Friday, 25 February 2011
Friday, 18 February 2011
γραφειοκρατία: η εξουσία ενός πολύπλοκου συστήματος γραφείων όπου κανένας άνθρωπος, ούτε ο ένας ούτε οι άριστοι, ούτε οι λίγοι ούτε οι πολλοί, δεν μπορεί να θεωρηθεί υπεύθυνος, κυριολεκτικά η εξουσία του Κανενός.(Αν, σε συμφωνία με την παραδοσιακή πολιτική σκέψη, αναγνωρίσουμε την τυραννίδα ως κυβέρνηση που δεν έχει να λογοδοτήσει για τον εαυτό της, η εξουσία του Κανενός είναι σαφώς η τυραννικότερη όλων, εφόσον δεν απομένει κανένας απο τον οποίο θα μπορούσε έστω να ζητηθεί ο λόγος για ό,τι γίνεται.Αυτή η κατάσταση, όπου γίνεται αδύνατο να εντοπιστεί η ευθύνη και να αναγνωριστεί ο εχθρός, συνιστά ένα απο τα ισχυρότερα αίτια της σημερινής στασιαστικής αναταραχής σ'όλο τον κόσμο, της χαοτικής της φύσης και της επικίνδυνης τάσης της να ξεφύγει απο κάθε έλεγχο και να ξεσπάσει τυφλά.)
δύναμη (ή ισχύς)[power]: αντιστοιχεί στην ικανότητα του ανθρώπου, όχι απλώς να πράττει, αλλά να πράττει απο κοινού.η δύναμη δεν είναι ποτέ κτήμα ενός ατόμου'ανήκει σε μια ομάδα και συνεχίζει να υπάρχει μόνο όσο καιρό η ομάδα μένει μαζί.όταν λέμε για κάποιον οτι "κατέχει την ισχύ" αναφερόμαστε ουσιαστικά στο γεγονός ότι του παρέχεται η δύναμη από έναν ορισμένο αριθμό ανθρώπων να ενεργεί εξ'ονόματός τους.απο τη στιγμή που η ομάδα απο την οποία προήλθε εξαρχής η δύναμη (potestas in populo, χωρίς ένα λαό ή μια ομάδα δεν υπάρχει δύναμη) εξαφανίζεται, χάνεται και "η δύναμή του".
ρώμη(ή κραταιότητα)[strenght]: χαρακτηρίζει ξεκάθαρα κάτι στον ενικό, μια ατομική οντότητα'είναι ιδιότητα συμφυής με ένα αντικείμενο ή πρόσωπο και ανήκει στο χαρακτήρα του, ο οποίος μπορεί να δείχνει ποιος είναι σε σχέση με άλλα πράγματα ή πρόσωπα, αλλά παραμένει στην ουσία ανεξάρτητος απο αυτά.
εξαναγκασμός (ή καταναγκασμός ή επιβολή ή επιταγή)[force]: συχνά τον χρησιμοποιούμε στην καθημερινή γλώσσα ως συνώνυμο της βίας, ιδίως όταν η βία χρησιμεύει ως μέσο καταπίεσης, ενώ θα έπρεπε να περιορίζεται, όσον αφορά την ορολογική γλώσσα, σε εκφράσεις όπως "καταναγκασμός της φύσης" ή "επιταγή των πραγμάτων" (la force des choses), για να δηλώνει δηλαδή την ενέργεια που εκλύεται απο φυσικές ή κοινωνικές κινήσεις.
κύρος (ή αυθεντία)[authority]: αναφέρεται στο πιο ακαθόριστο απο αυτά τα φαινόμενα, με αποτέλεσμα να γίνεται συχνότατα κατάχρηση του όρου, μπορεί να περιβάλλει πρόσωπα-υπάρχει αυτό που λέμε προσωπικό κύρος, όπως για παράδειγμα, στη σχέση μεταξύ γονέα και παιδιού, μεταξύ δασκάλου και μαθητή-ή μπορεί να περιβάλλει αξιώματα, όπως για παράδειγμα, τη ρωμαϊκή σύγκλητο (auctoritas in senatu) ή τα ιεραρχικά αξιώματα της Εκκλησίας (ένας ιερέας μπορεί να δώσει έγκυρη άφεση αμαρτιών ακόμη και αν είναι μεθυσμένος).η πεμπτουσία του είναι η άνευ όρων αναγνώριση απο εκείνους που καλούνται να υπακούσουν'δεν χρειάζεται ούτε καταπίεση ούτε πειθώ.(ο πατέρας μπορεί να χάσει το κύρος του είτε χτυπώντας το παιδί του είτε λογομαχώντας μαζί του, δηλαδή είτε επειδή του φέρεται σαν τύραννος είτε επειδή το μεταχειρίζεται σαν ίσο.)για να διατηρηθεί το κύρος απαιτείται σεβασμός προς το πρόσωπο ή το αξίωμα.ο μεγαλύτερος εχθρός του κύρους είναι επομένως η περιφρόνηση και ο πιο σίγουρος τρόπος υπονόμευσής του, το γέλιο.
