Monday, November 23, 2009 10:05:01 AM
What is money and sex nowadays? Why does it seems to value more than health, happiness, joy and all the simple things of every day's life?
I don't understand this world, never will... It's just so different from the world I keep in my mind. Truly, I would not change the peculiar universe of my subjectivity, even knowing it is not posssible to share it with others and it does not fit reality as society defines, expect it. Cause what they have to offer is so mean, cruel and beyond my abilities to adapt myself with what I can not accept, I do not agree and I can not even get close to it's purpose. How come? What's the point?
How come everybody considers it right with so man injustices, violence, prejudice, all considering money and sex above all as the maximum values of society? What's wrong with me that I'm not able to get this? Of course I wouldn't discard money nor sex, but not like this, as if they were the most important to achieve in life.[/COLOR]
Sunday, October 11, 2009 10:15:57 PM
The suggestive power of virtual technologies is without parallel. Next to the illicit drugs-based narco-capitalism which is currently destabilizing the world economy, a computer-communication narco-economy is building up fast. The question may even be raised whether the developed countries are not pushing ahead with virtual technologies in order to turn the tables on the under-developed countries, which are, in Latin America especially, living off, or rather barely scraping by, the production of illicit chemical drugs. When one observes how much research effort in advanced technologies has been channeled into the field of amusement (viz. video-games, real virtuality goggles, etc.), should this instantaneous subjugating potential - and it has been applied successfully in history before - which is being unleashed on the populations by these new techniques remain concealed?
Something is hovering over our heads which looks like a "cybercult". We have to acknowledge that the new communication technologies will only further democracy if, and only if, we oppose from the beginning the caricature of global society being hatched for us by big multinational corporations throwing themselves at a breakneck pace on the information superhighways.
Sunday, June 14, 2009 1:34:04 PM
Balzac[/IMG]Honoré de Balzac (1799-1850) was born in Tours. His father, Bernard-François Balssa, named his son after St Honoré whose day had just been celebrated. He had risen to the middle class, and married in 1797 the daughter of his Parisian superior, Anne-Charlotte-Laure Sallambier; she was 31 years his junior. Bernard-François had worked as a state prosecutor and Secretary to the King's Council in Paris. During the French Revolution, he was a member of the Commune, but was transferred to Tours in 1795 because of helping his former royalistic protectors. Bernard-François felt at home in the land of Rabelais, and started energetically to run the local hospital. In 1814 the family moved back to Paris.
Balzac spent the first four years of life in foster care, not so uncommon practice in France even in the 20th century. His first years he spent in the village of Saint-Cyr, and returned to his parents at the age of four. At school Balzac was an ordinary pupil. He studied at the Collège de Vendôme and the Sorbonne, and then worked in law offices. In 1819, when his family moved for financial reasons to the small town of Villeparisis, Balzac announced that he wanted to be a writer. He returned to Paris and was installed in a shabby room at 9 rue Lediguiéres, near the Bibliothéque de l'Arsenal. A few years later he described the place in LA PEAU DE CHARGIN (1931), a fantastic tale owing much to E.T.A. Hoffmann (1776-1822). Balzac's first work was CROMWELL. The tragedy in verse made the whole family dispirited.
By 1822 Balzac had produced several novels under pseudonyms, but he was ignored as a writer. Against his family's hopes, Balzac continued his career in literature, believing that the simplest road to success was writing. Unfortunately, he also tried his skills in business. Balzac ran a publishing company and he bought a printing house, which did not have much to print. When these commercial activities failed, Balzac was left with a heavy burden of debt. It plagued him to the end of his career. "All happiness depends on courage and work," Balzac once said. "I have had many periods of wretchedness, but with energy and above all with illusions, I pulled through them all."
