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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
Posts: 3690
Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
Anything in particular about Derrida? I suppose the obvious touching stone for his deconstructionist approach is Levinas, a far better writer IMO, if that's what you were interested in.

I had to read an essay by him, and it really made no sense at all to me. I've had the class now, so I think I understand a little bit about what he's talking about, but there are still a few points I'm confused on--and there are several we haven't gone over yet.

I think I understand what he means when he talks about the "center" but I don't suppose you would be able to help clarify his views on binary opposition and freeplay?

Or if you could point me in the direction of a good resource that would be wonderful. I'd just like to hear an explanation from someone who is not my professor.

I also get the feeling that Derrida is a lot less complicated than my teacher makes him sound.

Today we talked about Derrida. You could practically see everyone's brains breaking. Mine included. I think this is the first time I've literally gotten a headache from a class.
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Nem



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... Structure Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences ? =p

Derrida's not a very exact writer - I suspect intentionally - so, you're probably right that the underlying ideas aren't very complex but....

@_@

It certainly doesn't help matters any that much of Derrida's philosophy is just responses to much wider arguments that were going on at the time. He characterised his own philosophy as going on, 'in the margins' of philosophy. So just reading the things without reading the stuff they're responding to is often an exercise in frustration.

Near as I was able to figure things when we were doing him:

Centre means something like 'the underlying assumptions of a methodology.' You have this centre and you build a structure of logic or argument, or language for that matter on top of it. But the centre, the underlying assumptions of the methodology, limit the range of arguments that can be made in that system. The amount of... play... you have in things - like having extra play in a rope.

If you think of it as being an actual physical structure, the freeplay would be the degree to which the structure could flex and support things. On the one hand the centre makes the structure possible, but in that very act of making possible it also makes a bunch of things impossible. So that one might say the conditions of success are also in part the conditions of failure.

Which leads into binary opposition. The purpose of binary opposition is to pick out two things that are in tension with each other. Absence and presence, duty towards one person and duty towards society. To use those to reveal the underlying centres of a system - which, at least according to my reading of Derrida, always favour a certain side of the tension - and to attack them.

Why you might want to attack them goes back to the structuralist idea that meaning just lives in the relations that different things have to one another. If the centre of a system innately favours one half of a divide then it's not reducible to interrelations.

You might find these pages interesting, or at least useful:

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/derrida/

http://www.postcolonialweb.org/poldiscourse/spivak/deconstruction.html

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/

http://www.iep.utm.edu/derrida/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/levinas/

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/heidegger/

Or not. =p

Don't know whether that's any help ^_^;

#

Today noticed some really sloppy security guards. Slouching back against the walls and so on. What a mess. I don't know about you but whenever I look at a security person I get a sort of weigh them up feeling in my head. And seeing people slouching against walls and so on? ... Fairly blatantly makes you feel, 'I could have you, sunshine.'

Walking through some buildings with people like that - you can't help thinking the security makes them less secure in a way. It's not like they'd come at you all together, and since you could take any two of them in fairly quick succession....

The only real danger would be if the workers or customers tried to swarm you. A few security officers who look like they don't even want to be there certainly wouldn't be up to much.

I still can't figure out why they were there. Some random office building is not the sort of place you'd expect people to kick off.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Fri Sep 21, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

. . . That helped quite a lot, actually. Thank you so much! *hugs*

^______^

My professor words things very, very badly. Ever thought about teaching, Nem?

Nem wrote:

... Structure Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences ? =p

Derrida's not a very exact writer - I suspect intentionally - so, you're probably right that the underlying ideas aren't very complex but....

@_@

It certainly doesn't help matters any that much of Derrida's philosophy is just responses to much wider arguments that were going on at the time. He characterised his own philosophy as going on, 'in the margins' of philosophy. So just reading the things without reading the stuff they're responding to is often an exercise in frustration.

Gee, how'd you guess? =p

That is my entire problem with this class, actually. It's Literary Criticism. Specifically 20th Century criticism--because there's not enough time to study the entire spectrum and there aren't enough people in the major to offer two courses on it.

So basically, not only does the class not give any background on the history of criticism, but we're having to read essays by a very wide range of people--few of whom are actually critics--without any background in their subjects. So many of my classmates are trying to understand people talking about linguistics, anthropology, mythology, psychology, philosophy, without knowing anything at all about those subjects.

And we don't necessarily study the wider arguments either. Derrida was introduced as a response to Structuralism, which we did go over--if only briefly. But it still doesn't make much sense without studying all the connections.

It's frustrating, to say the least.


________

Today my sister and I went out to get our hair done and for coffee. It's really the first time we've done something together the whole time she's been here. And they're leaving in two weeks. ><;
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Nem



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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tinu. wrote:
My professor words things very, very badly. Ever thought about teaching, Nem?


Its been suggested a few times. I don't think that secondary schools hire many philosophy teachers though - and university teachings spots constitute a very competitive environment, especially in terms of research, that I've not much interest in at this point.