βία [violence]: διακρίνεται για τον εργαλειακό της χαρακτήρα.φαινομενολογικά βρίσκεται κοντά στη ρώμη, αφού τα όργανα της βίας, όπως όλα τα άλλα εργαλεία, σχεδιάζονται και χρησιμοποιούνται με σκοπό τον πολλαπλασιασμό της φυσικής ρώμης, μέχρις ότου, στο τελευταίο στάδιο της εξέλιξής τους, γίνουν ικανά να την υποκαταστήσουν.η βία μπορεί πάντα να καταστρέψει τη δύναμη, δεν μπορεί ποτέ όμως να την δημιουργήσει.
[Χ.Άρεντ, Περί βίας, εκδ.Αλεξάνδρεια, μτφ. Β.Νικολαϊδου-Κυριανίδου]
Wednesday, 9 February 2011
"Πλάνητες, σ’ ορίζοντες και δρόμους που δε δείχνουν οι χάρτες, όλο και ξεστρατίζοντας πορευόμαστε.."
Tuesday, 8 February 2011
After having discussed the importance of mutual aid in various classes of animals, I was evidently bound to discuss the importance of the same factor in the evolution of Man. This was the more necessary as there are a number of evolutionists who may not refuse to admit the importance of mutual aid among animals, but who, like Herbert Spencer, will refuse to admit it for Man. For primitive Man -- they maintain -- war of each against all was the law of life. In how far this assertion, which has been too willingly repeated, without sufficient criticism, since the times of Hobbes, is supported by what we know about the early phases of human development, is discussed in the chapters given to the Savages and the Barbarians.
The number and importance of mutual-aid institutions which were developed by the creative genius of the savage and half-savage masses, during the earliest clan-period of mankind and still more during the next village-community period, and the immense influence which these early institutions have exercised upon the subsequent development of mankind, down to the present times, induced me to extend my researches to the later, historical periods as well; especially, to study that most interesting period -- the free medieval city republics, of which the universality and influence upon our modern civilization have not yet been duly appreciated. And finally, I have tried to indicate in brief the immense importance which the mutual-support instincts, inherited by mankind from its extremely long evolution, play even now in our modern society, which is supposed to rest upon the principle: "every one for himself, and the State for all," but which it never has succeeded, nor will succeed in realizing.
It may be objected to this book that both animals and men are represented in it under too favourable an aspect; that their sociable qualities are insisted upon, while their anti-social and self-asserting instincts are hardly touched upon. This was, however, unavoidable. We have heard so much lately of the "harsh, pitiless struggle for life," which was said to be carried on by every animal against all other animals, every "savage" against all other "savages," and every civilized man against all his co-citizens -- and these assertions have so much become an article of faith -- that it was necessary, first of all, to oppose to them a wide series of facts showing animal and human life under a quite different aspect. It was necessary to indicate the overwhelming importance which sociable habits play in Nature and in the progressive evolution of both the animal species and human beings: to prove that they secure to animals a better protection from their enemies, very often facilities for getting food and (winter provisions, migrations, etc.), longevity, therefore a greater facility for the development of intellectual faculties; and that they have given to men, in addition to the same advantages, the possibility of working out those institutions which have enabled mankind to survive in its hard struggle against Nature, and to progress, notwithstanding all the vicissitudes of its history. It is a book on the law of Mutual Aid, viewed at as one of the chief factors of evolution -- not on all factors of evolution and their respective values; and this first book had to be written, before the latter could become possible.