After the period of failures, Balzac was 29 years old, and his efforts had been fruitless. Accepting the hospitality of General de Pommereul, he spent a short time at their home in Fougères in Brittany in search of a local color for his new novel. In 1829 appeared LA DERNIER CHOUAN (later called LES CHOUANS), a historical work in the manner of Sir Walter Scott, which he published under his own name. Gradually Balzac began to gain notice as an author. Between the years 1830 and 1832 he published six novelettes titled SCÈNES DE LA VIE PRIVÉE. The work, addressed more or less to a female readership, was first published in La Presse. His father had died in 1829. When Balzac's mother miraculously recovered from an illness, he started to study the works of Jacob Boehme, Swedenborg, and followed Anton Mesmer's lectures about 'animal magnetism' at Sorbonne. These influences are seen in LA PEAU DE CHARGRIN (1831).
In 1833 Balzac conceived the idea of linking together his old novels so that they would comprehend the whole society in a series of books. This plan eventually led to 90 novels and novellas, which included more than 2,000 characters. Balzac's huge and ambitious plan drew a picture of the customs, atmosphere, and habits of the bourgeois France. Balzac got down to the work with great energy, but also found time to pile up huge debts and fail in hopeless financial operations."I am not deep," the author once said, "but very wide." Once he developed a plan to gain success in raising pineapples at his home at Ville d'Avray (Sevres). After two two years, he had to flee from his creditors and conceal his identity under the name of his housekeeper, Madamede Brugnolle.
In the 'Avant-propos' to The Human Comedy from 1842 Balzac compares under the influence of Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire's theories of the animal kingdom and human society. "Does not Society make of man, according to the milieu in which his activity takes places, as many different men as there are varieties in zoology?" However, Balzac sees that human life and human customs are more multifarious and there are dramatic conflicts in love which seldom occur among animals.
Among the masterpieces of The Human Comedy are LE PÉRE GORIOT, LES ILLUSIONS PERDUES, LES PAYSANS, LA FEMME DE TRENTE ANS, and EUGÉNIE GRANDET. In these books Balzac covered a world from Paris to Provinces. The primary landscape is Paris, with its old aristocracy, new financial wealth, middle-class trade, demi-monde, professionals, servants, young intellectuals, clerks, criminals... In this social mosaic Balzac had recurrent characters, such as Eugène Rastignac, who comes from an impoverished provincial family to Paris, mixes with the nobility, pursues wealth, has many mistresses, gambled, and has a successful politician. Henry de Marsay appeared in twenty-five different novels. There are many anecdotes about Balzac's relationship to his characters, who also lived in the author's imagination outside the novels. Once Balzac interrupted one of his friends, who was telling about his sister's illness, by saying: "That's all very well, but let's get back to reality: to whom are we going to marry Eugénie Grandet?"
Saturday, January 10, 2009 1:46:30 PM
Life got a whole lot worse for the 1.5 million residents of Gaza over the weekend. With a death toll now exceeding 300, the latest war in the battered coastal strip has already surpassed in scope and brutality most previous Israeli assaults on the impoverished territory since the Six Day War of 1967. Yet the grim reality is that the futile and disproportionate incursion – known to Israel’s military as Operation Cast Lead – is only the latest episode in the cycle of bloodletting over Palestine, and will do nothing to alter the basic dynamic of periodic violence in the region. In fact, the latest fighting shows that nothing has been learnt over decades of flawed military policies in the region.
Since the recent expiry of a six-month ceasefire, or tahidiyeh, both Israel and Hamas have sought to renew the agreement but on more favourable terms. For Hamas, which has dropped suicide bombings as its modus operandi to gain leverage over Israel, this has meant once again allowing Israel’s southern towns to be terrorised by makeshift and highly inaccurate Qassam rockets and mortar shells. It figured that by raising the stakes it could force Israel into accommodating its aims, these being the reopening of crossings into Gaza, the cessation of Israeli operations in and around it, the release of Palestinian prisoners and an end to attacks on its infrastructure in the West Bank.
Instead of taking at face value the repeated threats made by Israeli leaders in the past week, Hamas banked on the assumption that these leaders feared getting bogged down in another battle similar to the disastrous July 2006 War in Lebanon. This war essentially wrecked the credibility of Israel’s outgoing prime minister, Ehud Olmert. Hamas also interpreted Israel’s reopening of three border crossings into Gaza on Friday as a sign of a weakening resolve.
