****warnining****this one could get a little abstract****warning*****
Noticed a bit of musico-philosophical mini-meme in circulation
Matos had this blogriff on my "where you're at/where you're from" blogriff, in the course of which he declared:
“For a lot of us in the [pro-camp], it went without saying that plus/and trumps either/or as a guiding principle..."
and on the Other Board someone else said something like "either/or is for chumps"
and then in the M.I.adonnaHonda/"we aren't living in a black-and-white world, so I ain't no black-and-white girl" thread, another person was decrying Either/Or logic.
Two's a coincidence, three's a trend!
Now is this notion--"plus/and" > "either/or"--some sort of well-established philosophical distinction i'm not conversant with? It has a tang of Logic about it.
Anyway, it struck me as having a lot of applications and get to the nub of certain dissenssions and debates abroad at the moment
Strip away the actual details of any given argument and you'll find people divided into Either/Ors or Plus/Ands -- Clear Vision versus Subtle Shades .... or to revert to more loaded terms, fanatics versus dilettantes
Both sets of adherents, interestingly, would claim that their proposition is closer to the True Nature of Reality.
For instance, the Plus/And argument is that the world's is a complex place, not black and white, don't simplify the issues, polyvalent, etc etc
The Either/Ors would argue: actually no, in real real life, you're constantly faced with stark choices, from the mundane (which entree on the menu) to the profound (love; career -- for most people it's impossible to be a doctor AND a lawyer,; politics--you can't vote Republican AND Democrat, and so forth).
Being emotionally of an Either/Or bent (while still having, i hope, the mental suppleness to see the Plus/And, Subtle Shades aspects of things), I would tend towards polarising things, while seeing the opposite stance as "having your cake and eating it" or not taking a stand
This also has applications to the whole music consumption issue.
Plus/And is the logic of downloading. When there's no cost and no limit to your storage capacity, there is simply no earthly reason to desist from the "and... and ... and..." imperative. Illegal downloading has removed music from the scarcity economy.
Plus/And is the logic of the all-you-can eat salad bar.
Which i understand only too well, being the kind of person who will load up the plate with a little bit of everything, making myself bloated and nauseous in the process
Either/Or though is the logic of difficult choices in a scarcity economy
-- of having X amount of allowance to spend on records
--- of skipping a meal to buy a record (something i've never done i hasten to add, although you always hear people claiming to have done this)
I would say that the world still largely operates on a scarcity economy
and that moreover Life itself is a scarcity economy, you've only got so much time/energy, hence the Aesthetic Morality of Finitude
Finally i would say that Either/Or is a logic of intensification, whereas Plus/And is an addititive logic
Both have their downsides obviously
Either/Or, taken to the extreme, becomes narrow-minded
Plus/And, which seems to becoming the dominant principle of culture in the sense of there being so many options, choices, information, etc, tends to promote a kind of super-sated indifference, in the precise sense of differences not mattering -- entropy -- and also a kind of self-erasing open-ness