Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Friday, February 5, 2010
It does not bother me that bad mind you, i would rather be outside in rain and cold chain smoking and bitching about the world like rest of the casino drones that slave away for the almighty slot machine gods. I am being dragged however to a Mardi Gras Ball this evening. Multitude of old and stupid people mopping themselves around a dance floor while the bellies are full on jello shots and the ever lingering stink of Bourbon and Crown Royale. blech. I will be in a mask and hoarding off on my corner of the table so i can people watch. Makes for a waste of an evening but i get the job done. Well.....merry we meet, merry we part right? catch you up later. Brian
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Over the following two years, the band toured widely to promote the album, including concerts in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia. In 1996, they stopped touring and in 1997 moved to Memphis, Tennessee, to experiment with new material for a second album, recording many four-track demos and completing his third recording session for his new album with his band, with Tom Verlaine as producer. While awaiting the arrival of his band from New York, he drowned during an evening swim in the Wolf River. His body was found on June 4, 1997.Since his death, there have been many posthumous releases of his material, including a collection of four-track demos and studio recordings for his unfinished second album My Sweetheart the Drunk and expansions of debut album Grace and his Live at Sin-é EP. Chart success also came posthumously; with Leonard Cohen's song, "Hallelujah" he attained his first #1 on Billboard's Hot Digital Songs in March 2008 and reached #2 in the UK Singles Chart at Christmas 2008. Buckley and his work remain popular and are regularly featured in 'greatest' lists in the music press.
Knock-down refutations are rare in philosophy, and unambiguous self-refutations are even rarer, for obvious reasons, but sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes philosophers clutch an insupportable hypothesis to their bosoms and run headlong over the cliff edge. Then, like cartoon characters, they hang there in mid-air, until they notice what they have done and gravity takes over. Just such a boon is the philosophers' concept of a zombie, a strangely attractive notion that sums up, in one leaden lump, almost everything that I think is wrong with current thinking about consciousness. Philosophers ought to have dropped the zombie like a hot potato, but since they persist in their embrace, this gives me a golden opportunity to focus attention on the most seductive error in current thinking.
Todd Moody's essay on zombies, and Owen Flanagan and Thomas Polger's commentary on it, vividly illustrate a point I have made before, but now want to drive home: when philosophers claim the zombies are conceivable, they invariably underestimate the task of conception (or imagination), and end up imagining something that violates their own definition. This conceals from them the fact that the philosophical concept of a zombie is sillier than they have noticed. Or to put the same point positively, the fact that they take zombies seriously can be used to show just how easy it is to underestimate the power of the "behaviorism" they oppose. Again and again in Moody's essay, he imagines scenarios to which he is not entitled. If, ex hypothesis, zombies are behaviorally indistinguishable from us normal folk, then they are really behaviorally indistinguishable! They say just what we say, they understand what they say (or, not to beg any questions, they understands what they say), they believes what we believe, right down to having beliefs that perfectly mirror all our beliefs about inverted spectra, "qualia," and every other possible topic of human reflection and conversation. Flanagan and Polger point out several of Moody's imaginative lapses on these matters in careful detail, so I needn't belabor them. In any case, they follow trivially from the philosophical concept of a zombie.
Flanagan and Polger also fall in the very same trap, however. For instance, they say it is "highly unlikely--implausible to the extreme--that mentalistic vocabulary would evolve among Moody's zombies. But is it metaphysically, logically, or nominally impossible? No." Here getting it half right is getting it all wrong. It is not at all unlikely or implausible that mentalists vocabulary would evolve among zombies. That must be conceded as part of the concession that zombies are "behavioral" twins of conscious beings; if it is likely that we conscious folks would develop mentalists vocabulary, then it must be exactly as likely that zombies do. It is just such lapses as this one by Flanagan and Polger that feed the persistent mis-imagination of zombies and make them appear less preposterous than they are.
Maybe the jokes on you this time.......everyone will say that I'm a lire... everyday the swallowing gets tighter......