Vague Notions

Today I attempted to read an article on Mute, an online magazine who "...gladly feast on those who would subdue us" titled Epistemic Panic and the Problem of Life.

After reading the first sentence of the fifth paragraph ("This image of the fragile and naked human-animal...") I decided I should probably find a definition of 'epistemic' because I didn't really have any idea beyond a vague notion that it means 'something to do with knowledge or something'.

So I found I struggled understanding much of what the article was talking about. By the sixteenth paragraph I was still having dificulty but had been picking up enough up pieces here and there to make it worth while. Things began to look up for me half way through this big paragraph when I read

"Indeed news stories - the paradigmatic form of the story's informationalisation - are comprised of recomposable and self-contained information units that, when brought together, usually seem to lack something. The real reason for the prison riot is lost in a welter of detail about how many emergency staff were at the scene, how many helicopters deployed, until what time the prison was under lock-down, how much the clean up operation cost etc. We are left clueless as to what the riot blew up out of, how it actually started, what it changed, who were its winners and losers, what its consequences were."

Obviously I completely ignored the word 'haecceity' in the preceding sentence (with it being completely foreign to me) but I managed to scrape together a blob of blurry fudged meaning for it which instantly fell off and rolled out of sight. Having now consulted the dictionary I can confirm that the lost blob of meaning (which I just caught another wee glimpse of before it performed a scuttled retreat) was not nearly on the mark at all.

I started having problems again at the end of this big long sixteenth paragraph, stumbling over the word 'concomitant' which is a little embarrassing, but what can I say, it's not a word I come across in my everyday life in a factory as an injection moulding machine operator. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English uses words such as: accompany, companon, conjoined, attending. So perhaps it actually is quite a pertinent word for use at the factory regarding the machine operator.

My illusion of possibly gaining a good grasp of the meaning of the article was soon shattered by the start of paragraph seventeen:

"The shattering of the storyteller into multiple guarantors of facticity is linked to modern democracy's conversion of the popular body into the basis of sovereignty. The single, divine body of the sovereign is banished and replaced by a collectivity of bodies, represented and unified in the form of a contingent and proxy sovereign."

The trajectory of my understanding more or less plummeted with the scarcity of its glimpses increasing. Yes I find it quite easy to believe that the idea of the obscelesence of the human being regarding labour and production is an illusion. But that might have something more to do with the fact all the factories I've ever worked in have used machines on their last legs, supported on the crutches of a maintenance schedule of fix-only-when-broken and due to this, produce products that need the human hand to finish.

I finished reading the article in a blur, trying to get it over with, hoping to find one more glimpse to confirm I might know of, or have an insight into, something intellectual.

Afterwards, thinking about it for a short while I decided I needed to write a few notes about it, and something else that had been in my mind the past couple of days. Of course, not on paper, it had to be done on my tablet using a notes app which I had used on other devices. It wasn't on this one so had to install it. I wanted an app which didn't require network access, nor was unnecessarily large, and found one under 200kb, perfect.

But by then I had completely forgotten what I had wanted to write; and over the space of fifteen minutes managed only to write:

Just installed this app but can't remember what I was going to write in here!

Vague notions of the meaning of words doesn't help when reading articles about epistemology.

I was feeling tired then, not too much, not like now. I cycled from work in Ramsgate to Sandwich and from there past Richborough castle and Chandler and Dunns to my parents in Stourmouth. I picked up bicycle bears in Sandwich and and bearing removal tool at my parents. I discovered the tool bit into the alluminium mountain bike frame more than it removed the bearings. I'm very tired now. On my way home from my parents, I found I wasn't dressed warmly enough for cycling and stopped in the car park opposite the Dog and Duck at Plucks gutter to put on some knee warmers. Coming over the bridge I felt a car approach slowly and it was Karly who stopped and brought us home together with bike in back of car.


"Vague Notions"

Short text about my difficulty understanding scholarly writing.

Journal entry - 20:43 Thursday 17 April 2014

DISCLAIMER: The opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris as expressed here in the past may or may not accurately reflect the opinions and attitudes of James W. Morris at present, moreover, they may never have.


this page last updated:17th April 2014 (C) 2003 - 2017 James W. Morris

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