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Re: Amazing stuff sigismund

Posted by alexandra_k on August 21, 2020, at 18:28:04

In reply to Re: Amazing stuff, posted by sigismund on August 21, 2020, at 14:32:18

> It has been said that the USA is a meritocracy, but that should be enough of that.

There are lots of people in the USA who work really really hard and are not fairly compensated for the work that they do.

There are lots of people in the USA who were (by luck) born with talents -- but who do not get to use their talents to properly benefit their communities.

There are lots of people in the USA who have wealth and prestige and so on and they personally hadn't done anything at all and / or they aren't very talented.

I really do not mean to deny any of that.


If you consider some gifts and talents and some kind of work... If you consider athletes who achieve such beauty and grace and strength in performance from conditions of relative freedom... I mean to say to compare the working conditions of elite athletes in the USA compared to the working conditions of elite athletes in other countries around the world...

If you consider whether a country will allow a kid to spend their time working on maths... Or whether they are never left alone for 5 minutes. Whether they are expected to spend their time running around outside or looking after younger siblings or working to provide for other members of the community...

I think there is some truth that I am trying to get at that I maybe can't express so very well about a greater proportion of people in the USA having a higher quality of life, or something like that.

I think... Maybe it is just about fit. Certain skills are appreciated... I guess you want to be somewhere that appreciates you. Similar values or whatever. So you can be... Without feeling like there's something fundamentally wrong either inside or outside simply because the fit is off.

Perhaps I should just say... I have had experiences in Australia and also in the USA where I felt the fit was better. Perhaps when I was in Australia but was meeting people from the USA. It was getting to talk with these people and seeing the quiet ways in which they lived their lives... Getting up to go cycling in the morning... The conversations... Decent. Kind. Hard working. Intelligent. Curious. Just spending time with them felt like a privaledge. That was what made me want to do Medicine rather than Philosophy. To really learn to look after myself. To understand myself better. To know what was good. To be able to help others understand, too, and make decisions that were consistent with the goals and plans and prefernces they had for themeselves...

So, I suppose I did want to join them. Just not as a Philosopher. I felt I needed to do more. I mean that literally. Do. I needed to do something. Something performative.

> I remember weeping and putting my head on the table listening to it.

> The idea that reading language from alphabets was a profound act of animism amazed me.

Pictures. The Chinese alphabet is pictorial. He was talking about how some languages are visual. Snapshots of scenes. It's a different way of thinking.

I don't know about hieroglyphs. I thought they were people in poses. I honestly don't know. I guess there were mountains and birds. I don't know. I don't have a grasp or a handle on translation...

But I do understand a bit about how native peoples have a different conception of the world and their place in it. One very tied to their environment. Having a sense of finding their way home. Yeah...

That spoke to me. GOing out for a hunt or a forage or just getting away for a bit in play or whatever. With others or by yourself. Having the ability to find your way home. A centredness. Felt within oneself. That we don't experience in the same way, anymore...

Planting calendars... Okay I'm reaching now, he didn't talk about that. But he did talk about night. So, time of day. From within yourself. No, not within yourself...

The interface of self and world... Teh friction point or place or, I don' tknow...

It was the idea of phonetic speech sounds as a technology. So 'see' the letter 'C' 'cccaaaa' the outbreach 'ccccaaaa'. a component or building block of different words or phrases. The focus is on building up speech sounds.

Which is very differnet from languages that have building blocks of pictures. Speech isn't the focus. Beings in teh world. Events. States of affairs. Things like that are the object or the focus of the language.

I don't know.. I don't speak Chinese or Ancient Egyptian or... Anything. But It's likely got something to do with why Maori never took to what is (technically, from an English perspective) the easiest language to learn because we wrote it down for them all phonetically simple and everything. And they (Maori people) sort of scratch their heads at it (formal Maori or written Maori or how the University Maori tell them they ought to speak Maori) and say 'that's not how anybody actually speaks'.

Except... It is, now.

It is traditional to introduce yourself with your name and a description of your home. Your mountain. The most salient mountain in your vicinity. Where you would go climb up a mountain, were to you go climibing up a mountain. The name of your river. Pirongia is my mountain and the Waikato river is my river. You dwell on that and gloss over the mountain, rather. I'ts a perfectly good mountain. Er.. Hillock. It's nice for day trips but it's not abseiling in the snow staggering peaks of South Island scenery... But Auckland pays a lot for the river-water for drinking and hydro-dams are a big deal... And the Waikato rowing team gives Oxbridge a good run for their money on the river... With all the rowing upstream they make them do in training... If you are into rowing...

Yeah, there was lot there. A lot of... A radically different world-view. Different view of our place in the world. That's what philosophy was supposed to (in some sense) be about. This curiosity and wonder...

So differnt from much of academic philosophy.

The way it is practiced in so much of academia...

> I'll listen to it again.


I've started learning about limits in AP calculus... It is surprisingly understandable. Not to start with, but second or third time around I am actually feeling like I am following along and am able to do the problems (or go doh! I see how I faffed that up) and it's not much harder than... Counting the carbons in chemistry...

Maybe there is hope for my math...

Maybe there is hope for me.

(((Thanks for being here)))




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