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Thread: Inauguration Day, Inauguration Hooooooraaay!

  1. #14241
    ...that said, as I am sure anyone can see, at the very least I can tell that Zizek is quite creative. Beyond that, I really haven't the foggiest clue about how much of his ideas are trustworthy / timeworthy.

  2. #14242
    I mean I'm not alone here:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Critics complain of a theoretical chaos in which questions and answers are confused and in which Žižek constantly recycles old ideas which were scientifically refuted long ago or which in reality have quite a different meaning than Žižek gives to them.[72] Harpham calls Žižek's style "a stream of nonconsecutive units arranged in arbitrary sequences that solicit a sporadic and discontinuous attention."[73] O'Neill concurs: "a dizzying array of wildly entertaining and often quite maddening rhetorical strategies are deployed in order to beguile, browbeat, dumbfound, dazzle, confuse, mislead, overwhelm, and generally subdue the reader into acceptance."[74]
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slavoj...nd_scholarship

  3. #14243
    Noam Chomsky can speak authoritatively on an incredibly wide range of topics, including many outside his area of expertise where he likely speaks with greater confidence than experts in the field. Zizek says things that have a ring of truth to it, but he's hardly a purveyor of knowledge. I don't think there's much to learn from Zizek, but he can be fun to listen to.

  4. #14244
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Oh, it's more than just this. I've seen enough of his stuff to notice the pattern. Perhaps I'm overly critical, but he just strikes me as somebody who says things because they sound true. Basically, an entertainer of sorts.

    That said, I probably ought to withhold judgement, since I imagine I'd have to read his books to really understand what he has to say.

    In some ways, he strikes me as a much more ridiculous version of Noam Chomsky. Although with Chomsky, even if he is pretty clearly engaging in some form of persuasive writing / debating much of the time, he clearly has spent a great deal of time researching and thinking about what he has to say).
    Oh man, I really ought to apologize to Professor Chomsky, after all:

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    Noam Chomsky is critical of Žižek saying Žižek is guilty of "using fancy terms like polysyllables and pretending you have a theory when you have no theory whatsoever," and also said that Žižek’s theories never go "beyond the level of something you can explain in five minutes to a twelve-year-old."[80]
    LMAO

  5. #14245
    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Noam Chomsky can speak authoritatively on an incredibly wide range of topics, including many outside his area of expertise where he likely speaks with greater confidence than experts in the field. Zizek says things that have a ring of truth to it, but he's hardly a purveyor of knowledge. I don't think there's much to learn from Zizek, but he can be fun to listen to.
    I think you're definitely right here! (I have a great deal of respect for Chomsky.)

  6. #14246
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    In some ways, he strikes me as a much more ridiculous version of Noam Chomsky. Although with Chomsky, even if he is pretty clearly engaging in some form of persuasive writing / debating much of the time, he clearly has spent a great deal of time researching and thinking about what he has to say).
    I'm fine with criticizing Zizek, he doesn't mean much to me other than being sometimes interesting. Chomsky I'll be more defensive of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Noam Chomsky can speak authoritatively on an incredibly wide range of topics, including many outside his area of expertise where he likely speaks with greater confidence than experts in the field. Zizek says things that have a ring of truth to it, but he's hardly a purveyor of knowledge. I don't think there's much to learn from Zizek, but he can be fun to listen to.
    Agreed.

  7. #14247
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I'm fine with criticizing Zizek, he doesn't mean much to me other than being sometimes interesting. Chomsky I'll be more defensive of..
    Or offensive.

    In that interview, he submits that Zizek's work amounts to nothing more than posturing, and otherwise has no content.

  8. #14248
    Zizek has that continental tendency to deliberately cast ideas as paradoxes just because an easy way to persuade someone that you're being profound by saying that something it both on thing yet also (somehow!! who would've guessed!!) its opposite, or that that thing that everyone knows is so-and-so is really the exact opposite.

