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106  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Recorsi on: September 16, 2005, 02:53:44 PM
Giordano Bruno [1548-1600], a Neopolitan trouble-maker, has strongly influenced both modern science and  modern occultism -- an oddly mixed heritage. Bruno's "pantheism" also had major philosophic impact on Spinoza; in the 20th Century he has continued to exert a fascination upon such odd bedfellows as Annie Besant, of the  Theosophical Society; Dr Wilhelm Reich, radical psychotherapist; Dr Timothy Leary, another radical psychotherapist; and on Joyce and Pound.  Paul Levinson regards Bruno's de-centered universe as the perfect model of cyberspace.

eh, the perfect model of cyberspace?

Bruno's books got burned by the holy roman catholic and apostolic
church. They also burned Bruno himself 17 February 1600. When surrounded by barbarians, it may prove hazardous to
have new ideas.

   Dr. Reich's books also got burned -- by U.S.Government [hereinafter, the    Lying Bastards] in 1957. Then they smashed his lab equipment
   with axes, threw his ass in jail, and passed a law against
   replicating his experiments. Re-read previous comment
   about barbarians

........eh, the perfect model of cyberspace?

Bruno's universe, infinite in both space and time,
has no "real" or absolute center, since wherever
you cut a slice out of infinity, infinity remains.
Thus every place an observer stands becomes
a relative center for that observer.

This infinite universe may or may not match the
currently fashionable cosmological model of a
but it clearly matches the essential nature of
"mystic experience" --  the mindblowing realization
that one 'is' the center of EVERYTHING
and the equally mindblowing discovery tht
that doesn't really matter because
every conscious entity 'is' also at the center.

Cyberspace, an indefinite but evergrowing network, also
has no absolute center. Every console becomes "the"
center for it's user.
Plug in a terminal. Internet doesn't care who or what you
think you "are."

...language as Class Warfare...

Giambasta Vico [1668-1744]:  Another tricky Neopolitan writer,
so egregious and/or polymathic that one finds him called a "philosopher," a "sociologist," and even a  precursor of "cultural anthropology" or "Jungian psychology." A heavy influence on Hegel and Marx; on Joyce and Pound; and on Transpersonal Linguistics.
Joyce [and the present book] borrow most heavily, not
from Vico's "cycle" theory of history, but from his concept
of language as Class Warfare.

Vico, unlike Bruno, escaped the Inquisition, but frequently got
himself accused of "heresy"
by academic rivals; at his funeral, a violent
confrontation broke out between
his admirers and a  group of detractors, still charging
"heresy" and declaring him unfit for burial in "holy ground"
[the cemetery of the Unversity of Naples, where he had
taught] Some of the disputants required hospitilization
afterwards; Neopolitans  take philosophy seriously.

         Marx bragged of "turning Hegel upside down," thinking
                  he had thereby created Social Science. Unfortunately,
         metaphysics turned upside down does not become science
         but merely upside-down metaphysics. Hence the failure
         of Marxism.


Why Joyce invented a new language:
"English is an honest language; there willl be
nothing left of Vico."
--Salvemini, on attempts to translate Our Man.

Vico, aware of the Inquisition looking over his shoulder,
never says exactly what he means.  If he had, they
would have  burned  the poor bastard.
All books written in the United States since
the passage of the USAPATRIOT act may  deserve
the same suspicions.
[Including this  one.]
I hold that English, despite its basic honesty, can
contain the same insinuations and innuendos as
Italian, if poetized and information-enriched.

"Make him an offer he can't refuse."
   --Don Corleone

Friederich Nietzsche [1844-1900] offbeat German philologist-philosopher, enemy of "morality;" often [inaccurately] blamed for World War I, Naziism, World War II, Existentialism, the Leopold-Loeb murder,  and other nefarious tendencies and events.
Influence on  Sigmund  Freud, Carl Jung, Thomas Mann, W.B. Yeats, Stefan George, Bernard  Shaw, Jean-Paul Sartre, Eugene O'Neill, William  Faulkner and, of course, Joyce and Pound. We will consider him  chiefly as a critic of language and forerunner of Wittgenstein, Logical Positivism, Pound/Joyce and General Semantics.

