Posts tagged ‘not about’

Partially right, partially wrong

December 5th, 2006

Quotes from no liars taken from an ongoing lecture series on human ecology:

In ecology, anything is partially right and partially wrong, and everything else is also partially right and partially wrong.
Markus Staudinger, 2006-11-28

And, at the end of today’s lecture:

Everything we have said here today is wrong. Wrong in the sense that it has been too short and not detailed enough, though, there is a chance to deal with it more closely.
Alexander Haslberger, 2006-12-05

The translations were done by a liar who is at liberty to quote the original passages:

Wie bei allem in der Ökologie ist es so, dass das Eine teils wahr und teils falsch und das Andere auch teils wahr und teils falsch ist.
Markus Staudinger, 2006-11-28

Alles, was wir hier jetzt gesagt haben, ist falsch. Falsch in dem Sinn, dass es viel zu kurz und zu wenig detailliert ist, dass es aber doch die Möglichkeit gibt, sich damit etwas genauer zu beschäftigen.
Alexander Haslberger, 2006-12-05

Generally, one is better off judging others. But beware of generalizations if you cannot deal with self-reference.

Missing consciousness

May 22nd, 2006

Concluding my recent praise of Stefan Böschen’s Praise The Paradox I wrote

He was lucky nobody listened to him.

Here are 2 excerpts from the transcription of an audio recording of the conferences final discussion:

To begin with, Stefan fosters his praise of paradox by stating that part and counterpart complement each other. He explains that thinking of any thing means to distinguish the thing from what it is not, its opposite. He then underlines the importance of this concept with a short reference to life’s essential interplay of order and chaos.

The next speaker replies:

What I am still missing is consciousness.

And he continues to tell a story of the demise of corner shops, small groceries and merchants, and how we are all involved.

At a second occasion, Stefan Böschen reinforces his praise of the paradox. He refers to its ambivalence and its inevitability. Finally, he reminds us to be sensitive to unintended side-effects of decisiveness and unambiguity, and that this sensibility should be one of the objectives of any educational system.

The next speaker (by the way, not the same) replies:

This, simply, is not enough.

He says, he misses analysis and perspective. And he concludes with “this will lead us nowhere”, cuts himself, and continues to reply to someone else.

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.

Wa(h)re(s) Wissen

March 25th, 2006

Am Donnerstag hielt Manfred Füllsack einen wunderbaren Vortrag mit dem Titel “Wa(h)re(s) Wissen”.

Wissen ist ein perspektivischer, selbst-referentieller Begriff, ein Begriff 2. Ordnung. Wissen ist, wie Füllsack schreibt, nur “interimistisch stabilisiert”. Aussagen über Wissen beziehen sich auf sich selbst. Wissen steht in einem Kontext und vor einem Hintergrund.

Ich liebe das, mein Wissen über Wissen. Kürzer ist nur: Ich lüge.

Füllsack lügt nicht. Der Besuch seines Vortrages über die “Ware Wissen”, über “Wissen und seine Wertschätzung” kostete 5 Euro, für 90 Minuten Vortrag und Diskussion.

Folgerichtig wurden auch die freie Zugänglichkeit von Wissen und Kritik am Patentierungswahn angesprochen.

Ich hab mir erlaubt, den Vortrag zu verdoppeln. Wann immer von Wissen, Wahrheit, Erkenntnis, Information, Daten oder Technologie die Rede war, dachte ich auch an Nichtwissen, Unwissen, Unwahrheit und Desinformation. Beispielsweise wurde das Recht auf Wissen und freies Wissen angepriesen.

Wie steht es mit dem Recht auf Nichtwissen? — Wir gestehen uns und unseren Mitmenschen Nichtwissen zu. Gut, gut, das ist eine Lüge, ich weiß :-) Aber tun wir weiter: Niemand erwartet, dass wir alles wissen. Recht auf Nichtwissen fördert Toleranz. Die Justiz sieht das anders: Unwissenheit schützt vor Strafe nicht. Auch Schulen, andere Lehranstalten und Lehrende im allgemeinen benoten die Beurteilten nach und mit dem, was sie wissen und nicht wissen.

Wissen können Sie nicht verkaufen, wenn dazugesagt wird, was wir nicht wissen. Wir müssen so tun, als ob das, was wir sagen, relevant wäre.
— Manfred Füllsack, 2006-03-23, sinngemäß wiedergegeben


March 9th, 2006

Even promoting Slavoj Zizek is probably bound to lead oneself into the realms of self-contradiction. What helps is that Zizek himself is refreshingly honest and open about being a liar, a human being, yet a “monster” — his words, too.

There is a wonderful documentary film about Slavoj Zizek called “Zizek!” by Astra Taylor, released 2005, which well illustrates Zizek’s playful attitude towards life’s paradoxes and otherwise. Lauded and recommended though rarely shown in cinemas.

I hate writing. … my whole economy of writing is in fact based on an obsessional ritual to avoid the actual act of writing.
— Slavoj Zizek, author of quite a number of books

Do you answer? No. — An answer.

January 21st, 2006

No answer is an answer.” (rattus rattus : )
We can read this in many ways. Though, if one says “No.” I’d take it for an answer. Even if the question was: “Do you answer?

Luckily, this simple paradox again and again leads to fruitful discussions:

Karen Kastenhofer once sent in a quote of some lines of e.e. cummings:

when god decided to invent
everything he took one
breath bigger than a circus tent
and everything began

when man determined to destroy
himself he picked the was
of shall and finding only why
smashed it into because

Karen then asked if anyone dares to answer.

My immediate answer was: No.
Karen replied (maybe wittily) with “O.K., this [answer] was unmistakable. Does anyone else dare to answer?”

Some did and some did not. Yet, every answer is no answer and no answer is an answer. Thus, I wrote a poem as an answer to Karen and e.e. cummings:

Don’t search for contradiction in others, you have found it already.

there him was in her mind full
fear, hope and reason threaded
together a place that was and
because of her will – be

there where no man can reach
shall truth be kept hidden
for only trust in the was
keeps what began at a living

Or, as e.e. cummings is said to have written:
No need to “stand with your lover on the ending earth”.