    He'd say some bull**** like this: "Yet while Donald Trump, who has been married three times and is known for being sexually insatiable is often criticized for cynically wooing evangelicals with a Faustian bargain, the renowned libertine is in fact the fullest embodiment of Reformation Protestant morality. Yet is it any surprise? Here we see how promiscuity is in fact self-overcome in one and the same individual, as promiscuity is self-overcome, and becomes the most profound chastity..." blah blah blah

  9. #14249
    hmm... so maybe he just figured out this one weird trick for selling books in order to buy more cocaine.

    Žižek arranges his book like a piece of music with different movements, with chapter subheadings such as “allegro moderato”. This is fitting, because Žižek is something of a virtuoso, but as a player of paradoxes. His great riffs take one of a finite number of forms. There is the simple psychoanalytic trope of claiming that however something seems, its true nature is the precise opposite. Then you have the repeated claim that a certain position entails its opposite, but that both sides of the paradox are equally real. Then again, there is the reversal of common sense, in which, whatever the received wisdom is, Zizek postulates the opposite.

  10. #14250
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eversor View Post
    Zizek has that continental tendency to deliberately cast ideas as paradoxes just because an easy way to persuade someone that you're being profound by saying that something it both on thing yet also (somehow!! who would've guessed!!) its opposite, or that that thing that everyone knows is so-and-so is really the exact opposite.

    He'd say some bull**** like this: "Yet while Donald Trump, who has been married three times and is known for being sexually insatiable is often criticized for cynically wooing evangelicals with a Faustian bargain, the renowned libertine is in fact the fullest embodiment of Reformation Protestant morality. Yet is it any surprise? Here we see how promiscuity is in fact self-overcome in one and the same individual, as promiscuity is self-overcome, and becomes the most profound chastity..." blah blah blah
    Continental philosophy does indeed have a tendency to pepper up the language to make stuff sound deeper than it is. "Those who know they are deep strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem deep to the crowd strive for obscurity."

    I think often the points continental philosophers are trying to make could be expressed clearer, for sure. Sometimes it's worth powering through though when they do have insights.

  11. #14251
    so, basically the philosophy equivalent of 'dumpster diving'.

    (To be perfectly fair, a lot of knowledge work and scholarship feels like dumpster diving anyway, since most published articles and works seem to have been written in awful, unreadable style, and full of dubious assumptions.)

  12. #14252
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    hmm... so maybe he just figured out this one weird trick for selling books in order to buy more cocaine.
    To be fair, many insights can be attained this way. Humans are adept at finding false causes. Sometimes reversing the arrow on a causal implication can reveal the true one.

    For instance, many people seem to believe that expressing virtues (being orderly, patient) etc will make you happy. Try reversing it: what if instead it's happy people who are more likely to express virtues. The former is what people are often told. Psychologically speaking the latter is more accurate, though.

    It is one weird trick, but it's a good trick when you realize how bad people are at accurately gauging causation.

  13. #14253
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    so, basically the philosophy equivalent of 'dumpster diving'.
    I mean, sure, that's the analytic criticism of continental philosophy. Contrarily, I could criticize analytic philosophy for being boring, being sterile, and saying nothing of relevance to anyone's lives. Every school of thought has faults, generally a good idea to not buy into the acting performances academics give about "the state of the field".

  14. #14254
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    To be fair, many insights can be attained this way. Humans are adept at finding false causes. Sometimes reversing the arrow on a causal implication can reveal the true one.

    For instance, many people seem to believe that expressing virtues (being orderly, patient) etc will make you happy. Try reversing it: what if instead it's happy people who are more likely to express virtues. The former is what people are often told. Psychologically speaking the latter is more accurate, though.

    It is one weird trick, but it's a good trick when you realize how bad people are at accurately gauging causation.
    Well I dunno, perhaps an analytic philosopher steeped in logical deduction might suggest that by presuming the truth of any false statement, you can literally prove anything.