I should certainly be the last to underrate the part which the self-assertion of the individual has played in the evolution of mankind. However, this subject requires, I believe, a much deeper treatment than the one it has hitherto received. In the history of mankind, individual self-assertion has often been, and continually is, something quite different from, and far larger and deeper than, the petty, unintelligent narrow-mindedness, which, with a large class of writers, goes for "individualism" and "self-assertion." Nor have history-making individuals been limited to those whom historians have represented as heroes. My intention, consequently, is, if circumstances permit it, to discuss separately the part taken by the self-assertion of the individual in the progressive evolution of mankind. I can only make in this place the following general remark: -- When the Mutual Aid institutions -- the tribe, the village community, the guilds, the medieval city -- began, in the course of history, to lose their primitive character, to be invaded by parasitic growths, and thus to become hindrances to progress, the revolt of individuals against these institutions took always two different aspects. Part of those who rose up strove to purify the old institutions, or to work out a higher form of commonwealth, based upon the same Mutual Aid principles; they tried, for instance, to introduce the principle of "compensation," instead of the lex talionis, and later on, the pardon of offences, or a still higher ideal of equality before the human conscience, in lieu of "compensation," according to class-value. But at the very same time, another portion of the same individual rebels endeavoured to break down the protective institutions of mutual support, with no other intention but to increase their own wealth and their own powers. In this three-cornered contest, between the two classes of revolted individuals and the supporters of what existed, lies the real tragedy of history. But to delineate that contest, and honestly to study the part played in the evolution of mankind by each one of these three forces, would require at least as many years as it took me to write this book.
[A.Kropotkin, Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution]
Monday, 7 February 2011
έλεος, ο (και έλεος,-έους,το) οίκτος, έλεος, συμπάθεια, ελεεινός' άξιος ελέους, αξιολύπητος, ελεεινός, ελεέω, αισθάνομαι έλεος (οίκτον) δια τινα, οικτίρω τινά, ελεημοσύνη, η' οίκτος, έλεος, ελεημοσύνη, ευσπλαγχνία, ελεήμων,-ονος' οικτίρμων, ευσπλαγχνικός: μάλλον ηχομιμ. λέξις (πβ. ελελίζω)
Sunday, 6 February 2011
Text derives from the Latin textus (a tissue), which is in turn derived from texere (to weave). It belongs to a field of associated linguistic values that includes weaving, that which is woven, spinning, and that which is spun, indeed even web and webbing. Textus entered European vernaculars through Old French, where it appears as texte and where it assumes its important relation with tissu (a tissue or fabric) and tisser (to weave). All of these resonant associations are relevant to understanding how "the text" is used in contemporary scholarship, especially the interplay between its nominal and verbal forms, an interplay that registers the quality of what Julia Kristeva has called the text's "productivity," that is, its capacity to enable and exceed the producing, the materialization, of products.
The emergence of the text as an important concept in humanistic scholarship has taken many twists and turns. When Walter Benjamin, in his essay "The Image in Proust," described Proust's writing as a textum, a weaving not unlike the raveling and unraveling carried out by Penelope in the Odyssey, he was bringing to closure a tradition that dates back at least to Quintilian (c. 35–100 C.E.), a tradition of associating the literary work with a tissue woven of many threads. If it makes sense to associate Benjamin with the closure of this tradition, it is because in his insistence on the dialectic of raveling and unraveling, he foregrounds a key preoccupation of what came to be known as textual criticism. Textual criticism—a distinctive fusion of the practices of biblical exegesis, paleography, and philology linked now with the figure of the German philologist Karl Lachmann (1793–1851)—was an institutionally and largely theologically organized emphasis on the text as an empirical object. This expressed itself during the fourteenth century in the works of William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, and John Wycliffe (among others) as a concern for the original and therefore true words contained in any writing—in effect, what God actually said. The text was defined either in opposition to commentary and annotation or in opposition to all that is supplemental: introductions, appendices, etc. This was a text understood as a thing, as a specific and precise configuration of words toward which one was then authorized to turn his or her hermeneutical attentions.
Read more: Text/Textuality - Etymology - Tissue, Tradition, Textus, Weaving, Words, and Closure http://science.jrank.org/pages/11410/Text-Textuality-Etymology.html#ixzz1DB0wlwuC
(καλωσόρισμα από και προς την καινούρια μου φίλη Μ, η θετική ενέργεια ως δάνειο και αντιδάνειο)
Friday, 4 February 2011
remained basic to Benjamin's understanding of materialism.