Vico, as I understand or misunderstand him, believed
that religion began from fear of the thunder.
Vico says only "gentile religion" began that way, thereby
leaving the Bible outside the scope of his enquiry; we
who live under the USAPATRIOT Act can appreciate
his discretion.

Ernest Fenollosa [1853-1908],  scholar of and historian
of art, Eastern and Western; considered a "national hero"
in Japan, and buried as such with all due honors by the
Japanese government, Fenollosa remains mostly unknown
in his own country [U.S.A.] Revered in Japan
for renewing interest in Japanese poetry and painting
at a time when the young Japanese mostly had forgotten
their own tradition and wanted to imitate Western models,
Fenollosa also wrote an essay on "The Chinese Written
Character as a Medium for Poetry"* which vastly influenced
Ezra Pound and, through Pound, modern poetry generally;
said essay also anticipates some formulations of General Semantics
and  NeuroLinguistic Programming [NLP],** and foreshadows
modern critiques of "linear" and "alphabetical" thinking.***

*Given to Ezra Pound, 1913, by Fenollosa's widow. After
five years of Homeric struggles to get this essay published, Pound
printed it as an appendix to a book of his own literary/linguistic
essays, Instigations  [1918]. In 1952, Instigations  having
gone out of print, Pound, Marshall McLuhan and associates
reprinted it as part of their Square Dollar Series.

                                            A squiggly fractal--
                                            the line of Monterrey's hills--
                                            floats above the fog

...the alphabet vs. the equation....

Count Alfred Korzybski* [1879-1950] inventor of General
Semantics; a Polish-born engineer, who grew up in a house where
everybody spoke four languages [Polish, Russian, French, German], Korzybsi wrote his major works in English after becoming a
U.S. citizen. His basic theorems: [1] every "language" or  code has a structure which heavily influences the perceptions and "ideas"
of those who use it; [2] the structure of Indo-European
subject-predicate sentences does not mesh with the structure
of the world known to science; [3] mathematics does mesh
neatly with science [4] we need to make our languages more
like mathematics if we want our social life to become
as pragmatically succesful as our sciences. In the present context, Korzybski's mathematized language structures, like the  Fenollosa/Pound emphasis on Chinese ideogram, helps us perceive/conceive Internet in alternative ways, not possible for  those restricted to Indo-European semantic structures.

                                            "Weep, weep!" cries a bird
                                            Lost somewhere in fog and mist.
                                            Sunrise with no sun.

Korzybski pronounced a heretic by Pope Martin Gardner, remember.

"You speak to me of nationality,
language, religion. These are nets
I shall  try to fly over."
   --A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

James Joyce [1882-1941], the primary inventor, along with
Pound, of "modernism" in literature. In Dubliners [1914],
Joyce invented the "modern" [New Yorker-style]
short story,  or slice-of-life;
in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  [1915], he
changed the style and language continually, from infant
prattle to educated elegance, as the hero grew from
babyhood to college graduation;
in Ulysses * [1922], he
replaced the allegedly "objective" and seemingly
omniscient narrator of traditional fiction with a hundred
narrators [or "narrative voices"] all of them mildly-to-
severely distorting events to suit their own predilictions;
in Finnegans Wake [1939] he invented a new hologrammic style,
based on Bruno and Vico, which encodes the whole into
every part. In this class we l lean most heavily upon the
neurological relativism of Ulysses  and the hologrammic
prose of Finnegans Wake.

*Banned from U.S. and repeatedly burned 1922-1933.The
Lying Bastards said they wanted to protect us from "indecency."

free speech without free radio speech is as zero
   --Ezra Pound, Canto 74

Ezra Pound [1885-1971]* a foremost creator  of and
the  primary polemicist and propagandist
for "modernism" in literature and art; proponent of "ideogrammic"
as distinguished from "alphabetical" [linear] perception and/or
conception of world; major influence on McLuhan.**
I borrow mostly from Pound's use of ideogrammic
method in his epic Cantos  [1917-1970 approx.] and in Machine Art [1930]

*Charged with "treason"[poor usage of the First Amendment]
by the U.S. government; committed to St Elizabeth's
Hospital for the Criminally Insane for 13 years, 1945-1958.

