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Course Assignments / WEEK FIVE / Recorsi
on: September 16, 2005, 02:53:44 PM
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.
Reich's books also got burned -- by U.S.Government [hereinafter, the
Lying Bastards] in 1957. Then they smashed his lab
with axes, threw his ass in jail, and passed a law against
replicating his experiments. Re-read previous comment
........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,
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
metaphysics turned upside down does not become science
but merely upside-down metaphysics. Hence the failure
TRANLATION = TREASON
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."
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.
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
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 . 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
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
citizen. His basic theorems:  every "language" or code has a
structure which heavily influences the perceptions and "ideas"
of those who use it;  the structure of Indo-European
subject-predicate sentences does not mesh with the structure
of the world known to science;  mathematics does mesh
neatly with science  we need to make our languages more
like mathematics if we want our social life to become
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
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 ,
Joyce invented the "modern" [New Yorker-style]
short story, or slice-of-life;
in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man , he
changed the style and language continually, from infant
prattle to educated elegance, as the hero grew from
babyhood to college graduation;
in Ulysses * , 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  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 
*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.
No More Second-Hand God
A WORD TO THE WISE GUY: check out
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:  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
Shannon, The Mathematical Theory of
"Shit, motherfucker! I want my fucking money, motherfucker."
I'm still hungry.
You'll get fat!
--The Magnificent Ambersons
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
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."
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
Course Assignments / WEEK SIX / social Credit
on: September 16, 2005, 08:05:47 AM
Colby Cosh on Social Credit
Calgary Herald, July 10
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
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.
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."
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.
$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'
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
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
There's something in all this spirituality shit.
Et in Arcadia ego
NON DISCORDIA CARBORUNDUM
EVERY MAN AND EVERY WOMAN
IS A STAR
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
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.'
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
The Irish say "the 800 years" the way Jews say
"the six million." Nobody has to ask "What 800 years?"