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Discussion in 'Mayberry Lounge' started by Bullitt68, Sep 24, 2016.
I like your voice
A Ghost Story
a deeply reflective emotional movie
The following is just me trying to clarify my position.
I'm not saying that Marxism is a solid theory that would work if you ironed out the peculiarities (To quote Bogart: "I'm No Communist"). I'm just saying that Ordinary Language doesn't illuminate why Marxist doesn't work.
What I'm saying is: It's not a example of theory and practice being the same. It's an example of that if you're trying to impose Marxism, you'll inevitably run into problems that Marxist theory has no theory for which is appliable or which actually works. A lot of the "Proletariat Dictatorship"-theory that Lenin created for instance (and then later found itself into Soviet/Mao communist ortodoxy) was an ad hoc solution to problems for which there were no applicable Marxist theory to work with. You basically had to create more theory once you ran out of theory -- and if you ever find yourself in such a chaotic, think-on-your-feet situation while ruling a country you'll inevitably spiral into massacres and authorianism.
And the reason for which Lenin ran into these issues that Marx failed to predict is (I suspect) that there simply are no solutions to them within a Marxist framework. Again, it doesn't jive with reality.
Don't worry. If I'll ever kill you then it will be over movies not politics.
That's just got a whole lot easier since I now know your name and apperance.
Ya man. That thread really slowed down. I'll hop over there another night.
Ah, who remembers. She was what you might refer to as a "Leftist" though, so she'd be vociferously opposed to any preludes to your objectivist framework as it is now, at any rate.
Just finished part one and wanted to throw some ideas in the ring. I've never actually voiced these opinions outside of my own head, so apologies if they come off sophomoric.
First, a link for @europe1 that should address his question: Skepticism.
Next, re: the cogito. Personally I'm of the opinion that strong philosophical skepticism cannot be defeated. Obviously it's a bozo's game that has no place in a functional picture of reality, but insofar as it's a hack position its overpowered-ness can't be denied.
Case in point: Descartes makes what must have been a convincing early attempt to defeat strong skepticism by invoking a rationalist position - that truth of a proposition can be had a priori based on properties of the proposition itself. His a priori truth is that there can't be thought without a subject to do the thinking - the first event guarantees the truth of the other, as we might say, by definition. In other words, there can be no possible, imaginable world where there is thinking without a thinker, assuming we understand what a "thinker" is in the same way.
So the first point of attack on the cogito could be the baggage that comes with Descartes' identification of himself as a thinking subject. A counter could be that what Descartes takes himself to be, qua thinker, needs no further attributes other than the ability to think. Fair enough. But in that case, why add the subject at all? Why not just "there is thinking"?
The second and stronger point of attack, in my opinion, is on Descartes' confidence in the existence of a priori truths in the first place. If we accept him as a fallible thinking subject, as he seems to be encouraging us to do, then how can we accept his confidence in the absolute link between thinking and thinker? Could he not be mistaken in his perception of this as a necessary truth?
That's my first thought. The second concerns The Matrix as it relates to the currently trendy argument that we live in a simulation. Note again that I've read zero secondary literature on this and haven't even looked for counters to this argument myself.
I think the justification for Neo's decision to take the red pill is conspicuous. Imagine two worlds, one where Neo is 25 years old and another where he's 75 years old, where in each case he's given the same options he is in the film.
Young Neo is competent, maybe a social outcast in some ways, disillusioned with his world as it exists and confident in his power to transcend it given the right opportunity. Morpheus comes along and offers him that opportunity, he contemplates that he didn't really have shit all going for him in this world anyway, and the "true" "authenticity" of this other world appeals to him with a force, so he gets on board.
Old Neo is crusty and worn out (ignoring the agelessness of Keanu Reaves, for a moment). He got over the disillusionment of his youth and invested in the current reality by having a successful career and starting a family. Morpheus shows up a few decades late and offers him the same pills. Understanding that the formation and manifestation of his values is indebted to the current reality, he is no longer persuaded by the "truth" of this other reality, and he turns down the offer to take part in it at the expense of his own.