**A WORD TO THE WISE GUY: Quick like a bunny, check out:

                                            Gay flamingo sings:
                                            "The sun rises and the world
                                            Is ablaze with Dawn"

...the alphabet vs. the equation....?

...language as Class  Warfare...?

R. Buckminster  Fuller [1895-1983], often hailed as
"the moden Leonardo," "the brainiest American since
Benjamin Franklin," etc.; inventor of the Geodesic
Dome, the World  Game, the Dymaxion Car, the
Dymaxion Map [the first 2-dimensional projection
to show all  continents without distortion], the Global
Energy Network, Synergetic Geometry, etc. etc. etc.
inventor of the phrase "Spaceship Earth" etc.
Here we mostly use Fuller's synergetic/planetary sociology,
as influenced by and an influence upon Pound.

God is not a noun.
God is a verb.
      Buckminster Fuller,
      No More Second-Hand God


Marshall McLuhan [1911-1980]. Who he? You'll find out.

Claude   Shannon [1916-   ] never had any trouble with the Proper
Authorities, but he nonethless launched two mathematical
revolutions which made Internet inevitable and also
crept into the vocabulary of both the biological and
social sciences: [1] In his 1940 M.S. dissertation for
M.I.T. he demonstrated how use of Boolean algebra
could make electrical networks into logic machines,
thereby creating the theory of digital circuits--
the foundation stone of modern computers;
and in his 1948 book, The Mathematical  Theory of
Communication [University of Illinois Press], he created
Information Theory, which underlies Internet
and simultaneously acted as a paradigm for
literally dozens of other sciences.

I actually find it hard to think of any area of modern life--
science, education, business, art, entertainment-- 
where bits and bytes of Shannon's Information Theory have not
penetrated. In fact, whenenver you tell
somebody how many "bits" [binary units] a disk
contains, you have quoted him ...
And whenever you've heard or used the word "feedback"
in any but its original meaning*, you have heard another
extension of Shannon's work.

*Sound distortion created by interacting electronic systems.


         H = - Epilogepi

      --Claude Shannon, The Mathematical Theory of                         Communication

"Shit, motherfucker! I want my fucking money, motherfucker."

I'm still hungry.
   --Citizen Kane

You'll get  fat!
   --The Magnificent Ambersons
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107  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: Discuss Ireland as third world country and Joyce as third world artist. on: September 16, 2005, 12:27:55 PM
When I lived in Ireland [1982-88]
they called it "post-colonial syndrome"
and mags had many articles
finding it everwhere from shopping habits
to foreign policy Grin
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108  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: What do you foresee when the third world REALLY comes online? on: September 16, 2005, 12:15:54 PM
In Vico's terminology, the "human" age has run aground & smashed in
war of all against all
[terrorism etc]
and we need a return to the "divine"...

can we see this emerging in psycedelics & internet?

or in Leary & McLuhan at least?
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109  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: How about Pound and the United States? on: September 16, 2005, 12:02:34 PM
continuing off-topic --

Ez originally used headlines and other "modern" [newspaper &
advertising] fonts in BLAST, perhaps at
Lewis's incitement

The leading Vorticist sculptor, Gaudierr-Brzeska,
got killed in World War I, and the Cantos
treat that as one of the war's worst
atriocities. Pound's memoir GAUDIER-BRZSKS
contains his first explicitly pacifist rant

His one-page autobiography sez simply,
"1919: began investigating causes of war,
to oppose same."
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110  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: Why do you suppose that Joyce wrote about nothing but Ireland and refused to liv on: September 16, 2005, 11:36:51 AM
without downgrading any other answers.
I add
Joyce said he feared assassination
if he returned
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111  Any and Everything / Group Space / national prayer day on: September 16, 2005, 09:39:16 AM
President Bush has declared today
a national Prayer Day. Please do
your part. Ask God to stop all these
recent Acts of God.
Tell Him if he won't stop we'll
find another God somewhere

