Sententiae viri ex temporibus duobus


So this morning I got up early to pass out Arianna flyers at the newly refurbished San Francisco Ferry Buliding.

It was a lot of fun to stand out there and try to sped the message to as many people as would hear it. I always try to be nice to campaigners when I see them handing out leaflets and I discovered that most people are pretty nice about declining politely.

It was a bit hard because I’m not really that extroverted a person by nature, so this is a bit of a thing that’s outside of my comfort zone. I felt pretty good about this as one lady said that I was a good salesman, guess I emoted correctly.

After that I came home and watched two episodes of I love the 70s. Being the relentless pop culture whore that I am, I enjoy learning about this kind of worthless stuff.

After that I grabbed After Virtue and headed up to Farleys and made it through two more chapters. I crossed the 100 page mark and am making better progress now that a lot of the nitty-gritty technical vocabulary has been established.

I like MacIntyre’s style a bit better now, he reminds me of a procedural programmer. He defines all of his terms of art, then has little tiny procedures that do very little, after some pages (in this case about 60) he then proceeds to combine these tools to form arguments. I must say that it’s organizationally attractive, but it’s a really boring narrative.

The other thing that he should have done is divide the work (again to my metaphor of being a procedural programmer versus an OO-style) into sections so that you knew where one theme tied up. I think before the chapter Nietzsche or Aristotle he tied up his argument that “We live in an emotivist culture” pretty well - a “tag” that he was about to move on would have done us all well.

I’m really amazed though that so much of this work is similar to Simulacra and Simulation. Baudrillard’s work simply posited a world where symbols cut loose from their referents (the Dutch word for this is great: losgemaakt made loose) - it never gave a compelling story of how this happened.

After Virtue and Simulacra… both appeared in the early 80s (about the time I was busy being 3) - clearly they was some sort of common intellectual discussion that stimulated two works by two authors radically different in philosophical pedigree.