Scholem recorded his "extreme formulation": '"A philosophy that
does not include the possibility of soothsaying from coffee grounds
and cannot explicate it cannot be a true philosophy.'" As Bloch
has commented, Benjamin proceeded "as if the world were
language."The objects were "mute." But their expressive (for
Benjamin, "linguistic") potential became legible to the attentive
philosopher who "named" them, translating this potential into the
human language of words, and thereby bringing them to speech.[...]
In the Trauerspiel study, the abstractness of representation has the
effect of sealing the reader within the text, that creates its own win-
dowless world. As in the stuffy, upholstered bourgeois interiors of
the nineteenth century, one is threatened with claustrophobia. In
contrast, the atmosphere of One Way Street has all the light, air, and
permeability of the new architecture of Gropius or Corbusier. The
outside world of gas stations, metros, traffic noises, and neon lights,
which threatens to disrupt intellectual concentration, is incorporated
into the text. These material substances rub against thought with a
friction that generates cognitive sparks, illuminating the reader's
own life-world. Gloomy descriptions of the decaying bourgeois
order are juxtaposed with the most varied aphoristic observations:
"In summer those who are fat attract attention, in winter, those
who are thin." "The Automobile Disease: [. . .] Its etiology: the
secret wish to discover out of the general decline the quickest way
to do oneself in." "Genuine polemics takes a book in hand as
lovingly as a cannibal prepares a baby." "One complains about
beggars in the South and forgets that their tenaciousness in front of
one's nose is as justified as the obstinacy of the scholar before a
[SusanBuck-Morss on W.Benjamin, Dialectics of Seeing, p.17]
Wednesday, 2 February 2011
Following this model, I would suggest that the cognitive function of people is not "distorted" by circumstances; rather, that human cognitive performance is context-dependent and multidimensional, and that to really understand human cognition it is not possible to approach it as a self-contained system. Human cognition should be approached as an integrated structure, where cognitive processes vary from situation to situation, depending on situational differences that relate to a broad variety of categories which overflow traditional definitions of cognition. These factors affect cognitive performance not necessarily in negative ways; experience permits people to develop efficient strategies to deal with new situations, responding to them by taking shortcuts and leaps of faith, in high-speed information-processing acts commonly called intuitive jumps. These "intuitive jumps" are connected with the goal-seeking character of our interaction with the environment and bring to the fore the role that guessing plays in cognitive performance.
Hidden underneath the litcrit discussions lie more subtle and difficult questions of intelligibility. As competent readers, we handle linear texts by taking notes, reordering and analyzing writings for our own needs. In reading current hypertext: web pages or interactive computer games and applications, our tasks also include figuring out what it is that we might take notes on, or reorder and for what purposes we might use it. These problems are often referred to in terms of navigation and orientation (what is it? how can I get around it?). We are literate readers: accustomed to genres which encode the reader, author and purpose of the communication into their forms; we are accustomed to the outline as our model of intelligible structure in printed texts. That sense of outline enables us to linearly traverse complex structures (we go from I.b.2. directly to II.A.1). To that model, hypertext adds the topical link-node diagram which is offered as an intelligible data structure. Current media add the situated speech of conversation, image, sequence, motion and structures of interaction. These are different and new: there are few genres that provide us with the expectations we need to navigate and orient ourselves.. The Art of Memory, a mnemonic tradition that began in ancient Greece and persisted through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and into the seventeenth century gives us an account of how people could hold and organize thoughts, making of themselves walking books without using the written word. It may also point toward ways for developing visual and narrative models of intelligibility to apply to new media. The Art of Memory provides us with way to open up questions of intelligibility through structure, visible form, metaphor, and narrative.
