Friday, February 28, 2014

This is what I saw in Marechera's writing

Why Creativity Is Risky Business | Psychology Today

Highly creative people, it turns out, break through the usual constraints and let in a lot more of the available information, and thus they need to process and organize this increased information flow in untypical ways. The term for thistrait, Carson explains, is cognitive disinhibition, which Carson describes as “the failure to ignore information that is irrelevant to current goals or to survival.”

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Contentious Disciplines | Clarissa's Blog

Contentious Disciplines | Clarissa's Blog

I'm currently rereading a book that came out a long time ago, in 2001, called THE LIAR'S TALE.  It was very big in the USA, I believe, perhaps one of those listed on the New York Times best seller of books (do I have that reference right?)

Anyway, the author just really, really hates postmodernism.   It's not like he hates it with nuance, but in a basic, crude fashion.  He maintains it is fanciful and immoral.   But then he begs the question as to what is not fanciful and what is moral.   It's really not so self-evident as his own rhetoric would imply, especially by virtue of his very strong stance against this movement.   Although he makes one or two historically-based arguments about what he thinks is going on when movements develop, he falls back on a rhetorical appeal to gender differences, ultimately.   At least that his how I read him.  He literally says that Descartes thought that to embrace the truth was "manly and strong".   So by implicit contrast, postmodernism would be feminine and frail, not unlike Eve in The Garden being deceived by a duplicitous snake.   This kind of appeal to "common sense" is common in books written around that time.  Steven Pinker's The Blank Slate makes the same implicit argument: science is masculine and ought to be respected, but social engineering is a project of the left and is silly because, biologically, we're just not "like that".

USA intellectuals, it seems, really need to learn to make an argument that does not implicitly and surreptitiously appeal to how American Christians have learned to evaluate gender.  What these writers do is very predictable and intellectually fraudulent.

Friday, February 14, 2014

"Common sense" Vs. the shamanic tragic modality

There is a way in which I write and think, which is often taken for almost its precise opposite. This is due to philosophical unsophistication, but also to the attribution of emotionality to women. I'd like it if we could rise above superficial tendencies, to view historical and personal circumstances in more complex terms. The tragic modality, related to Nietzsche's ideas, involves a double-take in perception of the past. One assumes a capacity for action on the part of all humans, including the protagonist. Then also, one also recognises that fate can overcome the one who would choose his/her own destiny. By putting together these two dynamic aspects of existence, one ascertains the presence of tragedy. But if one responds to a text or a philosophy in a basically passive mode, one will not sense tragedy, but rather pathos. Women's texts are thus read as lacking a tragic component when the critic implicitly assumes that no dynamic action would have been possible either on their parts or on their behalves. The critic thus betrays his or her fundamentally flawed thinking.