ISOC-awards & off-line

Back to Amsterdam for a meeting of the jury of the ISOC Awards: I’m a jury-member for the ‘Internet & the arts’-award. Nominees are:

Jan Robert Leegte:
Joes Koppers:
Wilfried Houjebek:
Peter Luining:
Niels Schrader:
Danielle Roberts:

On friday I’ll fly to Dublin for a short visit. I’ll be offline for a few days then.

en,free publicity,Uncategorized | August 31, 2006 | 14:10 | comments (0) |

34 / 1.22

Ochtendrondje, 9.15 – 10.40. Een lekker zonnetje, fikse zuidenwind (draaiend). Kanne – Eben – Halembaye – Haccourt – Rue Riga (mooi stukje) – bij grote weg rechts en bijna meteen schuin oversteken omhoog – Froidmont – Houtain St. Simeon – Bassenge – Wonck – Moulin Broukay – St. Pierre – Kanne

cycling,nl | August 31, 2006 | 14:03 | comments (0) |

99 / 4.22

Eindelijk zeggen de weersvoorspellingen: droog en zon en wolken. 17 graden, lekker fietsweer ondanks fikse westenwind. 15.00 – 19.30. Rondje Mergelland — leuk, de Limburgse klimmetjes, maar ik ben toch echt veel meer verslingerd geraakt aan het land van Herve, het Luikse, de Hesbaye en de Voerstreek. En echt, de Dode Man en de Keutenberg zijn ‘peanuts’ vergeleken bij de Houtepenklims. (Alleen die Eyserbosweg, daar kom ik dit jaar niet lekker tegenop). Vlak voor de Geulhemmerberg komt een clubje van “Math Salden, Limbricht” voorbij, ik wilde in het dal blijven, zij gaan bergop, om het hardst & ik dus ook. Kijken waar ik sta. Ik kom als vierde (van 10) boven.

Kanne – Lanaye – Lixhe – Moelingen – Mesch – Moerslag – Libeek – Mheer – Noorbeek – Vroelen – De Plank – Teuven – Gieveld – Eperheide – Epen – Mechelen – Partij – Wijlre – Eys – Eyserbosweg – Wijlre – Stokhem – Dode Man – Keutenberg af – Schin op Geul – Walemmerberg – Walem – Klimmen – Valkenburg – Hellebeuk – Hulsberg – Arensgenberg – Valkenburg – Sibbengrubbe – Daalhemmerweg – Valkenburg – Bosstraat – Schimmert – Klein Haasdal – Raarberg – Houthem – Geulhemmerberg – Berg – Maastricht – Muizenberg – Kanne

cycling,nl | August 31, 2006 | 13:58 | Comments (2) |

Faxes of Dr. Fuentes

Cycling4all has scans online from the faxes that doctor Fuentes sent. I must say that seeing this evidence changes my perception of the case. Until now I’d be stressing the fact that persons are accused, found guilty and put outside the race before getting a chance to begin a proper juridical case. (Of course the whole affair still is a terrible mess legally seen).

I wonder what will happen with cycling — and with other sports (Fuentes had soccer-players and track-athletes as clients as well!). But I will enjoy the races just as much as ever. There will always be doping, the Fuentes-case is all part of the story of cycling & I love to follow that story. I’d wish it was less dirty, but I still enjoy the race.

I enjoy the race when my favorite wins. I also enjoy the race when my favorite does not win.

cycling,en | August 30, 2006 | 13:29 | comments (0) |

No, no Trilling

That too much side-tracking. I’ll be off the field. Skimming trough & beginning to read Sincerity and Authenticy I conclude that this summary, taken from an anonymous review at Amazon, is all I need to know now: “Trilling draws a fine but deep distinction between two conceptions of selfhood. Sincerity, or being true to yourself with an eye to being true to others, was the dominant concern of Renaissance and early modern thought and literature, from Shakespeare to Rousseau. Beginning with Wordsworth, gaining momentum throughout the 19th century, and finally emerging with full force in the 20th, though, there is a new, more morally demanding ideal of being what or who one is, apart from all external conditions.” Just now I’m no so interested in reading an essay about Rousseau and Moliere, touching on Hegel too.

