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|Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter|
Now, get seven million five hundred thousand votes to declare that two and two make five, that the straight line is the longest road, that the whole is less than its part; get it declared by eight millions, by ten millions, by a hundred millions of votes, you will not have advanced a step.What can we do with this? Most highbrows will immediately recall a remark by Elizabeth Anscombe in her essay on "Modern Moral Philosophy" concerning Kant's Duty Ethics and the legislative weight of philosophical opinions:
Kant introduces the idea of “legislating for oneself,” which is as absurd as if in these days, when majority votes command great respect, one were to call each reflective decision a man made a vote resulting in a majority, which as a matter of proportion is overwhelming, for it is always 1-0. The concept of legislation requires superior power in the legislator. His own rigoristic convictions on the subject of lying were so intense that it never occurred to him that a lie could be relevantly described as anything but just a lie (e.g. as “a lie in such-and-such circumstances”). His rule about universalizable maxims is useless without stipulations as to what shall count as a relevant description of an action with a view to constructing a maxim about it.To bring things full circle then, we might remark that asserting "2 + 2 = 5" is nothing but a lie, and that any relevant descriptions (outside of theoretical assertions) regarding the efficacy of the statement "2 + 2 = 5" are impossible, as surely the grammar of the statement "2 + 2 =" must always result in "4".
Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One's standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.A question arises. What sort of people are the functionaries who distribute this "propaganda"? From the same interview, Dalrymple advances a description that agrees with scenes Nabakov presents in his dystopian novel Bend Sinister:
SourceFP: You mention how 19th century French aristocrat, the Marquis de Custine, made several profound observations on how border guards in Russia wasted his time pushing their weight around in stupid and pointless ways, and that this is connected to the powerlessness that humans live under authoritarianism. Tell us a bit more of how this dynamic works in Russia.
Dalrymple: With regard to Russia, I am not an expert, but I have an interest in the country. I believe that it is necessary to study 19th century Russian history to understand the modern world. I suspect that the characteristic of Russian authoritarianism precedes the Soviet era (if you read Custine, you will be astonished by how much of what he observed prefigured the Soviet era, which of course multiplied the tendencies a thousand times).
I suppose that people who feel little control over their own lives or destinies can obtain a slight sense of agency by interfering in the lives of others, in tiny ways. I have noticed that many of the men who are violently dictatorial at home often count for little once they pass their own threshold. They are the Stalins of their own home.
Incidentally, Custine called Nicholas I an 'eagle and insect.' I think this is a brilliant characterisation of dictators which aspire world power but who also need to enter into the tiniest and most intimate details of their citizens' existence.
Nazi theory indeed specifically denies that such a thing as "the truth" exists. ... The implied objective of this line of thought is a nightmare world in which the Leader, or some ruling clique, controls not only the future but the past. If the Leader says of such and such an event, "It never happened" – well, it never happened. If he says that two and two are five – well, two and two are five. This prospect frightens me much more than bombs.-- George Orwell, "Looking Back on the Spanish War" (1943)
I know that two and two make four—& should be glad to prove it too if I could—though I must say if by any sort of process I could convert 2 & 2 into five it would give me much greater pleasure.
--Lord Byron to fiancée Anaabella Milbanke
Twice two makes four seems to me simply a piece of insolence. Twice two makes four is a pert coxcomb who stands with arms akimbo barring your path and spitting. I admit that twice two makes four is an excellent thing, but if we are to give everything its due, twice two makes five is sometimes a very charming thing too.-- Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground, Part I. Chapter 9
|Fyodor Dostoevsky metro station, Moscow|
It is an unfortunate fact that the bulk of humanity is too limited in its mental vision to weigh with patience and intelligence those isolated phenomena, seen and felt only by a psychologically sensitive few, which lie outside its common experience. Men of broader intellect know that there is no sharp distinction betwixt the real and the unreal; that all things appear as they do only by virtue of the delicate individual physical and mental media through which we are made conscious of them; but the prosaic materialism of the majority condemns as madness the flashes of super-sight which penetrate the common veil of obvious empiricism.
— H. P. Lovecraft, The Tomb
On behalf of International Authors, I am happy to announce that the anthology Emanations: 2 + 2 = 5 has been published. Of interest to Miltonists is twelve pages from a new scholarly translation of Torquato Tasso's Creation of the World (Il mondo creato). Entitled "The Poem of the Phoenix", this selection is from Day Five of Tasso's long poem. The translation is rendered in modern language, and great pains have been taken to include every "jot and tittle" of Tasso's original. The translation and editorial committee--consisting of Salwa Khoddam, Dario Rivorossa, and myself--have taken extraordinary care in representing both Tasso's text and texture. We think it will be of especial interest to people in this group who wish to gain an immediate sense of how Tasso's technique, philosophy, and sensibility could have influenced Milton. It is a joy to read.
Please view the new anthology on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Emanations-2-5-Carter-Kaplan/dp/1514336693/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444654663&sr=1-1
In Spring of 2016 the International Authors translation of Creation of the World, complete with illustrations, will be published in its entirety.
Dali, The Apothecary of Ampurden in Search of Absolutely Nothing, 1936
Miracles Can Happen!
When kindhearted people unselfishly give of their time and resources to help an animal in distress...Miracles Happen!This is a story of a young fox that was left for dead on the side of the road. It's a story of hope and compassion and the amazing will of an animal to survive.It took a village to save her life, and she forever touched the hearts of...Jennifer who found her; fellow rehabber Diane in Stayner; volunteer drivers Elizabeth and Anne; Dr. Sherri Cox; Pawz 'N Clawz and Kelsey who donated foods for her; our supporters who help us make ends meet; and all our dedicated volunteers at WWS. So pat yourself on the back when you lend a helping hand and become an integral part of the bigger picture, because animals like Tammy wouldn't be here today if it weren't for you :-)<3 If you appreciate the work we do, please show your support here... https://www.gofundme.com/Tammy-ToddMiracle <3 This video is also available to share on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMykQDJ90kI
Posted by Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary on Friday, August 28, 2015