Truth Before Dishonor

I would rather be right than popular

Archive for April, 2013

Recommended reading, Rorty in a nutshell

Posted by DNW on 2013/04/27

In a nutshell

In a nutshell

There are some books, whether you agree with the perspective or not, that are just so useful in epitomizing a particular matter or worldview that they become necessary reading.

This book, “Contingency, irony, and solidarity”, published way back in 1989, is one of those books. In it Rorty does the average man an immense favor by clearly and unambiguously laying out the operating assumptions of at least one version of the post-modern liberal project.

Of course just what post-moderrnism is, is somewhat in dispute, as a glance at the Wiki editorial history shows. Nonetheless, with an appropriate shrug at the disciples of irony and deconstruction, this 2010 Wiki description (and post modernists are all about description and subversive redescriptrion) serves as well as many I have seen:

Postmodernism is a tendency in contemporary culture characterized by the problematisation of objective truth and inherent suspicion towards global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. It involves the belief that many, if not all, apparent realities are only social constructs, as they are subject to change inherent to time and place. It emphasizes the role of language, power relations, and motivations …

This blurb from the back of the book may help as well.

Back Cover


So, what else is new, you ask? This book was written 24 or more years ago!

We’ve (you say) been confronting modern-liberals for decades now who seemingly cannot or will not explain how it is that they derive their conclusion that we must yield to their direction, from their seemingly – or so we infer – ultimately nihilistic worldviews.

Yet it is a fact that we continue to ask how it is that they think this all works. How, we want to know, do they get an affirmative conclusion, or an imperative statement, from what must be, when we take their other descriptions of reality into account, negative (metaphysical, ontological, logical, take your pick)  premisses?

Well, this book explains how it is done. Here’s the secret. The secret is that there is no secret. There are no inferences derived. There are no deductions believed to be entailed. It’s all just what they want according to their own, particular sensibilities. Just as we figured.

The point of view is anti-foundational, anti essentialist, nominalist, i.e., anti essential natures and natural kinds, in extreme. Therefore there are [so they believe] no real and objectively existing universals to even fill their places in universal categorical propositions.

Nice to see one of the princes of the pack admit it so clearly.  Yet, the blithe nature of the admission made those decades ago, confirms what nearly everyone – not just intellectuals – by now intuits directly: that the modern political left, so steeped as it is in this theory of meaning,  cannot really be argued with.

Let Limbaugh fume that words have meanings. The opposition shrug and say ‘our meanings are different from yours’.

With them, it’s not as we have repeatedly inferred, a matter of dis-covering an objective reality and reasoning from axioms based on it . What is at issue as far as they are concerned are their sensitivities and their imaginations and their desires: and your reality will bend to their narrative and program, or else.

This is not the place to examine just where their belief system degenerates into incoherence.  I am not sure that incoherence or what is an admitted self-reference problem is even a troubling issue with someone whose notion of “truth” is,

” … that since truth is a property of sentences, [notice it doesn’t say ‘propositions’ or arguments*] since sentences are dependent for their existence upon vocabularies, and since vocabularies are made by human beings, so are truths.”

Why should it? He just previous to that writes,

“The very idea that the world or the self has an intrinsic nature … is a remnant of the idea that the world is a divine creation, the work of someone who had something in mind, who Himself spoke some language in which He described His own project … [then later] On the view I am suggesting, the claim that an adequate ‘philosophical’ doctrine must make room for our intuitions [meaning immediate apprehensions of reality] is a reactionary slogan …”

As I said, you will probably not find a more concise,  lucid, and unabashed exposition of the doctrines we confront every day as the solidarity pedlars steadily gnaw away at our formal liberties in the supposed name of relieving suffering and humiliation and exclusion –  but of just what exactly, they cannot and feel they need not, say.

Thinking back, many of us will say that this entire matter feels like a rehash. Wasn’t the debate over the bankruptcy of post-modernism and deconstruction held back in the early nineteen nineties in the universities, the important journals, and the big papers? Didn’t Alan Sokal make public fools of them? Didn’t they fold up their tents and kind of go away?

Yes, yes, and no. They not only didn’t not go away, the theorist of 25 years ago has clearly written the psychic program that the modern-liberal Democrat runs today.

From academia to the street and polling booth  in a couple decades.

Once upon a time, even Democrats referred to a common reality, imagined that humans had a moral center in addition to inchoate urges, and could be thought to understand the difference between truth and falsehood and to at least know in their consciences if they were lying or not.

Only a fool  would make that assumption now.


* Note. Rorty was involved, his curriculum vitae reports, in analytic philosophy before abandoning it for a kind of deconstructive and ironic pragmatism. Therefore he well knows the traditional conceptual difference between a proposition and a sentence, and his use of “sentence” is, for those of us not yet familiar with him, pregnant with meaning and intent and back references. Get the book … cheap from a remainder bin or used book shop if you can.

Posted in Culture, Liberal, Philosophy, politically correct, politics, Uncategorized | 28 Comments »

So who’s Ashley Judd?

Posted by DNW on 2013/04/10

I was not, and I am still not, certain who Ashley Judd really is, or why she has gained as much notoriety as she has. The facts don’t seem to be entirely clear.

In order to get some perspective, I Googled her name and in so doing, came across a number of entries; some of which featured a relatively unattractive dull eyed woman. Which I suppose, has only the most indirect and inferential bearing on her potential fitness for public office, but which does fit the general genetic profile when it comes to leftie females as compared with normal and healthy women.