en,reading matter,research | August 30, 2006 | 13:21 | comments (0) |

72 / 2.58

Weersverwachting: zware buien met kans op hagel en forse windstoten; tussendoor felle opklaringen. Ik word wakker als de zon schijnt (8.30). Ik ontbijt in de zon — wel binnen want warm is het niet (15 graden). Ik rij door de zon naar de Jan van Eyck. Ik werk tot kwart over vier. Al die tijd regent het niet, niet een keer. Om vijf uur zit ik op de fiets voor een rondje. Plan: wat klimmetjes rond Valkenburg. (Ik schat dat er in het zuiden meer kans is op een bui). Op het plateau van Margraten schijnt de zon en zie ik achter me een enorme bui boven Maastricht hangen. Bovenop de Keutenberg zie ik dat het achter Schin op Geul zwart ziet, en ik daal dan ook niet terug het dal in. Zo wordt het een ritje over het plateau. De bui blijft me achtervolgen, maar meer dan wat sputters voel ik niet — pas een kwartier na thuiskomt regent het, maar niet langer dan een minuut of tien.

Kanne – Lanaye – Lixhe – Eijsden – St. Geertruid – Eckelrade – Cadier en Keer – St. Anthoniusbank – Wolfshuis – Sibbe – IJzeren – Scheulder – Ingber – Gulpen – Wijlre – Etenaken – Schoonbron – Schin op Geul – Keutenberg – Ingber – Scheulder – IJzeren – Sibbe – Bemelen – Maastricht – Kanne

cycling,nl | August 30, 2006 | 13:16 | comments (0) |

Much obliged…

Trilling’s books are not in the library, and not at google.books. But there’s someone who’s gone through the effort of making a part available: Much obliged.

en,reading matter | August 29, 2006 | 15:43 | comments (0) |


Very nice blog: Mentions all my favorite writers :-)

blogging,en,free publicity | August 29, 2006 | 15:38 | comments (0) |

The Reading Department

Yesterday I took part in the first discussion of the Reading Department: Using Skype for a collective chat — reading through Agamben’s text We Refugees. I had to log off at 21.30, at a moment when some interesting issues where coming up — a beginning of a critique of Agamben.

Well, that is what I am interested in, a critique of Agamben. (His texts are beautiful anyway). In order to to entangle both the fascination and the sense of unease with Agambens way of reasoning and doing philosophy. Or trying to do that. Something — I ‘feel’ — is not ‘right’ with Agamben, yet his analysis seems to be very precise and thorough, and to the point.

Taking up Dewey: maybe the problem lies in that Agamben, does use examples from experience, uses practical, political situations, but in the end relegates everything to the realm of ideas and ideals — and leaves it there. A realm of “Anschauung”… the spectator view of knowledge…

But I have to add a big question mark here.

— Then I stumble on this, in the statement of the Reading Department: “Can theory compete with an ongoing war? And what kind of implications bears the “distance of theory”?”

Is that the problem? Theory is not distant, should not be distant. Theory comes from and applies to the world of experience. Of course there are different layers of involvement, entanglement — but the realm of ideas and concepts is not seperate from dirty life. Distance is not the same as separation, but at some point distance becomes separation in practice.

Anyway. Maybe my conclusions are too eeeazy.

en,reading matter,research,ubiscribe | August 29, 2006 | 13:55 | comments (0) |

John Dewey: Reconstruction in Philosophy

And then I also read Reconstruction in Philosophy of John Dewey. It’s a collection of lectures, given in Tokyo, in 1920, shortly after the First World War. I picked it up because it was the only Dewey-book in the Jan van Eyck-library. It might not be among Dewey’s main works, but I found it extremely inspiring and clear and accessible — in fact it is a perfect introduction into philosophy from the standpoint of pragmatism. Well, I’d say it’s the best introduction to philosophy I ever read. Wish I’d read this when I was 18.