  15. #14255
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    I mean, sure, that's the analytic criticism of continental philosophy. Contrarily, I could criticize analytic philosophy for being boring, being sterile, and saying nothing of relevance to anyone's lives. Every school of thought has faults, generally a good idea to not buy into the acting performances academics give about "the state of the field".
    Yeah, I totally appreciate what you're saying here. In fact it's an interesting sort of duality between the two traditions of philosophy. It's almost like they offer complementary insights, but by the standards of either, their counterpart would seem to be perpetually confused.

  16. #14256
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Jones View Post
    Well I dunno, perhaps an analytic philosopher steeped in logical deduction might suggest that by presuming the truth of any false statement, you can literally prove anything.
    Although I believe it was Picaso who said, "Art is a lie that makes us realize truth", and I doubt you could go very far in a perfectly hermetically sealed system of logical deduction.

    That said... by vindicating continental philosophy as a whole, I don't think this lets Zizek off the hook in particular! (hey, another logical fallacy rears its head...)

  17. #14257
    But now that I think about it more, I think this is all a false choice. It seems to me that logical analysis paralysis and its opposite (vague, confused language) alike can be barriers to truth and understanding, if the author is not careful and lets them get in the way of the main idea

    Why not just have something profound to say and be clear about it? Perhaps could it be that doing so is difficult enough that it's easier to publish first and clarify later? That would make sense to me.

    Anyway, for someone to be a charlatan engaging in obscurantism, they'd have to be engaging in deliberate confusion, in order to hide a complete lack of substance. And frankly, I don't consider paradoxes to be substance. Which is just what Noam Chomsky said! Although hardly a surprise, I suppose, as an intellectual steeped in the tradition of analytic philosophy, I see.
    Last edited by Reverend Jones; 04-21-2019 at 11:52 PM.

  18. #14258
    Why not just have something profound to say and be clear about it?
    Devil's advocate: successfully doing so runs the risk that the result will no longer be considered philosophy.

  19. #14259
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    It would be economics.

  20. #14260
    speaking of economic thought, just posted yesterday:

    Quote Originally Posted by jacobinmag.com
    Even though Peterson was mesmerized by Žižek’s charisma, he was even more impressed by Žižek’s firm refusal to align himself with the core arguments of Marx and Engels. Despite Žižek’s left-commitments, he and Peterson both affirmed the existence of class society, social hierarchy, and the inescapable fate of suffering. We can only hope to cope with the suffering generated by capitalism (either as individuals or through tepid regulations) — we can never hope to overcome this system.

    Peterson said that Žižek’s claims sounded nothing like Marxism, and more like “Žižekism.” But there’s nothing original here: this is not Žižekism or Petersonism, but the old metaphysics of bourgeois pessimism. Neither participant in this debate outlined a specific alternative to capitalism. Nor do they believe that a real systematic alternative is desirable.

    The difference between Žižek and Peterson is thus the difference between John Locke’s fool and madman: The fool cannot draw conclusions from his premises, whereas the madman dutifully draws his conclusions from bad ones. Žižek here is the fool, since his left-wing commitments remain incompatible with the philosophical premises he shares with Peterson’s tragic view of human existence. Peterson, the madman, takes these tragic premises to their logical, anti-socialist conclusion.

    But who knows: With so much in common, could this be the start of a beautiful friendship?
    https://jacobinmag.com/2019/04/jorda...debate-toronto

  21. #14261
    Sanders looking very presidential at this CNN town hall

  22. #14262
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    ...yeah? :-|

  23. #14263
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    https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/...k-in-politics/

    Christ. This kind of **** is in such bad faith. I hate American politics.

  24. #14264
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  25. #14265
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    Aside from 100 million hamburgers not eaten because of Stalin's regime:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...ates-explained

    Has anyone ever seen this before? Apparently you can be made to sign a contract working for a public school which requires you not to defame or boycott Israel. Is this some kind of joke?