There's also the fact that teacher qualifications are a fairly significant investment without a guaranteed job at the other end. I'm naturally reluctant, after investing in excess of £20,000 in an education I've yet to see any return from, to invest more money in similar things.

Tinu. wrote:
Gee, how'd you guess? =p


I believe it's the only essay he mentions freeplay in, or the first one or something like that.

Tinu. wrote:
That is my entire problem with this class, actually. It's Literary Criticism. Specifically 20th Century criticism--because there's not enough time to study the entire spectrum and there aren't enough people in the major to offer two courses on it.


I remember subjects like that - they ended up sending us around to other vaguely-related departments to make up the requisite credits. Fortunately the courses they ran tended to be fairly stand-alone.

#

Today I was surprised to learn that you can compress human speech to 275 wpm without significantly effecting clarity/retention. Average reading speed for someone who's read for a while is 300 wpm.

Been looking at a lot of research about this sort of stuff since I started thinking about my eyes. Haven't noticed things seeming to get markedly worse in that regard. Always makes me feel better to have more knowledge of solutions if the worst should happen though. Little makes me more nervous than not knowing that sort of stuff.

Anyway I had thought the obvious thing to do would be to link the range-finder to a vibrating device they could hold in their hands - and have that vibrate depending on how far away something is. But then I thought that might not be the way to do it, because you'd lose the ability to sense objects clearly when they didn't significantly vary the range. What you actually want to do is to have something that vibrates based on the rate of change of the range. So that for a clear flat floor when you sweep it in front of you at a certain speed it always produces the same sensation - and the variances in the feedback will tell you where on that line and what shape the obstructions are. You could also use it to sense walls and so on around you like that.

There may or may not be some reason people don't do it like that. I note that something called a mini-guide, based on - I believe - ultrasound, takes the former approach.

http://youtu.be/jpOyyOtkNMc

I can't really find much else about it.

Wonder how far off we are from proper artificial eyes....

Also speech recognition technology is getting scary-good

http://youtu.be/9AoV6xg0XTE

The last time I was looking at this stuff was … ooo, years ago. I remember when trigrams were a big thing. Suspect the next big thing's going to be finding ways to eliminate noise properly. =p Either through using rifle-mics or through modelling distortions of known noises, or both.

Might end up setting something like that up for my normal typing activities anyway. Can definitely see some advantages - main disadvantage of course would be a significant lack of privacy.

-shrug-

So yeah, that's most of what I've spent my day doing.
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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Location: The land of dreams

PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem wrote:
Tinu. wrote:
My professor words things very, very badly. Ever thought about teaching, Nem?


Its been suggested a few times. I don't think that secondary schools hire many philosophy teachers though - and university teachings spots constitute a very competitive environment, especially in terms of research, that I've not much interest in at this point.

There's also the fact that teacher qualifications are a fairly significant investment without a guaranteed job at the other end. I'm naturally reluctant, after investing in excess of £20,000 in an education I've yet to see any return from, to invest more money in similar things.

All very good reasons to not make it a career. Regardless, you are very good at explaining things. ^___^


I managed to hurt my knee over the weekend. It pops every time I stretch it out, and hurts when flexed. Been treating it with IcyHot and some pain killers, and I'm hoping I've just pulled something and it's nothing that needs serious attention. u_u
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Asa



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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something similar happened to me. Does it hurt when you walk, but not when you're at rest? Specifically in the downward half of the step?

So yeah. Tonight begins Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It's in general a pretty solemn day, but for me the scariest part is that I don't feel scared. No reaction. Which is a symptom of a larger problem I'm struggling with right now, which has gotten so bad that my mother is coming out next month to try and help me get at least something started. I've not been able to accomplish that on my own.

I just... need some support, I feel like I don't have a lot of that right now.

I feel like I'm dumping on everyone. Sorry.
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Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Tinu.



Joined: 23 Mar 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes. It also hurts quite a bit when going from sitting to standing.

*hugs* You're not dumping. You're a part of this community and we'll support you in any way we can. I hope that you're able to sort things out, and if you need an ear, you know where to find me. =)
Chin up!
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's good that your Mum is coming out to see you, hopefully that will help you get the ball rolling, and we're here for some extra support should you need it sweetie. *hugs*
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Nem



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PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh Asa, -hugs- I hope you feel better after talking to your mum, or find a more comfortable course of action at least.

-hugs-

#

Today I went into a shop to buy my father some razor blades. £22. What. the. heck?

Nem doesn't shave with cartridge razors regularly, so this was somewhat of a shock to his system - not having seen the prices in some time. After some laughter he walked down to the local bits and bobs shop and bought one of these for four quid with ten blades.



I won't say it's the best razor you can buy, because it's blatantly not. There are much nicer razors out there if you're prepared to put the money in. And cutthroat razors, and those razors that are like cutthroat razors but don't fold, are arguably better if you're prepared to put in the upkeep to keep them really sharp. It's... certainly one of the best types of razor ever made though. They were designed around the turn of the last century. And they're a bit like a shark in that they got the design right the first time and it hasn't changed very much since.

