Archive for May, 2006

Praise the paradox

May 12th, 2006

This is about Stefan Böschen, because it is not. I know Stefan because I do not. You know, I am lying about him because I do. And, he does too.

It’s been my pleasure to meet Stefan Böschen at the conference on Future and Ignorance where he gave an interesting talk about politics of knowledge. Stefan is an adept of self-contradiction. Probably, we were naturally attracted by each other and therefore we found ourselves in a sunny morning session playing ping-pong with the paradox of hedonism. In other words, we were laughing our heads off.

At the conference’s concluding discussion, though, Stefan repeatedly said three words: Praise the paradox.

Sincerely. I smiled. This was the essence because it was not. Like when you pursue the paradox its magic is lost. The gospel’s message is the joy of singing.

Praise the paradox.

Because it is one. Stefan said he’d sing it, yet it’s no cant. His utterance is no praise for praise’ sake, no praise of praise. It’s a courageous expression of an insight. Seeing the paradox at the bottom of life’s heart. The frugal philosopher saying No to himself with a content smile. Playful like an innocent dog, the yet unnamed cynic.

Praise the paradox.

Bald words. Raising their voices against themselves, leaving us with bare bones of all of life’s choices. Naked ideas that cannot but provoke which is why they do not.
Says he who still questions their affordability. Still with a smile on his face.

Stefan’s praise of para-dox, this concept that infamously contra-dicts anything and everything within reach, me, you, him- and itself, denies the distinction of Good and Bad, right and wrong, knowledge and ignorance. Praise of paradox denies denial.

In the end, this is responsibility.

God, he was lucky nobody listened to him.
Well, nobody but a liar.

on the unknowables

May 9th, 2006

For one more application and a beautiful variation on the liar’s paradox see motzes’ posting “on the unknowables” and (about the same quote) Richard Zach’s “Logic Joke“,
because only an idiot would believe this.

Self-sufficient sustainability

May 6th, 2006

Yesterday, Dennis L. Meadows gave a wonderful talk about limits to growth. In order to illustrate what we know about sustainability he told a little story.
At a panel on agriculture of a recent global conference on sustainable development were 2 Swedish experts. So, he asked one of them whether sustainable development means that Sweden should become self-sufficient in food production. The expert said: Absolutely, yes. Meadows then moved on to the second expert and asked the same question. This expert answered: Absolutely no.

My ignorance

May 5th, 2006

I prefer openness about one’s own ignorance above that about others.

Ich ziehe die Offenheit über das eigene Nichtwissen der Offenheit über das
Nichtwissen anderer vor.

Definition unknown

May 4th, 2006

An interesting conference about Future and Ignorance (“Zeit der Zukunft, Über den Umgang mit Nichtwissen“) took place and time from April 28th to April 30th, 2006.

People from many completely different fields of activity have met to discuss implications of what we do not know, of the unknown, of ignorance, and — as I tend to call it — of the not-known.

Talks were given e.g. by a historian, by philosophers, sociologists, epistemologists, and theologians, by an expert of modeling, and someone from an insurance company; all talking about diverse aspects of what we know, and what we do not know, and what we cannot know.

Yet, not one of them has defined knowledge, let alone not knowing or ignorance.

You! Yes you. You are a typical disfinist. — I mean, of course, one has to distinguish finite and infinite disfinism, self-referent and intentional disfinism. Moreover, we should also investigate spatial and temporal aspects of disfinism. But, let me tell you once again, your disfinism is stunning.

High art lying.