understandably found yourself confused.)

** A condition I may well share with others. For the nonspecialist reader, a viewing-postmodernism-with-alarm list has a sort of inherent structural flaw: that those most in sympathy with its point already have sufficient aversion to Derrida's work to be underqualified to post on it. (For my part, I contracted a painful intellectual rash from reading Roland Barthes in grad school, which even a quarter century later prohibits my intake of similar material. Pomophobia! It's a scourge, I tell you! Please give generously.)