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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in
ennui is for suckers' LiveJournal:
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|Tuesday, November 13th, 2012|
|Thursday, October 18th, 2012|
|Tuesday, August 14th, 2012|
|Monday, July 23rd, 2012|
|Saturday, July 7th, 2012|
|Monday, May 28th, 2012|
I've decided to call my Philip K. Dick festival talk "Neoplatonism and the Problem of Dick's Christianity."
The UC Davis talk will be on PKD and Alchemy, looking at his interest in the "Hermetic Tradition" via Jung, Boehme, Paracelsus, and Giordano Bruno.
|Saturday, February 25th, 2012|
|lots of conference talking this year
I'll be doing papers on Philip K. Dick at a conference in Davis this July http://aseweb.org
and for the SFSU PKD conference. Maybe I'll do one at the Chicago AAR meeting, panel on SF+religion. Hoping to find time to turn the talks+my blog into chapters of a little book of essays on PKD+Religion
|Tuesday, December 6th, 2011|
|Tuesday, November 29th, 2011|
Language is not just a window into human nature but a fistula: an open wound through which our innards are exposed to an infectious world. It’s not surprising that we expect people to sheathe their words in politeness and innuendo and other forms of doublespeak.
“The Stuff of Thought,” 2007
|Thursday, May 26th, 2011|
|Friday, April 15th, 2011|
|Sunday, March 20th, 2011|
|review of Adjustment Bureau (via Total Dick-Head)
This would be the theme of the class: today, everyone in Hollywood wants to be different, to be innovative, even to be strange; hence, they are inexorably drawn to the works of Philip K. Dick, because perhaps more so than any other science fiction writer in the business, Dick is consistently different, consistently innovative, consistently strange. In the 1950s, he tossed out dozens of bizarre little stories like firecrackers, many of them still not properly appreciated; in the 1960s and 1970s, his ideas more often poured out in inchoate novels that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t, but were never dull.http://www.locusmag.com/Reviews/2011/03/philip-k-diminished-a-review-of-the-adjustment-bureau/
|Friday, March 18th, 2011|
|looking forward to seeing Adjustment Team
at the super cool Cerrito theater, might get a bottle of wine with dinner.
had a very trying week teaching Junior High, but a few cool things happened.
Met Zeke Mazur and had a long chat about Plotinus.
|Wednesday, March 16th, 2011|
|clipped from one of those obnoxious quotes sites
It’s very hard to write about that which is always beautiful and pleasant and good. You don’t get anywhere with it. There’s no friction in it. There’s no trouble. You have to have trouble. Somebody’s got to get in trouble, or no one wants to read it.
|Thursday, March 3rd, 2011|
|thanks due to Ihsan for the quote
“Whoever is born must die, but his words live on. Language is the interpreter of thought and science. It gives man dignity. Human beings attain happiness through language. But language can also demean man and cause heads to roll. It is on words that man can rise and acquire power and prestige.” -- Yusuf Has Hacib
|Sunday, February 20th, 2011|
|for larry mudd
"Retweet First. Click After." -The Red Queen (Rule 140), Alice's Adventures in Twitterland and Through the Linking Gloss. p.23, n.5
|Friday, February 18th, 2011|
|scholars weigh in on my dispute with former thesis director
The thesis runaround you’ve dealt with, compounded by the loss of your brother and daughter, sound unbearable. My sincere condolences—I wish there was more one could meaningfully say about such loss; it seems to beggar description and consolation. It’s hard to imagine academic advisors not working to accommodate your needs (e.g. for time away) in such a situation. It would be one thing if your professors had taken some protective interest in keeping you on campus, but to desert you without further comment? It sounds cruelly neglectful and callously misrecognizing. In any case, if you think it will help your argument in arbitration, please feel free to quote the following paragraph. Of course, you should know that my area of expertise is not in Neoplatonism, Renaissance thought, or any of the other designations that would characterize the domain of your thesis. In this regard, I think the intervention of your emeritus mentor is your best hope for getting some justice.