Clearly Hamas got it wrong. By adopting the strategy of brinkmanship it shares responsibility for the misery now being heaped on itself and Gaza. In actual fact, the opening of the crossings to humanitarian aid was a trick designed to lower Hamas’ readiness for the impending onslaught, one that the Israeli military had reportedly been diligently preparing through intelligence gathering and target identification for the past six months.
Publicly, Israel has stated it wants to create a new security environment, to deliver the ‘knockout blow’ that will definitively destroy Hamas’ rocket-launching capability. To be sure, Hamas’ military infrastructure has been truly battered in the past couple of days. Yet toppling Hamas’ rule in Gaza is just not feasible. Logistically it would require precisely the sort of costly ground fighting that the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have tried to avoid since they withdrew from the territory in 2005. And given the close proximity of military and civilian infrastructure in Gaza, it would inflict a level of human damage (beyond the 56 civilian lives already lost) that would eventually weaken tacit international support for Israel’s ‘right to self-defence’, as happened belatedly in Lebanon two years ago.
In reality, Israel’s leaders, with one eye on elections in a couple of months, will probably settle for a more limited outcome. Most likely, the fighting will give way to another temporary ceasefire, and Israel’s leaders will be able to show the Israeli electorate evidence of Hamas’ weakened capability. In other words, when the violence subsides, perhaps within days, when all the bodies have been pulled from crumbled buildings and the full extent of the damage is known, we will be back exactly where we started. Palestinians will continue to live surrounded by death, destruction, poverty and humiliation. Most Israelis will continue to live in relative safety, but surrounded by hostile neighbours waiting for the chance to hit back. The reality is that it will only be a matter of time until a similar episode, either in Gaza or on another front, occurs again, when the ranks of the resistance, buoyed by renewed suffering, hatred and new weapons, swell once again and leave Israel with ‘no choice’ but to strike out in ‘self-defence’.
Since the beginning of the Zionist presence in Palestine, Jewish leaders have employed overwhelming and systematic force in order to force Arab inhabitants of the region to accept facts on the ground. This simple formula was brutally effective from the 1920s through the rest of the 20th Century, as Israel achieved military and economic superiority over its neighbours and was able to inflict a string of humiliating and costly blows on them. But the other historical truth is that no military operation has ever progressed dialogue with the Palestinians, or Israel’s ultimate acceptance and integration in the Middle East.
In fact, such a tactic has locked Israel into a continuing cycle of violence, one from which it has only been able to buy short-lived respite. The Israeli writer Gideon Levy sums this up; ‘The history of the Middle East is repeating itself with despairing precision. Just the frequency is increasing. If we enjoyed nine years of quiet between the Yom Kippur War  and the First Lebanon War , now we launch wars every two years. As such, Israel proves that there is no connection between its public relations talking points that speak of peace, and its belligerent conduct.’
If the Arab states – Egypt, Syria and Jordan - have officially or effectively given up the fight, they have been replaced by tenacious non-state groups – Hamas and Hizbullah – all too ready to keep the resistance going. Regardless of the duration and extent of Israel’s attacks, inflicting such conditions on the people of Gaza (or the West Bank, Beirut and so on) will only strengthen the conviction that Israel is not serious about meeting Arab aspirations for rights and statehood, weaken moderates who argue in favour of negotiating with Israel, and ultimately increase the numbers of those prepared to martyr themselves serving the resistance.
The assumption that hurting Palestinian civilians, either through air strikes or through starvation and power cuts, will make them rebel against their leaders is farcical. Hamas is a religious nationalist movement that above all aspires to defend Palestinian land and security, something that the majority of Gazans believe is worthwhile. This has been shown to be so time and time again.