I'm not sure exactly what the power of this comparison is, maybe someone else here can help me draw it out. I think what it's trying to demonstrate is that, at some point, the authenticity of a given reality is, for people, a function of their investment into it. I wouldn't say this argument is analogous to The Truman Show, as a potential counterexample, because Truman's realization also concerns the deliberate intentions of the people around him. But for simulation-like arguments, where every aspect of reality as we know it comes under suspicion, I suspect that the extent of our grounding in that reality, vis-a-vis values and investment, should be taken into account when deciding if it's really the realest real reality there can be.
Which is a long-winded way of saying I don't really give a fuck if I live in a simulation. Other than the Berenstain thing and occasional deja vu I hadn't really noticed anyway.
See what you make of that - I'll watch Part II but I'm pretty historically/politically useless so maybe I'll have less to say about it.
Are you being serious? I saw the trailer that shows a ghost watching his life or something. Seemed slow and corny. Maybe im wrong. I havent seen a 8/10 in years.
its not for everyone..so you may not like it
its about loss, grief, time and how we deal with it all..
very little talking scenes...more physical acting..like a play
a24 films have been releasing quality movies for some time
really looking forward to Good Time
As a fellow Midwesterner who often has to do public speaking and educate people who are from England and Australia, my advice would be to slow down your speech. They have a hard time handling it and like a slower pace. I know you have a lot of shit you want to cram into a lecture but just slow it down. Just my two cents.
Great to see your career has progressed to this stage. Well done.
Really did nt think you loved inception so much to give a lecture on it
DID you see Arrival? Just watched it and still unsure how i feel. @Dragonlordxxxxx link me the thread
Here's Arrival thread:
Never in my life were compliments about the sound of my voice a thing, but within the last year, I've actually started hearing this a lot. I appreciate it. I was actually a little disappointed that the cold that I got hit with a couple of weeks ago wasn't completely gone for the lecture, so my voice wasn't quite as strong as I wanted it to be.
I don't want to color your viewing of Part 2 by explicitly telling you what I was going for, but I will say that I'll be very interested to hear what you think about the way I framed the responses to this - specifically, the "solutions" that have been offered by pragmatists and ordinary language philosophers - and if it's clear to you what I was trying to convey regarding the response to skepticism evident in the work of people like Wittgenstein, Cavell, and Nolan.
Did you ever read the objections and replies to the Meditations? I have so much respect for Descartes for the way he wanted to get people's responses to his work and then include his replies rather than just publishing the Meditations in isolation. It's really cool to see how quickly people at the time were recognizing certain problems/limitations. Thomas Hobbes was a particularly incisive interlocutor. I think you'd enjoy following up on these things you've brought up and seeing how Descartes and his contemporaries tried to work through this stuff back then in the 1640s.
This is a very scary thought that connects up with Descartes' discussion in the fourth meditation of the battle between the intellect and the will. To shift from your example of The Matrix to Inception, if you know you're in limbo but you don't want to go back to reality, how can you feel "better" about yourself and your life (such as it is) compared to someone who knows they're in limbo and wants to go back to reality? Is the "whatever you makes you happy" argument really valid across the board?
That's always where my head goes when I think of stuff like this. To ramble a bit: Descartes' position was that, if you have a "clear and distinct" grasp of a situation, then the "natural light" will result in correct thought and action. However, since it's possible for us, as fallible beings, to fail to clearly and distinctly grasp a given situation, and since it's possible for us to act even in the event that we have failed to clearly and distinctly grasp a given situation, Descartes acknowledged the possibility of incorrect thought and action, acknowledged the possibility, so to speak, of the will outrunning the intellect.
On this picture, thinking is still the primary and the basic argument is that, if you know something, then, by the natural light, you can't but think and act properly. This seems sensible at the basic philosophical level, but when you move up to the psychological level and start getting into people's investments and motivations, this picture starts to get real fuzzy real fast and their seem to be shadows that even the natural light can't illuminate - or at least hasn't yet illuminated.