Dewey outlines very clearly how the divide between theoretical knowledge and practical knowledge came about; what is wrong with the philosophical antitheses of reason and experience, ideal and real. What is wrong with the spectator view of knowledge; what is the importance of the scientific method. What is wrong with the divisions like art/imagination/aesthetics on the one hand and science/practical knowledge on the other. Et cetera.

Of course there are problems as well with Dewey’s approach, and a few times he seems to come close to a sort of optimistic view of life that reminds one a bit of self-help books. But that seems to be the price to pay when philosophy is reconstructed from practical life…

“If this lecture succeeds in leaving in your mind as a reasonable hypothesis the idea that philosophy originated not out of intellectual material, but out of social and emotional material, it will also succeed in leaving with you a changed attitude toward traditional philosophies.” p. 25

Then Dewey goes on to describe Bacon’s scientific method and its importance for changing philosophy and the concept of knowledge: away from relying on tradition; involvement with the processes of life. Actually the reconstruction in philosophy that Dewey is after is “the endeavor to undo the entanglement [– that philosophy is caught in, due to the impossible combination of Baconian method and older traditions –] and to permit the Baconian aspirations to come to a free and unhindered expression.” p. 52

“True method, that which Bacon would usher in, is comparable to the operation of the bee who, like the ant, collects material from the external world, but unlike that industrious creature attacks and modifies the collected stuff in order to make it yield its hidden treasure.” p. 32

(Pragmatism is not common sense philosophy, on the contrary).

“Men who are thrown back upon “common sense” when they appeal to philosophy for some general guidance are likely to fall back on routine, the force of some personality, strong leadership or on the pressure of momentary circumstances.” p. 100

“In fact, the whole conception of knowledge as beholding and noting is fundamentally an idea connected with esthetic enjoyment and appreciation where the environment is beautiful and life is serene, and with esthetic repulsion and depreciation where life id troubled, nature morose and hard.” p. 115-116

“When the belief that knowledge is active and operative takes hold of men, the ideal realm is no longer something aloof and separate; it is rather the collective of imagined possibilities that stimultates men to new efforts and realizations.” p. 118

“If knowing were habitually conceived of as an active and operative, after the analogy of experiment guided by hypothesis, or of invention guided by imagination of some possibility, it is not too much to say that the first effect would be to emancipate philosophy from all the epistemological puzzles which now perplex it.” p. 123 (This is 1920, so way before Popper, Feyerabend, Lakatos).

“[T]hinking takes it departure from specific conflicts in experience that occasion perplexity and trouble.” p. 138

“They [theories] are tools. As in the case of all tools, their value resides not in themselves but in their capacity to work shown in the consequences of their use.” p. 145

If ideas, meanings, conceptions, notions, theories, systems are instrumental to an active reorganization of the given environment, to a removal of some specific trouble and perplexity, then the test of their validity and value lies in accomplishing this work. If they succeed in their office, they are reliable, sound, valid, good, true. If they fail to clear up confusion, to eliminate defects, if they increase confusion, uncertainty and evil when they are acted upon, then they are false, Confirmation, corrobation, verification lie in works, consequences.” p. 156

“Now it is true that social arrangements, laws, institutions are made for man, rather than that man is made for them; that they are means and agencies of human welfare and progress. But they are not means for obtaining something for individuals, not even happiness. They are means of creating individuals.” p. 194

“Society is the process of associating in such ways that experiences, ideas, emotions, values are transmitted and made common.” p. 207

Acoording to Dewey society is always ‘in the making’, it moves, it consists of communication of experience between individuals, hence both the individual and the organization (‘State’) are subordinate to this active process.

“[O]rganization is never an end in itself. It is a means of promoting association, of multiplying effective points of contact between persons, directing their intercourses into the modes of greatest fruitfulness.” p. 206-207.

All quotes from John Dewey, Reconstruction in Philosophy, Enlarged Edition, Beacon Press, Boston, 1948 (1920).

en,quotations,research,ubiscribe | August 29, 2006 | 13:34 | comments (0) |
Next Page »
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License. | Arie Altena