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Jerry Seinfeld on the Clio award

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PHILOSOPHY BOWLING RESULTS

• Is the world eternal? YES
• Do humans have contra-causal free will (i.e., can humans do otherwise)? NO
• Is beauty in the eye of the beholder? YES
• Do humans have souls? YES
• Are there natural rights? YES
• Is it morally permissible to eat meat? NO
• Is the unexamined life worth living? NO
• Is truth subjectivity? YES
• Is virtue necessary for happiness? YES
• Can a computer have a mind? YES
• Can humans know reality as it is in itself? YES
• Is hell other people? YES
• Can art be created accidentally? NO
• Can we change the past? NO
• Are numbers real? NO
• Is it always better to know the truth? YES

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What do you think of this? It’s funny, yes, and bitingly truthful. But what is it to clap and cheer, and go on with one’s job, when such a truth has been stretched out before your eyes?

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7 Comments

  1. Huenemann says:

    Is it possible to be post-cynical?

    Like

  2. Al says:

    Sorry, delete that one, that was the wrong one. This is the only way to overcome cynicism:

    Like

  3. Al says:

    Greek kunikos scared away urban devils with a “shortcut to virtue” that got rid of all nomos, social constraints preventing or distorting human nature as it is meant to be (tough, virtuous, free) and turning it into something vile (marketers, businessmen, lawyers, George Castanza).

    “Asked where he came from, [Diogenes of Sinope] said, ‘I am a citizen of the world [kosmopolitēs]’”

    NOT someone bound by one or another human authority, but rather living in line with the kosmos as it presents itself. (Diogenes was essentially giving the middle finger to Plato.)

    Cynicism today is the exact opposite: it refers to giving in to social authority out of exasperation, regardless of how natural it is. Imagine a telemarketer on anti-depressants working harder and harder to support a car payment and a credit card. Physis (nature) is completely dominated by Nomos (social convention), since social convention screams “Drink Coca-Cola” and “Buy an iPad”. Those are sorts of goods that can replace a lost nature.

    So to answer the question… This is the opposite of the Greek way; so I think a post-cynic is someone who perhaps returns to that by making a mockery of advertising, marketing, and business as institutions of nomos (makers of laws). (A strong theme in Fight Club, I think, for our movie party later this semester…)

    So what I’m saying is that we all ought to drive down to the University Stadium 8 and shit in the theater.

    “While Diogenes thus spoke, many [in the theater] stood about and listened to his words with great pleasure. Then, possibly with this thought of Heracles in his mind, he ceased speaking and, squatting on the ground, performed an indecent act, whereat the crowd straightway scorned him and called him crazy, and again the sophists raised their din, like frogs in a pond when they do not see the water-snake.”

    Plato saw him washing vegetables, and so, coming up to him, he quietly accosted him thus, “If you had paid court to Dionysius you would not have been washing vegetables.” “And,” he replied, with equal quietness, “if you had washed vegetables, you would never have paid court to Dionysius.”

    The question was put to Diogenes the Cynic – a man Alexander the Great held in equal esteem – whether wise men ate cheese-cakes. He replied, “They eat everything, just as the rest of mankind.”

    He once asked for a statue ; and being questioned as to his reason for doing so, he said, “I am practicing disappointment.”

    …and Plato made him answer, “How much arrogance are you displaying, O Diogenes! when you think that you are not arrogant at all.”

    -Laertius, Lives

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    • Huenemann says:

      Have you been reading Sloterdijk?! If not, you are impressively retracing his chain of thought. In the Critique of Cynical Reason, he argues that the kynicism of Diogenes is the way to combat our post-enlightenment cynicism.

      And, yes, the other way to answer cynicism is with a righteous cimbalom.

      Like

  4. Al says:

    No, but I just checked it out and I’m excited for chapter “Fart”.

    Like

  5. Al says:

    P. 150: “The theme cannot be excused; indeed, it will get worse. I regret this for all sensitive readers, but the fart, even if not emitted, cannot be omitted.”

    Now THAT’S philosophy

    Like

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