I didn't have time to get into it in the lecture, but Blaise Pascal picked up on Descartes' intellect/will thing around the same time in a really cool little tract called "The Art of Persuasion" in which he goes into some of this. For one relevant bit:
"I speak therefore only to the truths within our reach; and it is of them that I say that the mind and the heart are as doors by which they are received into the soul, but that very few enter by the mind, whilst they are brought in in crowds by the rash caprices of the will"
Part 2 doesn't really have any historical/political material. I shift in Part 2 to solutions to skepticism, ways to live without falling into the psychological abyss of skepticism, and I do that by quickly running through pragmatism and ordinary language philosophy before finally getting to Inception.
I've been hearing this all my life. Talking slower always has been and probably always will be my biggest problem. I timed each part ahead of time and the last time I ran it through, Part 1 clocked in at 51 minutes. As you can see by the time stamp for the first video, I barely even cracked 40 minutes.
The way Bas used to put "R" on each hand to remind himself to relax, I feel like I should put "S" on each hand to remind myself to slow down. But I just get so into it. At the end of the first part, I felt like Robin Williams. I was hot and sweating and wishing I had a giant fan on me and a stool full of water bottles.
Fuck yeah. I say it in the second video: It's the best film of the 21st Century and legit one of the GOAT.
No. The movie itself seems really cool but I don't like Amy Adams and I'm 50/50 on Jeremy Renner - not to mention I've only seen two films from Villeneuve (Prisoners and Sicario) and wasn't crazy about either one - so I've been putting it off.
You should see it. I think youll find it somewhat interesting. Im leani ng towards you not liking it
@Flemmy Stardust you saw it?
they can understand us because we don't have an accent.
Picked up Atom Egoyan's Exotica on a friends recommendation and found it excellent although having watched it I do actually remember catching part of it on TV back in the 90's. Very oddball story mixing a strip club the film takes it name from, world weary accountants and parrot egg smugglers that seems like a bit of a strange meeting point between Tarantino(|came out the same year as Pulp Fiction) and early Ridley Scott(a couple of years after the Blade Runner directors cut release). Indeed in some ways it actually brings more of a Blade Runner atmosphere to mind than 2049 did with a general noir vibe, the Taffy Lewis like club and the cluttered exotic pet shop plus the middle eastern touches to the soundtrack.
Yeah that was definitively an oddball picture. Great camerawork though.
Honestly, it never really resonated with me that much. I've heard a lot of people describe it as a film with a lot of pathos. That the ending reveal was a real emotional knockout for them. But I can't really say that I was enchanted by the characters or this reveal -- more intrigued by its peculiar mood. It's sort of one of those film that tries meshing the culturally high and the culturally low through its artistic lens -- presenting a lowly strip-club as some sort of traditionbound, aesthetically-cultured hangout. Mia Kirshner's "stripping" comming off more as performance art or something likewise that's an procedural exploration of her state-of-mind.
I sort of have a similar relationship to Paris, Texas, in that it's an film that's often championed for it's pathos but never really resonated with me on that front. Though I like Paris, Texas a lot more than Exotica.
I liked the characters but as you say I don't think it was really a "knockout twist" so much as pathos that built thoughout the film linked into the general mood as with say a lot of Kieslowski, a lot of Greenwalds characters background was made pretty obvious much earlier in the film as with his connection to Kirshner.
I'm not sure I would say the strip club was intended to be "high culture" in its so much as giving the air of exotic debauched roman orgy style decadence, the film actually undermines some of the clubs own pretensions to respectability. Most of what we see there is shown to be pretty superficial and I think deliberately plays against how different Mia Kirshner's interaction is with Greenwald is. I mean the easy way out there would have been to just have him talking to her at the bar off shift as we normally see in these situations onscereen but to keep her stripping as with the other girls yet show both a greater link was a lot more challenging.
I do think there is definitely a high/low culture mix in the film though as with Pulp Fiction the same year and even though its similar in some respects to Kieslowski it feels like a reaction against films like The Double life of Veronique or Three Colours Blue's focus on high culture(classical music, grand romance, etc) towards something more base and oddball yet still ambitious.