Here is a screen capture:

Judd Google profile

Anyway, as one can see from the profile box on the right of the search results capture, she appears – at first glance -to have some very impressive academic and professional credentials.

 Ashley Judd
Education: Harvard University, Sayre School, Franklin High School, John F. Kennedy School of Government, University of Kentucky, Paul G. Blazer High School
Siblings: Wynonna
Parents: Naomi Judd, Michael C. Ciminella

However clicking on Wikipedia, it seems to be a different story.

“Judd attended 13 schools before college … An alumna of the sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Kentucky, she majored in French and minored in anthropology, art history, theater and women’s studies.”  … [then later]  “On May 9, 2007, it was announced that Judd had completed her bachelor’s degree, in French, from the University of Kentucky.”

So what she apparently has is a bachelor’s degree in French and women’s studies awarded a decade or quite a bit more,  late.

What then of that Harvard mention, which tops the list of her educational achievements? You know even over and above the “John F. Kennedy School of Government”?

Golly … this Ashley must be a gen -u- wine genius!

Here we go, as per Wiki …:

Judd [received] … a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration degree (MC/MPA) from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2010 through the Mid-Career Master of Public administration program (MC/MPA) (an eight credit program with a summer mentorship which typically takes a year to complete in contrast with the traditional MPA program which typically takes at least two years of study).

So then, despite what the quick view profile insinuates, Judd did not graduate from Harvard as people usually understand it.

Instead, and according to Wikipedia and its sources, Ashley Judd took eight credit hours of a curriculum which bestowed upon her something called a Mid-Career Master of Public Administration, from …. drumroll … The John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Therefore, what we see listed as implying, at a cursory glance, credentials or even degrees garnered from what is arguably the premier American Ivy League university as well as a famous school of government studies, turns out instead to be  eight credit hours worth of an adult education certificate. (Note how Harvard is listed in the capture image above in such a way so as to minimize the drawing of any immediate inference on the part of the unfamiliar viewer, with the fact that the Kennedy School is within Harvard, and that Ashley Judd’s  eight credit hours of adult education there count as the official sum and matriculating substance of her entire connection with either institution.)

I don’t think that there has been such a pathetically transparent attempt to burnish a not very sterling curriculum vitae since the obtrusively gynecomastic Keith Olbermann held up his Cornell agricultural station degree (or whatever)  before his billowing pinstripes, and blusteringly announced to Ann Coulter and the world that his degree was just as good as her Ivy League version was. And cheaper too! … nah nah nah.

Now as regards Ashley Judd. There is undoubtedly much more one could say about this diminished capacity crackpot and her view of life, and what that view of her’s reveals about her fitness to direct her own life, much less anyone else’s … “It’s unconscionable to breed, with the number of children who are starving to death in impoverished countries” … but she bores me, and seems now to have receded as a threat to edified humanity.

So, I’ll leave it at that for the present.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Any Guitarists Out There?

Posted by DNW on 2013/04/02


Ok. Been awhile. I’ve been busy tilting at metaphysical windmills, in an ongoing and probably futile attempt to get to the core, you know the real crux of the collectivist mindset.

You think after ten years I might have learned that deep down inside, there is no there, there, to their there. After all, they admit as much … as self-proclaimed moral nihilists and eliminative materialists. Leftism: a caravan to nowhere.

Speaking of caravans, and something a bit more positive in the way of one, I went to Youtube the other day to pull up a  video wherein Frank Vignola the amazing jazz guitarist  had guested with the Hot Club of Detroit jazz group. As I may have mentioned before, when I first saw that particular 90.3 FM WCPN video, I didn’t know who Vignola was, nor of his reputation.

I thought Evan and the Hot Club boys had some local to Cleveland rock band mop top sitting in [far right] as a courtesy gesture. Then I heard Vignola’s lead solo during Nuages. The reaction of the band members tells you all you need to know about Vignola’s musicianship. You might want to listen to the first 40 seconds of the clip which I have started with the lead handover.

So anyway, despite the fact that I don’t much care for – to put it politely – French accordion, I thought I’d take another listen. That’s when I stumbled across a related subject matter video put up by a fellow named Jay Cunningham. He’d attended a luthiers’ convention (that’s ‘guitar builders’ to us civilians) in Woodstock.

What Jay Cunningham captured with his battery powered video camera was what looks to be an impromptu acoustic jam featuring Vignola, backed by his sideman, and one Julian Lage.

As with Vignola earlier, I had no idea who Julian Lage was. I figured he was some obscure grinning Frenchman having a turn at the guitar at a trade show jam. I was wrong. Turns out he’s an American, and quite famous – having been an official child prodigy, who somehow, he reports, had a more or less normal upbringing.

If you don’t like guitar work, skip the video. If old standards bore the hell out of you, skip the video. If you have never played any kind of musical instrument, skip the video. You won’t have any idea how amazing what he is doing is, since you will have no context in which to locate it.

If, however you know anything about musicianship, take a look. There are many fine and highly talented musicians in the world. This, is a little different. You are watching real genius. Take note at the 2 minute mark.

And thanks to Jay Cunningham and his video camera with its dying battery, some of that genius, apparently spontaneously expressed before what seems to be a small, casually gathered audience of trade show attendees, was captured for posterity.




Posted in Character, Culture, music, Real Life | Tagged: | 7 Comments »

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