The EU, France, Russia, UN and belatedly Britain have condemned the ongoing air strikes. But the US, the one power with any real hold over Israel, has shamefully refused to follow suit, urging Israel simply to avoid civilian casualties. As one Jerusalem Post commentator writes, ‘The [US] State Department's reaction seemed to be a repetition of the one we heard two years ago [regarding the July war in Lebanon], but with Hamas replacing Hezbollah and Gaza standing in for Lebanon: the war is Hamas's fault, Hamas should stop shelling Israel with rockets, Hamas is a terror organization, the people of Gaza are suffering because of Hamas’.
This kind of nonsense, in ignoring the true dynamics of the Arab-Israeli conflict, will in the long run do nothing for Israelis or Palestinians. Our leaders should remember that most of Gaza’s inhabitants are children of refugees, the sad legacy of protracted conflict in the Middle East, and a reminder that all attempts to date to produce a military solution to the Palestinian question have fundamentally failed. And any government not yet convinced as to just how explosive the issue of Palestine is across the Middle East need only look at the ripples of civil unrest reported in just about every capital city in the region in the last three days.
By Hugo Foster
Monday, January 5, 2009 4:21:06 PM
Nowadays, we are invited to think about these relations among the world of images (virtual) and the world of objects (real) everytime everywhere. The representation of the object is getting more importance than the real object itself.
The supervaloration of images added to the high possibilities of manipulate time and get more and more speed with machines which do works faster than humans may generate fashion things such as animations, spectecular shows of technology and all great programs of computers very nice and usefull for diverse tasks. It is really changing the environment where we live, even the way we think and , consequently, relationships as well.
The representation of an object is taking the place of the real object and there are some reflexions we should make about this subject before it gets out of human control, if it slready didn't. It's time for virtual courses, virtual culture, virtual friends, even virtual love affaires...
However, the whole is not very simple as it might seems. This process changes codes of language and communication affecting people in general all over the world. Different codes are created and it fragments the process of communication, expressions and comprehension among people of various cultures and regions.
The fragmentation gest velocity and leave the notion of time and space instable, which affects the subjectivity. There is no more safe place or predicted time for anthing. It is all kind of beyond human possibilities of control. Speed is the main point in all these changes.
People have develloped machines that work better than they do. Nobody knows what way it is going to lead us. Scientists prevew chaos in little time if no providences and cares were taken. And they don't seem to be taken.
Thursday, June 26, 2008 1:39:27 AM
I want my life back or my death. I can't stay in this fucking line in between. What a hell! I won't lye down and wait for dear death. I'm gonna get it by myself. Beeing a vegetable sucks! Well, I got sick in New Zealand and several times after that too. But I never gave up on anything or ran away from the consequences of my acts.
I am a responsable person, nobody recognizes it cuz they just don't know. The pain is mine and I always fought to get out of the victim position; I stood up for my acts even when I didn't have a clue to get close to understand them.
My suffering was never in first place for me, dignity was. When I'm able to think properly, I naturally choose what I feel it's the right thing to do, not more for me than for others. After New Zealand, I just never lived for myself anymore, everything I did or tried to do was to find a way to make it up for my familly. I put my entire soul on this.
Yes, I failed, I fell down so many times I can't explain what really happennd, just don't know. No person ever knew what I passed through to do what I did, like in college, Vestiba, tennis, tae kwon do, french, get out of drugs, hang on all those sheet concours, swim and surf as well. None of these was easy as it may seems.
When people thanks God for it, oh, I feel like screaming that the effort was mine; but when I fail then they feel sorry for me cause I'm a poor retarded, mental disturbed person who spiritually they think all of these is related to sins and punishement.
For sure I don't need to say I don't agree with it, however when did they give me a chance to have my own opinion about it? It sounds awkward, I know, but if life for me has to be like a war, I'm out of it. Just doen't worth...
Sunday, January 20, 2008 6:33:08 PM
"Heidegger says that the question of the origin of a thing asks about the source of its nature. He asks about the origin from which both artist and work are seen to derive: namely, art. That which takes its rise from art is both artist and work. And art itself, he asserts, is the source of artist andbe what they are. Heidegger generates a tripartite relation between art, artist and work in an encompassing hermeneutic. As Joseph Kockelmans has observed, "if art is the origin of the work of art, art lets those who intimately belong together in regard to the work, namely the one who artistically produces it and those who try to preserve it artistically, each in his own essence, be what they are."