The blades for these all use the same pattern for different companies razors, which ensures the price remains competitive. They're very cheap. They don't get clogged with hair like the modern multi-blade things. They put far less of your hand in the way of your face when you're trying to shave - and only having one blade makes it really easy to line your sideburns up.

Compared to cartridge razors they're just an all around better design. There is nothing that cartridge razors do better.

Edit: Wow, no wonder it was such a shock:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2136440/The-great-razor-rip-Prices-blades-soar-99-just-years.html
Shocked
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Asa



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Location: Grammar Police HQ. Watch your language, I'm armed with the NYTimes Style Book AND Strunk and White!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone. Yom Kippur turned out to be a pretty uplifting experience; I'd forgotten how intense and energized the service at Harova can be. Recharged my relationship with G-d, if not my motivation to do anything else, but it was definitely a good experience, and I'm glad I went.
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Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Maeniel



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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2012 11:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nem: I've actually converted to the Dollar Shave Club. It's pretty fantastic. (Not sure if they ship outside the US, though. Also, warning on the link - there's a video with a censored curse word.)
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Asa



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

(Sorry for the quick double-post)

Nu, I forgot to say - I had that too. All those are weight-bearing moments for your knee, before the rest of your leg takes the strain, so it might be a problem with your kneecap, the patella - at least, I had all those symptoms and that's what my problem was. Do go to a doctor, because mine didn't get better on its own. They thought my problem was lack of muscular strength in my hips and thighs pulling the patella out of place; yours might be a different problem. So go to a doctor and get it checked out, in the meantime wear a knee brace, take meds if you need it, and ice and elevate it.
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Self-styled Forum Grandmother, because I hand out nicknames and hugs whether you want them or not. ^_^

Keeper of the Library and the Gateway to Haven

Nem: "It's the sort of face you just know is getting ready to poke you with something sharp."
BS: "...then insist you eat a brownie."
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Think but this and all is mended...
Give me your hands if we be friends,
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The patella is literally the kneecap, in fact. It rests between the bones of your upper and lower leg, and is held in place (mostly) by cartilage. If you've damaged your knee, then that could be the problem. Also possible is that you've irritated, inflamed, or damaged the "socket" for the bone behind your knee. Think ACL injuries for athletes - they're actually rather common. This is essentially what hyper-extending a limb does, it loosens or completely removes the bone from the socket of tendons and ligaments. Most are so minor that they heal on their own, but some are serious enough to become long term, chronic issues. It may not be a ligament issue, and it may not be due to hyper-extending the limb, but it's just more information about what all can go wrong with a knee.

Either way, front or back, it may be time to see a doctor about your knee, Nu. Also, the knee brace is a good idea. It is not a solution, but it is a temporary relief while you seek proper medical care.

My Anatomy and Physiology class was useful for something.. that's a good feeling.

@Asa: You have my support, my well wishes, and whatever else I can acceptably offer.

@Nem: You may have a superior product, but I refuse to yield my cartridge razor! Actually no, I've seen the type of razor pictured there, but I don't know where to buy them. They're amazingly brilliant, I just can't find them as easily as I can find a cartridge razor (and it does well enough that I don't complain). Shaving is rather a bother, actually.. particularly after I started keeping my beard neatly trimmed.

@Et al: I come bearing shinies. http://i.imgur.com/vAjqj.jpg

Some updates for me, seeing as this is the thread in which updates are meant to be..

I've lost 40lbs since being cleared to move about again as I wish. I'm actually feeling my pants are a bit loose, and I've already gone down to the tightest notch I've ever worn on this belt. Very excited for that!

I have my grades back for the first few exams from the semester. My lowest is an 88 in a statistics course. Not high enough, must study harder! My best is a 98, which would otherwise have been 100 if I'd not done more work than was required. Odd to be punished for that, but there you are. Everything else has been mid to high 90's, so I'm successfully making amends for straight D's last semester. >_> (It was a rough semester..)

I'm making a trip to NYC in early November. Anyone in NYC want to have lunch?

Speaking of lunch, my French professor turned me on to this bakery run by a French immigrant. Proper French pastries!! The chocolate eclairs are simply divine, and they taste so light... Oh.. J'adoré! (I believe that's the right verb.. Feel free to correct me!)

Also, my French professor looks like Ricardo Montalban, only a bit more skinny. As a fan of the original Star Trek (Montalban played Khan in the movie "Wrath of Khan") this makes class very cool for me.

That's about it. Custody battle has gotten worse, health has improved, still not sleeping well (C'est la vie, non?)... Eh! All in all, I can't really complain.

I hope you're all well!
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Allicat



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Today I am doing SCIENCE!

Details to follow for those interested, I'll resurrect the science thread.
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Tenshi



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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Color me interested, resurrect away!
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