I’ve read a number of sections of your thesis on Pico della Mirandola in draft format (via your blog) and have found it worthy of scholarly consideration. Indeed, my attention was first drawn to your work by a colleague in philosophy who was intrigued by your methodology as well as the consequence of your findings. Garnering the attention of active philosophers while writing at the Master’s level is no small accomplishment; it speaks to the real interest of your project. While I do not have expertise in Pico’s work, I’ve been intrigued by your arguments about the influence of Dionysius the Areopagite on Pico, as well as by your defense of the metaphysics behind Pico’s angelology. In addition to close and considered readings of the primary texts, you’ve made good use of weighty secondary literature (e.g. by W. Hankey and E. Butler). In my judgment, you’ve written a constructive work which makes a careful but novel contribution to the literature. While you may need to tidy up stylistic and organizational issues, these cannot genuinely be understood as valid reasons to reject the thesis—editing suggestions by an advisor would have been enough to clear these up before your defense. Your arbitration committee (and your former advisors) should understand that the account of your experience—coupled as it is by public access to the work you’ve done—are making the Graduate Theological Union sound like an unworkable and hostile institution, i.e., not a place we could recommend to students or colleagues.
EB Dear Ted,
Just a few words, given your recent academic situation, concerning your thesis, which I was pleased to be able to read on your site. This thesis is serious and important scholarship on Pico, showing a keen awareness of cutting edge debates on the reception of ancient philosophy in medieval and renaissance thought. I particularly appreciated the manner in which you draw upon Wayne Hankey's work on the influence of Dionysius on Aquinas, using it to transform the Scholastic background of Pico's angelology. The thesis is deeply researched, original, and argumentatively cogent, well beyond the level of work I've seen in an MA thesis, and would be taken seriously as a proposal for a doctoral dissertation in any program concerned with the history of philosophy. Indeed, the idea that such a thesis has been rejected out of hand in the fashion GTU has is, frankly, troubling. Any serious research institution ought to be interested in doing everything they can to support a promising young scholar such as yourself. In addition, your use of the internet, through your several blogs and Twitter feed, to share your results with a broader community of scholars is truly exemplary, and shows extraordinary initiative and creativity.
Edward P. Butler
This is serious and important scholarship on Pico, showing a keen awareness of cutting edge debates on the reception of ancient philosophy in Medieval and Renaissance thought.
Deeply researched and argumentatively cogent, it's well beyond the level of work I've generally seen in an MA thesis, and would be taken seriously as a proposal for a doctoral dissertation in any program concerned with the history of philosophy.
DE: happy to write a brief support statement on the nature of the work (for whatever that might achieve), however *do you have an email or paper trail for the administrative issues*? as i feel that all you need is that- supervisors who are absent or themselves say they are "too busy" is damning material and should be more than enough to achieve what you need- if a supervisor can't supervise (ie are incapable of doing their JOB) then it is their moral and professional duty to arrange for someone who can do that. This is awful news, hope it gets sorted out soon
|Saturday, January 29th, 2011|
|Iamblichus De Mysteriis 5.23
For it is not proper to despise all matter, but that alone which is foreign from the Gods. But that matter is to be chosen which is adapted to them, as being able to accord with the edifices of the Gods, the dedication of statues, and the sacred operations of sacrifices. For no otherwise can a participation of superior beings be obtained by places in the earth, or by men that dwell in it, unless a foundation of this kind is first established. It is also requisite to be persuaded by arcane assertions, that a certain matter is imparted by the Gods, through blessed visions. This matter, therefore, is doubtless connascent with those by whom it is imparted. Hence, does it not follow that the sacrifice of a matter of this kind excites the Gods to present themselves to the view, immediately calls forth the participation of them, receives them when they accede, and perfectly unfolds them into light?
|Wednesday, January 26th, 2011|
|Tuesday, January 18th, 2011|