Thinking and visualising are not indistinct categories, as Maurice Merleau-Ponty reminds us: they are constitutive powers in our understanding and seek a legitimate place in daily life. The thinking that arises from the place of art in society is crucial to the experience of art and its survival. Art's flourishing is proportionate to its quality, and its quality is determined by the impact of its beginning. It is by adherence to its beginnings in an origin, and not simply that of an enjoined art historical tradition, that art gains its visible and social legitimacy. Thinking through material means and events provides the basis for an artist's practice. If the thinker thinks Being, and the poet names the sacred, as Kockelmans suggests, then the task of the artist is to draw forth works from the wellsprings of the in-visible.
To think thought is to think the work of thought, and to work the work of thought is to employ the hands. It is through his/her hands that an artist or writer establishes contact with "the austerity of thought," as Henri Focillon once remarked. The hand holds and carries. But the hand also runs everywhere through language, and is "in [its] most perfect purity precisely when man speaks by being silent." And so for Heidegger, every movement of the hand carries itself through the element of thinking, for "every bearing of the hand bears itself in that element." Indeed, he submits, "thinking itself is man's simplest, and for that reason hardest [handwork]."The hand and thinking share some mutual obligation: to think is to think and work with the hand.
The hand is an extra-organic implement of thought, but it is also the extra-organic organ of sight. The hand is, in its dexterous motility, a handling of the things imparted to it by the tactile senses of touch and sight. The artist sees the world with a keener sense, Henri Focillon believes, and as his art is made by his hands, so are his hands the instrument of creation. But before that, such hands are an organ of knowledge; for the artist "starts from the very beginning." The hand as a principle of knowledge brings about a factual clearing of sight for creative action. The impulse toward knowing and sightfulness is accomplished through the hand. But what bearings might this have on an artist who is intent on originary beginnings in works of art?
Contemporary art has moved away from a determined conceptual stance to one of interactivity. Contemporary artists have been induced to leave the solitude of the studio and engage with the social order. Such artists now deal with a demanding repertoire of social tools and art institutional prerogatives in exhibiting their work. Here we need a discourse that recognizes the artist's perception as mover and shaper of his/her creations. The evident materiality of an artist's discourse must be allowed to forge open-handed aesthetic values, so that we learn to interrogate those practices which are at odds with themselves or with the world."
• by: Derek Whitehead has a background in the visual arts, Classical languages, and Continental philosophy. He holds a PhD from Sydney University, Australia, and is a practicing artist, independent researcher and writer in the areas of aesthetics, aesthetic education, and varying themes in art research from historical and contemporary perspectives. Contact email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, November 10, 2007 3:33:28 PM
Well, I was thinking about all these new features and amazing tools almost all of us are able to access nowadays. I'm not so old and I remember when nobody of middle class could have a computer or a cell phone and it wasn't even in our minds it would achieve what it did.
Who could imagine? It looks like magic, or brilliant brain making machines work for us. Isn't it nice? Suppose you have a school work to do, what will be your source of research? The library of the school, which you know all your teachers know by heart about those books? Nope, don't think so, budy. Why not wikipedia? Oh, sure, first you put anything you want to research at google, farway the best engine for that.
Thousands of informations is avaiable and at first page always wiki. Isn't that practical? You go to some other sites, ctrl+C ctrl+V of the conclusions of each one of them and open wiki to edit with what is already there as extra. What a great fast work we do withouting even violating author rights.
Just change the order of all, get some easy words to put instead of the big academics ones, you only have to take the little dictionary, put some as citations and quite a rich bibliography, aye? Nice, it's done, your grade is A+.
Now, let's wait till tomorrow.
The next day: did you do your school work? oh yeah, and it was awesome, evereybody loved it. Ah, good on you! And what was it about? Whatttt???? It was... oh...it was something like... han, wait, let me take it and I'll show you.