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112  Course Assignments / WEEK SIX / social Credit on: September 16, 2005, 08:05:47 AM

Colby Cosh on Social Credit
Calgary Herald, July 10

"The rest of Canada can't be wrong." That was the Alberta Liberal slogan in the harvest election of 1935, still the meanest and most dramatic in our province's history. Facing a chaotic brawl against Social Crediters, United Farmers, Tories, non-partisan independents, the democratic-socialist CCF, and the Communists, the Liberals tried to distinguish themselves with a simple appeal to Albertans: trust in the wisdom of your provincial brethren, and vote for the natural governing party. Needless to say, it didn't work. In the polls of Aug. 22, 1935, Social Credit won a crushing victory.

And while the Socreds have long since dwindled into insignificance, the Alberta Liberals still aren't getting very far with "The rest of Canada can't be wrong" as a tacit credo.

For students of Alberta history, the 1935 election is an awe-inspiring moment -- perhaps the most startling act of defiance ever perpetrated by a Canadian electorate. William Aberhart, originally a schoolteacher from Ontario, had needed just five years (1918-23) to turn a tiny Bible-study group into Calgary's fastest-growing religious organization. By 1927, when Aberhart founded the Prophetic Bible Institute -- an innovative combination of broadcast facility and Protestant academy -- his ringing voice and back-to-basics evangelism made him the outstanding media star in the Canadian west. But he didn't meddle in politics until 1932, when he chanced upon a pamphlet by an eccentric Scottish engineer, Major C.H. Douglas.

Like any sensitive man living in the Depression, Aberhart was preoccupied with the misery of the aged, the hunger of children, and the hopelessness of the young. No apparent great world crisis or act of physical destruction had caused the crash of 1929. Somehow, a staggering amount of wealth had just evaporated overnight. Douglas's theory -- that purchasing power was chronically short of output under capitalism -- seemed like an essential insight into a world gone mad. Energized, Aberhart began using his radio broadcasts to publicize Social Credit on the radio, delivering thunderous Mosaic speeches and making sly use of what we would now call "sketch comedy."

One message got through loud and clear: Social Credit "experts" could be brought to Alberta to manipulate the monetary system and -- without incurring inflation -- generate a $25-a-month "social dividend" for every man, woman and child in Alberta. This was provocative stuff. (At the time, the average working man's wage in Canada was about 40 cents an hour.) The scandal-wounded United Farmers government had been able to provide no distinctive answer to the Depression, and the pressure from Aberhart was so great that the UFA would gladly have made Douglas god-emperor to save its hide. But the government's best minds understood Social Credit's implications better than Aberhart, and could see no practical way to introduce it on the provincial level. They, and the other parties, became roadkill for the Social Credit media machine.

The $25-a-month Socred promise endowed the election with literal life-and-death importance. Party workers on all sides defaced opponents' signs as a matter of course. Social Credit audiences bullied and jeered opposing speakers; a favourite tactic was to drown them out with car horns. Entire areas of the province became hazard zones for old-line candidates. Eminent men defected to Social Credit simply to preserve their community standing. The hardliners who stuck with the traditional parties tried to demonize Social Credit, warning of food riots and capital flight. And they brought in spokesmen from outside the province to denounce the movement, which only hardened Albertans' determination.

The turnout on election day was well above 80 per cent, and has no equal in Alberta elections held before or since. Because of the complexity of counting transferable ballots, it took days to confirm that Social Credit had won 56 of 63 seats. But the overall outcome was obvious, and worldwide reaction was immediate. Albertans, it seemed, would be the first to test-fly a non-red, Anglo-Saxon alternative to high capitalism. The Social Credit fan Ezra Pound, hearing the news, dashed off excited letters to friends from Italy. In California, a young Robert A. Heinlein was stirred to write his first novel about the glorious Socred future. From California, Upton Sinclair scolded Albertans for having rejected conventional socialism in favour of economic illiteracy. A Boston newspaper printed the legendary headline ALBERTA GOES CRAZY.