    I mean, the boycotts are basically kind of stupid, but is this seriously the solution? I hope I'm not understanding something because this is upsetting.

  26. #14266
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    Definitely seen that, I live in Texas.

    -_____________-

  27. #14267
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    I don't see what's upsetting about laws intended to suppress the rights of boycotters. Historically, citizen economic organization in the United States involves a lot more killing. BDS supporters should be happy their governments are treating them so nicely.
    Last edited by Jon`C; 04-23-2019 at 03:27 PM.

  28. #14268
    Quote Originally Posted by Reid View Post
    Aside from 100 million hamburgers not eaten because of Stalin's regime:

    https://www.vox.com/policy-and-polit...ates-explained

    Has anyone ever seen this before? Apparently you can be made to sign a contract working for a public school which requires you not to defame or boycott Israel. Is this some kind of joke?

    I mean, the boycotts are basically kind of stupid, but is this seriously the solution? I hope I'm not understanding something because this is upsetting.
    Heh. You asking if anyone’s seen this makes me realize I must really be in a Twitter bubble. It was the non-stop focus of my Twitter feed for several weeks.

    It’s not a joke. Definitely a misstep on the part of the pro-Israel lobbying groups that backed it, though.
    Last edited by Eversor; 04-23-2019 at 06:01 PM.

  29. #14269
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    Considering the prevalence of Israeli IP cores alone, BDS is less like sanctioning Israel and more like sanctioning yourself.

  30. #14270
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    Just in case anybody was under the impression that anti-BDS laws are about protecting an ally, and not about protecting American investments in Israel.

  31. #14271
    Saw this on HN today. The satire just writes itself, it seems...

  32. #14272
    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    Just in case anybody was under the impression that anti-BDS laws are about protecting an ally, and not about protecting American investments in Israel.
    From what I gather much of the anti-BDS legislation isn’t capital protecting its investments as much as it actually is Americans who are committed to Israel for various reasons advocating on its behalf. (In other words, it’s lobbying.)

  33. #14273
    And, it looks like after all, the NSA itself doesn't even believe it's own mass surveillance program is worth the trouble.

    https://bgr.com/2019/04/24/nsa-phone...pying-program/

  34. #14274
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    https://mobile.twitter.com/stevesilb...58299725987840

    lmao, yeah, I can’t tell either Twitter

  35. #14275
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon`C View Post
    https://mobile.twitter.com/stevesilb...58299725987840

    lmao, yeah, I can’t tell either Twitter
    lmao you can't make this **** up

    of course, if you said this in any other way you'd have people mad at you for being extremist and ignoring the moderate republican opinion. but goddamn if reality isn't clear on this.

  36. #14276
    I wonder if there's a correlation between black hate groups and democrats.
    "I would rather claim to be an uneducated man than be mal-educated and claim to be otherwise." - Wookie 03:16


  37. #14277
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wookie06 View Post
    I wonder if there's a correlation between black hate groups and democrats.
    people would try to converse with you if your take was ever something but deflecting **** onto democrats

  38. #14278
    Well, obviously there is a strong correlation but I wasn't deflecting more than dismissing the silly notion that Republican positions could be confused with "white nationalist" views.

  39. #14279
    Sorry, but No true Scotsman fallacies aren't necessarily going to be baked into the machine learning algorithm in question, unless a Twitter employee decided to nudge the objective function of the classifier to that of a conservative pundit. Of course that would probably make the algorithm trivially stupid, so there wouldn't be much point in wasting all those GPU cycles.

    (Yes, I literally just accused you of having political views that are even less nuanced than that of a machine learning algorithm).

  40. #14280
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    Twitter ML expert says “we can’t write a bot to ban nazis because mainstream Republican rhetoric is statistically indistinguishable from nazi hate speech”

    Wookie says “lol no, Democrats”

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