Hypertext is as much a term for understanding as it is an objective phenomenon. It is perhaps the best ready-made method for considering the problems of interactive media. The history of hypertext has been shaped by theories and attitudes that are already realized in the work produced. Many characteristics of hypertext are socially constructed; the common understandings make communications intelligible. It is important to work toward constructing those common understandings. When we consider "common understandings," we know that they may not be universally held and are often distinctly not those of leading thinkers. Common understandings are often not explicitly documented; they are vague, inferred and debatable. For example, this article asserts that computer information is commonly understood to be disembodied, scientific and objective. To the contrary, Richard Coyne, in Designing Information Technology in the Postmodern Age asserts that "the operative philosophy of the computer world is not logical positivism, or even analytical philosophy, but liberal pragmatism.Neither is the computer world inhuman, driven by a kind of 'techno-rationalism.The computer world may no longer be considered scientific and authoritarian by its developers, but it once was and it has been popularly thought of that way until very recently. These issues open up a number of questions. Whose beliefs shape media like hypertext? Are outmoded opinions still important? Does the malleability of beliefs make artifacts like hypermedia malleable, or will hypermedia remain fixed in some respects by the body of products produced? While it is quite beyond this paper to discuss these possibilities, they are relevant questions. Will change be revolutionary, continuous or will the forms remain fixed? We have some historical precedents: cars, bicycles and radio electronics all show the tendency to change in ways that resemble plate tectonics, i.e., to coalesce from a period of fluidity into a fixed form which remains until stresses force a change, which results in another period of general or special quake and confusion, coalescing into another period of fixity. The modern bicycle took shape near 1880, and has changed little since. Broadcast has three major periods: am, fm and television. Cable and digital appear to be the fourth and fifth. We are certainly in a quake zone within communication, and the ability to form the next stage will be a matter of social power, and a matter of establishing a set of concepts adequate to analyze current pressures.
Within this context, it is not possible to be definitive about the proper interpretation of hypertext and its nature, but, again in the words of Richard Coyne, to "open up a space" in which questions and possibilities can be organized and discussed.
Guessing as a cognitive strategy.Guessing is a very efficient way to strategize an action on the basis of existing information; guessing is connected to meaning in information already possessed. Bateson suggests that meaning may be regarded as an approximate synonym of pattern, redundancy, information and restraint. He suggests that any aggregate of events or objects contains redundancy or pattern. If we divide the aggregate into two parts, the observer that sees only one part "can guess, with better than random success" what is in the other part. Bateson suggests that what is in one part contains information, or has meaning, or redundancy about what is in the other part. In cybernetic terms "the information available on one side will restrain (i.e., reduce the probability of) wrong guessing" (Bateson, 1985, 131). Guessing is then based on information possessed, on redundancy and on the resulting predictability, and it is as much a proof of human economy of action in the realm of cognitive strategies as the reading of instructions.
[J.D. The postcard, p.255]
"This afternoon we received the news that our sweet Sophie in Hamburg had been snatched away by influenzal pneumonia, snatched away in the midst of glowing health, from a full and active life as a competent mother and loving wife, all in four or five days, as though she had never existed. Although we had been worried about her for a couple of days, we had nevertheless been hopeful; it is so difficult to judge from a distance. And this distance must remain distance; we were not able to travel at once, as we had intended, after the first alarming news; there was no train, not even for an emergency. The undisguised brutality of our time is weighing heavily upon us. Tomorrow she is to be cremated, our poor Sunday child! . . . Sophie leaves two sons, one of six, the other thirteen months, and an inconsolable husband who will have to pay dearly for the happiness of these seven years. The happiness existed exclusively within them; outwardly there was war, conscription, wounds, the depletion of their resources, but they had remained courageous and gay. I work as much as I can, and am thankful for the diversion. The loss of a child seems to be a serious, narcissistic injury; what is known as mourning will probably follow only later."
On October 15, 1926, Freud wrote to Ludwig Binswanger, "For me, that child took the place of all my children and other grandchildren, and since then, since Heinele's death, I have no longer cared for my grandchildren, but find no enjoyment in life either. This is also the secret of my indifference—it has been called courage—towards the threat to my own life." On March 11, 1928, he returned to the subject in a letter to Ernest Jones: "Sophie was a dear daughter, to be sure, but not a child. It was only three years later, in June 1923, when little Heinele died, that I became tired of life permanently. Quite remarkably, there is a correspondence between him and your little one. He too was of superior intelligence and unspeakable spiritual grace, and he spoke repeatedly about dying soon. How do these children know?"
you should be able to guess, to say it in my place, for we have said everything to each other.
I would have liked, yes, to give you everything that I did not give you, and this does not amount to the same.At least this is what you think, and doubtless you are right, there is in this Necessity.
I will ask myself what to turn around has signified from my birth on or thereabouts.I will speak to you again, and of you, you will not leave me but I will become very young and the distance incalculable.
Tomorrow I will write to you again, in our foreign language.I won't retain a word of it and in September, without my even having seen you again, you will burn
you will burn it, you, it has to be you.
[J.D.The postcard, p.256, end of envois]