But the revolution fizzled quickly. Citizens of Calgary who lined up at City Hall for their first $25 on the day after the election had to be turned away -- and they never did see a cheque. For all Aberhart's passion, control of the monetary levers was firmly in the hands of the brand new Bank of Canada. Douglas refused to travel to Alberta, and sent vague, worthless advice. An effort to introduce made-in-Alberta "prosperity" scrip failed miserably. The premier became preoccupied with podunk authoritarianism, passing laws to torment bank employees and threaten unfriendly reporters. The courts and Parliament fended him off until the Second World War arrived. Aberhart died, largely unmourned, in 1943. His assistant and successor, young Ernest Manning, abandoned the monetarist heresy and became an eloquent spokesman for the newly rehabilitated concept of capitalism.

Looking back, the 1935 election might be regarded as the most ignominious event in Alberta history. It's the classic example of a rural populace falling for pie in the sky from a fast-talking evangelist swindler. What's perhaps notable is that Albertans never seriously considered socialism or communism as an alternative, even when Social Credit failed. Social Credit, as a theory, never claimed to redistribute tangible wealth; it merely sought to recapture a social surplus lost through bad accounting. Aberhart, as nasty and misguided as he was, didn't peddle envy.

The Alberta voters of 1935 didn't want a big government that took over factories or farms. They didn't want to nationalize their neighbour's feed store or his fancy sandstone mansion. They simply wanted the economic and political framework rectified, in order to give every man a chance to realize his own dreams. They might have had the details wrong, but the redemptive individualistic spirit was right.

There's something in all this spirituality shit.
   --Hollywood Homicide

Et in Arcadia ego


                     IS   A  STAR
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113  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: Sir Basil Zaharoff on: September 15, 2005, 11:23:23 AM
ZAHAROFF also appears as "Metesky" [in some Cantos]
& was also the model for the munitions king in
Robert Sherwood's IDIOT'S DELIGHT

That Brit never shd have kicked his arse
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114  Any and Everything / Group Space / Re: Hurricane Katrina on: September 15, 2005, 10:54:58 AM
I only got to Nollins once, for 3 days, but fell in love with it.
No natural disaster has saddened me more
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115  Any and Everything / Group Space / Re: McLuhan and Pound correspondence on: September 15, 2005, 10:47:46 AM
Tony -- I think you just hit a homer

Part of my original idea for this course began with the thought
Joyce + Pound + McLuhan = Internet
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116  Any and Everything / Group Space / Re: how was FW written? on: September 15, 2005, 10:40:15 AM
JJ kept a dream diary and incorporated it into FW

He had friends tell him their dreams

He had friends tell him of dreams found in biographies

He rewrote every part many, many times

He spent 17 years on it

As Nora said, "I don't know if he's a genius but he's not like
any other man.' Huh
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117  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: Discuss Ireland as third world country and Joyce as third world artist. on: September 14, 2005, 12:28:35 PM
800 years of colonialism leaves a hangover

Even today one hears in the pubs "I saw your man last night" or
"I saw that certain party last night" usually followed by
'"good news there" or "bad news there"

One might think oneself surrounded by the IRA.
But mostly one seems surrounded by 800 years
of caution

The Irish say "the 800 years" the way Jews say
"the six million." Nobody has to ask "What 800 years?"
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118  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: What do you foresee when the third world REALLY comes online? on: September 14, 2005, 12:09:50 PM
DIGITAL MCLUHAN points out that every previous medium
has had "gatekeepers" [editors/censors] but it
seems impossible to impose same on
a worldwide internet

a censorproof worldwide bain..........
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119  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: Discuss Ireland as third world country and Joyce as third world artist. on: September 13, 2005, 05:47:20 AM
masks and anti-masks indeed....
in Swift, Sterne,
Wilde & Yeats
as well as Joyce
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120  Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Re: What do you foresee when the third world REALLY comes online? on: September 13, 2005, 05:43:03 AM
Consider previous communiation revolutions --

invention of speeh > time-binding

written speeh > patriarchal/authoritarian civiliation

gutenberh > capitalist industrialism

radio > ideology/wars of ideas...

TV/Internet > Information explosion
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