inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #101 of 114: cew (constance22) Wed 24 Dec 03 11:00
    
A lot less respect for educated people in the US (as opposed to
Europe, South America, some parts of Asia).  Instead, there's a Khmer
Rouge-y chorus of orchestrated sneers, railings against the "elite,"
town against gown.

Did the anticultural trend begin with Nixon and those nattering nabobs
of negativism?  Maoist Joe McCarthy?  Not sure, but it's going strong.
 
In Chile, workers from every class could quote Neruda with pride.

Who's America's equivalent icon?  
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #102 of 114: Curtis White (curtiswhite) Wed 24 Dec 03 11:36
    
Wow.  One day to go and this conversation finally gets really
interesting.  Great posts everyone.

Medieval barber surgeons were no doubt oppressed and no doubt
alienated if you can buy into notions of human normativity.  Marx
referred to "natural children" when he wanted to refer to human
capacity out from under capitalism.

Bob Daniels:  Like I said earlier, I'm as massey as they come. I was
saved by sputnik and raised by hippies (metaphorically).  Sorry you
found the book tedious.  I'm an intellectual and an artist, but I'd
like to think I am those things not in a pedantic sense (why didn't you
have to look up that word?  Can't you imagine someone who would?  What
would you say to that person who didn't know the word pedantic?  I
don't mean to be confrontational.  I actually think these would be good
things to ask yourself.) but as a way of saying "Thought and art gave
me a kind of life I couldn't imagine when I was growing up (quite
absurd).")

And I do think that attentions spans are part of the medium's message:
we get dumber.  Imagine, people like Hegel could compose feats of
linear thinking that are impossible to conceive today.

Cynthia:  dumb and dumber?

Coiro:  Nice to hear from you again.  Thought earlier nastiness had
driven you from the fold.  Your comments on one of my favorite movies
goes right to the heart.  I saw an Iranian movie resently that began by
looking at a red wall and a faucet and a chair and maybe a flower for
several very long and breathtaking minutes.  Finally you just had to
say, "Oh yeah, movies are a VISUAL art form."  Look at Werner Herzog's
movies and all the time he spends just looking at natural formations,
like a mountain, forest, river, horizon.  They become part of the
drama.  they are characters.  That's smart in a way nearly nothing in
American cinema is smart.  Kill Bill?  Forget it.  Adolescents rule the
roost here.

Constance22:  That's spot on.  In the nineteenth century there were
Hegel societies in Cincinnati and St. Louis and their membership was
all working men.  Railroad guys, factory guys sitting down after work
to drink dark beer and contemplate the master/slave dialectic.  the
first and only general strike in the United States was in St. Louis in
1882 (?) and was led by German working men many of whom were also
armchair philosophers and political theorists after Marx and Hegel. 

I'd love to talk to working people about Hegel, I think they need him.
 But I wonder if I'd escape with my life.  That fact describes a
social pathology that my book is very much about.  The ideas we need
are forbidden to us...and we do the forbidding.  (Consider that too
Bob.)

As for our icon.  P Diddy?
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #103 of 114: Curtis White (curtiswhite) Wed 24 Dec 03 11:38
    
bob daniels:  You mention "axon."  I used to know an axon.  Not a very
pleasant fellow.  But, unhappily, he passed away a short time ago.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #104 of 114: cew (constance22) Wed 24 Dec 03 11:49
    
Ooh.  In synch. (I actually put in "P. Diddy?" in the first draft,
then took it out.)

Hegel societies?  You're kidding!  No, I know you're not kidding.

Cripes, what has become of us?
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #105 of 114: cew (constance22) Wed 24 Dec 03 12:20
    
There is a real lust for dumbing-down in the Brave New Clear Channel
Universe.  Compare your basic US network newscast with one from Europe:
 there's a wealth of topics and facts available to them everyday
cheese-eating surrender monkeys and their ilk that Americans aren't
ever exposed to.

Not to mention the Iraq War Actual Facts Blackout, where a massive
percentage of the US populace is operating under a cultural chador of
totally wrong impressions.  Which is impressive. 
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #106 of 114: Theodore C Newcomb (nukem777) Wed 24 Dec 03 16:59
    
Re: attention spans

There have been plenty of studies to show that our children, who grew
up in the PBS Sesame street format, have a radically different
attention span than those of us from the 'old school'. They are used to
having input at about a 8 second framework, as Sesame Street
introduced something new at about that rate.  Thus the 8 second rule
for a web page to load.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #107 of 114: Angie Coiro (coiro) Wed 24 Dec 03 17:14
    
True enough. But coincident occurence doesn't prove cause/effect.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #108 of 114: C.E. Wilkinson (constance22) Thu 25 Dec 03 08:28
    
Variances in time-length of information presented is one thing; 
paucity of veracity in the information offered is quite another, and
is, I think, what helps support the dumbing down of America.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #109 of 114: Curtis White (curtiswhite) Fri 26 Dec 03 10:13
    
This, friends, is to be my last official post.  I'll check in on a
weekly basis for a while till things get quiet.  Too quiet (as they
used to say in cowboy movies).

Constance:  Nice to be in synch with someone every once in a while. 
Even if in this absurdly tech mediated format.  

(I was working this morning and writing about how our relations with
near everyone else is mediated in one way or another so that the world
appears full of phantoms.  Other people exist as if in parallel
universes.  We don't know how to make contact.  

Do we need a medium?  No!  It was the medium and its message that got
us into this situation.  That and money.  That's the other thing I was
thinking about.  How many of our relationships are mediated by money? 
Let's talk about wealth in those terms.  I have a relationship with my
students because I'm paid to do so.  Etc.)

Yeah, the Hegel societies were very real.  You might even be able to
find out about them with a google search.  some research has been done.
 

The eight second rule and its imaginable relationship to Sesame Street
is really provocative.  It's the sort of thing that even if it's not
true is so rich that you run with it anyway just to see where it goes.

You see, in the end you've been talking to a novelist.

Best to you all.  Curt
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #110 of 114: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) Fri 26 Dec 03 10:21
    
Best to you Curt!  It's been too short and this has raised lots of questions
and issues to explore.  Thanks!
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #111 of 114: virtual community or butter? (bumbaugh) Fri 26 Dec 03 17:38
    
Thanks, Curtis, for visiting with us here. Do hang around as long as you
like.

Thanks, also, to all of you on- and off-Well who helped make this a valuable
session in the Inkwell.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #112 of 114: cew (constance22) Sat 27 Dec 03 06:04
    
Those fleeing the corpo-krypto-media-mass-worldview now take refuge in
internet freedom:  but once it's recognized as a source for power, how
long will that last?

Nice talking with you.  Good luck.
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #113 of 114: Clare Eder (ceder) Sat 27 Dec 03 13:21
    <scribbled by ceder Sat 27 Dec 03 13:22>
  
inkwell.vue.203 : Curtis White, THE MIDDLE MIND
permalink #114 of 114: Teleological dyslexic (ceder) Sat 27 Dec 03 13:23
    
Thank you, Curtis, you have given us many insihgtful reflections.
;-)
  



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