An old boring argument

Another letter in the paper. This one is quite important.

Too many otherwise intelligent and reasonable people are taken in by simplistic classism because they have never been able to understand the reality of being Scottish.

Continue reading “An old boring argument”

The revolution will (not) be televised

For the last four or five years great changes have been underway in this country. These began to make their presence felt at the end of 2014 in the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum, as there arose again, especially but not exclusively in England, a familiar strain of nationalism, which confuses the meanings of the words British and English and believes it is naturally superior to others and therefore entitled to special treatment.

Continue reading “The revolution will (not) be televised”

Cycle four and some politics

At bottom, the problem of political decision-making only redoubles and displaces to a collective scale what is already an illusion in the individual: the belief that our actions, our thoughts, our gestures, our words, and our behaviours result from decisions emanating from a central, conscious, and sovereign entity – the Self.

Being on the left or on the right is to choose among one of the countless ways afforded to humans to be imbeciles.

This is the big lie, and the great disaster of politics: to place politics on one side and life on the other, on one side what is said but isn’t real and on the other what is lived but can no longer be said. […] Hell is really the place where all speech is rendered meaningless.

What is revealed in every political eruption is the irreducible human plurality, the unsinkable heterogeneity of ways of being and doing – the impossibility of the slightest totalization.

The Invisible Committee, Now, Semiotext(e), 2017

Continue reading “Cycle four and some politics”

Scholia

avoiding becoming embittered by interminable debates going nowhere

Regular readers tell me they have difficulty sometimes with my philosophical jargon and all these isms. Some have suggested I provide notes, a glossary or some other explanatory device.

Since my retirement and with the complex incapacitations of chemotherapy, I have had time on my hands, so I have been writing this story about my journey, which I thought might help readers understand a little better where I am coming from.

It is a little longer than I anticipated and a wee bit more detailed, but if you are sitting comfortably, I shall begin. Continue reading “Scholia”

Always living with(out) cancer

According to the eponymous tradition of Scottish philosophy, common sense refers to an ability to perceive the properties or qualities of objects using separate sensory modalities. The classic example used to demonstrate the principle is the fact of the cubeness of a cube being both a visual and a tactile experience – we can both see and feel that it is a cube. The common sense is that which makes it thus possible for vision to confirm touch and vice versa. It is the basis of learning directly to perceive higher orders of abstraction than raw sensory experience, and of using these to navigate about complex environments. Continue reading “Always living with(out) cancer”