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MBM
16-12-2004, 11:48 PM
I like the K-punk output but I have a major problem with one aspect. It's long on theory and exhortations and light on practical application. Plenty of What and Why but little How and So What. Which makes it feel *ugh* academic.

Now I'm not expecting a post-D&G Tony Robbins ("Awakent the Replicant Within!") - but what does this stuff actually mean in everyday life. How do you do it?

Comments?

dominic
17-12-2004, 05:50 AM
The practical part of K-Punk has to do with his Spinozist take on good and bad affects, active feelings (joy) and sad passions. Good affects prepare the individual to take action, whereas bad affects make the individual a slave to alien passions, that is, sad, powerless, resentful.

As for the actual content of that which promotes good affects, and that which promotes bad affects, K-Punk provides no simple formula for making this determination. But he gives lots and lots of examples in his daily postings

Further, to the extent that K-Punk "demystifies" the institutions and structures of modern society and thought, he presumably does so to advance his readers capacity for action . . . . That is, "adequate ideas" are the source of active feelings. To the extent that a person remains subject to mystification, he cannot have adequate ideas. And so on and so on . . . . (I'm a bit skeptical about the project of "demystification," which is the not same as saying that the project is without merit. If I didn't find merit, I wouldn't read K-Punk on a regular basis.)

Apart from the practical application of what K-Punk says, there's also intellectual pleasure to be had in reading his blog. Of course, whether such intellectual pleasure is a good or bad affect, I cannot say . . . .

At any rate, it appears that K-Punk has departed from Dissensus . . . . Hopefully he'll return . . . . However, I think K-Punk feels that people ganged up on him for making unpopular arguments. And I think, further, that he interpreted such ganging up on him as "oedipal" and "resentful" in character. Oepidal, because anyone who disagreed with his arguments was *supposedly* more interested in establishing himself (or herself) as a personality independent of K-Punk than in pursuing rational debate. Resentful, because rather than show gratitude for his provocative writings, rather than be provoked into genuine thought, people were *supposedly* eager to resort to insults and empty slogans of thought . . . . This is how I think K-Punk views the matter

What is clear is that the "thought" and "politics" sections of Dissensus have died a quick death in K-Punk's absence . . . . At the same time, I believe that K-Punk has proven a bit too thin-skinned in the face of criticism. Criticism that was for the most part friendly in spirit . . . . And I think that his views on "personhood" have exacerbated the matter. That is, even though K-Punk writes in the mode of a gadfly, even though he appears to emulate the strange charisma of a Socrates or Nietzsche in his writings, he insists, as a theoretical proposition, that there are no "persons" as such and, therefore, no person named K-Punk. He is merely a conduit through which thought is communicated. Whatever. But he seems to have taken any criticism aimed at K-Punk's positions as prima facie proof of intellectual bad faith. Why? Because they're not *his* positions, and any serious person would realize as much . . . . And so it goes

In the end, it's all just a silly crying shame

MBM
17-12-2004, 06:07 AM
Dominic - I'd agree that is a shame that there is an absence of K-punk here at the moment. But I want to avoid that discussion at the moment and focus on the "pragmatics" (correct term? - if someone can think of a better one then please do so) of Cold Rationalism (or whatever this thought cluster is).

What does it mean to be a Cold Rationalist day-to-day? And I want the real specifics here. Really banal stuff. How does a Cold Rationalist life differ from everyone else's?

Now some might dismiss that as "utilitarian". And in doing so, they damn themselves to irrelevance.

The practical part of K-Punk has to do with good and bad affects, joy and sad passions. Good affects allow the individual to take action, whereas bad affects make the individual a slave to alien passions, that is, sad, powerless, resentful.

OK, so how do you accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative? (as that truly annoying song goes).

As for the actual content of that which promotes good affects, and that which promotes bad affects, K-Punk provides no simple formula for making this determination. But he gives lots and lots of examples in his daily postings.

The absence of simple formulas is fine but I don't actually see a whole heap of examples. I see lots of intellectual positions chosen for provocation value (which are well-written and stimulating of thought) - but little about actual living. Maybe this is unfair - if so please direct me to these.

luka
17-12-2004, 11:13 AM
essentialy mark is delusional. which is a shame, obviously. i read still k-punk though. part of its allure i suppose is that it holds forth the possibility of a better life. its a good way to get peoples attention.

what mark is talking about is an emotional state which he sporadically attains and which feels good to him. he thinks he has the key to attaining that state, but he doesn't. its like grace, it comes and goes willynilly.

there are things you can do to help i guess, like being highly-strung, emotioanlly unstable, reading poetry, spending a lot of time on your own, not eating much, not watching too much tv, reading papers, and all those distraction type things, amking attempts to switch off the voice in the head, generally putting all your energy in the service of escape/search for the holy grail whatever.

mark went all sulky when people failed to hail him as the messiah and ran away. it is a shame in a way cos i thought it might be possible to simply bully him out of the ridiculous position hes adopted/

Grievous Angel
17-12-2004, 11:38 AM
I see lots of intellectual positions chosen for provocation value (which are well-written and stimulating of thought) - but little about actual living.
K-punk doesn't do "actual living" -- that's for wimps.

You appear to be trying to "talk sense".

Is this just a word game?

HMGovt
17-12-2004, 11:39 AM
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polystyle desu
20-12-2004, 04:30 PM
Now I'm not expecting a post-D&G Tony Robbins ("Awakent the Replicant Within!") - but what does this stuff actually mean in everyday life. How do you do it?

Comments?


Good question after all the verbage

I'd just comment - if the head /home/world is so full of quotes - drop the baggage , lighten that load
enjoy the present and get on into the future.
All ingredients are out there in the world and it's happening /recombining ... real time /right now

The recent discussions reminded me of the feeling we got when we found out that author William Gibson wrote the futuristic (for 1984') "Neuromancer" on a typewriter -and was proud and glib about it

HMGovt
20-12-2004, 04:43 PM
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