I confess i struggled to connect with the cloudy, detached, kinda grey_ish tone maintained throughout the movie, but i loved the beautifully unexpected explosion of colours brought in its ending.
Great mind fuck, loved it.
Tried to watch Suicide Squad -- it didn't hold my attention at all, thus I had no idea what was going on and I stopped watching it about an hour in.
Much the same for me although I did get though it. Robbie's Harley Quinn was pretty good and wouldn't mind seeing a film with her and Leto's Joker but it all seemed like such an underdevolped mess to me. I have to say that Cara Delevingne is god dam aweful in this film, I mean "just getting by on her looks" is a criticism raised too often for actresses who play sexy/vulnerable well but that was such a honking performance totally lacking in menace.
Yea. And just to maybe tie together the jargon for normal people, you can kind of see how each of these questions extend from Descartes' basic line of inquiry. From "can I know anything?" to "can I know myself?" to "can I know what is outside myself?" to "can I know others (distinct things like myself)?" These questions might seem like they can be easily dismissed, but it's also notable that they aren't obligated to have the same answer. One could know himself necessarily, for example, but only know the world provisionally, or others practically, and these answers could inform an ethical system in totally different ways.
Don't think we didn't notice the conspicuous articulation of your 3 little propositions
The responses were alright - maybe a little dismissive of the problem. It was always my impression that people hearing about these "problems" for the first time have a hard time really feeling the urgency of them, either because they don't actually comprehend them as anything more than words on a page, or because they just don't have the energy for problems at this resolution of reality. Personally I would have liked to see a bit more time spent really making them seem important before offering the counters, BUT I understand you were under a time constraint and also generally in opposition to the (strength of the) problems, so no harm no foul. And for the record, I watched both parts at 1.25x speed
I have not, but that source sounds legit and I plan on checking it out ASAP.
I totally see where you're coming from here, extending from the context of Descartes, and while I think the first two paragraphs get at *part* of the problem, the third comes closer to the question I'm really trying to ask.
That question is perhaps a little difficult to word. Relating to your reply, maybe I would ask instead: what are the empirical precursors to a "clear and distinct" grasp of reality, and could manipulating those perhaps lead to the perception and intuitive certainty about the nature of one's reality that is not necessarily objectively true, but still importantly true.
I suppose this is where I'm tentatively inclined to support Mal, especially by noting that Inception does what a lot of other "reality questioning" films do by presenting a particular reality as high-priority from the outset. We know that Cobb is going into a dream(!) before he finds Mal, so we're prejudiced against the dream-reality before we know anything else about it.
I'm not saying that this is a mistake. Based on Mal and Cobb's origins in the initial reality, it makes sense to sort the new realities they enter below that one, as they get progressively further away or "deeper". And we see that the physical and social laws of those realities change too, which reminds of us the stability of where we started (another prejudicial factor).
My point about Neo is not that there's a right answer about his reality that he perceives when he's young and misperceives when he's old. It's that the answer literally changes for him as time passes, and his personal, human investment in the Matrix at least partially determines the rightness of that perception.
Actually, another useful example here could be Tarkovsky's Solaris. Remember how quickly Kris is willing to accept Hari as - if not authentic, then authentic enough. I think most of us are inclined to see this as weakness, or a betrayal of his *proper* reality and the mission that extends from it. But couldn't he also be partially correct that his realest life was when he was together with her, and that even an imitation could actually bring him back in touch with that reality?
I'm intrigued by that idea. There are others that are just as interesting that come from the same general sympathy towards what I may dare call subjectivism.
Does that make any sense?
*Thanks for the Pascal link.
**A fun exercise to really illustrate the question I'm asking could be to go through movies with a similar premise and ask what tools they use to convince you that a certain reality is the right one. Perception of origin seems to have a bunch of weight here, in Inception the story begins in the "actual" reality where in The Matrix we're told that we actually pre-existed the "false" reality by being physically born into the "real" one.
***Part of the beauty of Rick and Morty is Rick's insistence that his reality of origin does NOT deserve priority, with probably tragic consequences