Underlinings (#38)

This near-future sleep addiction tale has been getting around:

The technique that instantly dumped the brain into REM sleep was developed with an eye to military application. … […] It saved the nascent lucid-dreaming device business, then suffering slews of returns and one-star reviews from people who spent real money on headbands that they had to wear all night in the hope of reaching REM sleep. A class spread across generations that didn’t get enough sleep anyway, whose brains were blitzed by blue light and believed eight uninterrupted hours in bed was either a historical artifact or the first sign of a brain tumour.

Some background speculative socio-political concern. (The capitalist war on sleep is advancing into a frontier zone where all manner of strange thing can be expected to turn up.)

Underlinings (#37)

Michael W. Clune on Ligotti (and “the psychology of cosmic horror”):

Things are not what they seem. This is the mantra and the practice of cosmic horror. Lovecraft wrote stories in which familiar appearances — mountains, stars, old New England houses — melt away from things that now wear an unspeakably different aspect. While the focus in Lovecraft is always on the alien reality below the appearances, Ligotti is fascinated by the simple capacity of changing appearances to suggest a different reality. He pursues the inhumanist psychology of the process in which appearances come loose from their anchor in the human world.

The Torist

The Dark Web now has its ‘own’ literary journal.

Anonymity is a breeding ground, be that for debate, creativity, or exploration. So where better to publish a socially-conscious, digitally focused literary journal (.onion link) than on a Tor hidden service … [?]


The Plato Code

sounds plausible, a duodecimal line-numbering structure organizing the Platonic texts:

[Jay] Kennedy argues that this is no accident. “We know that scribes were paid by the number of lines, library catalogues had the total number of lines, so everyone was counting lines,” he said. He believes that Plato was organising his texts according to a 12-note musical scale, attributed to Pythagoras, which he certainly knew about.

“My claim,” says Kennedy, “is that Plato used that technology of line counting to keep track of where he was in his text and to embed symbolic passages at regular intervals.” Knowing how he did so “unlocks the gate to the labyrinth of symbolic messages in Plato”.

Believing that this pattern corresponds to the 12-note musical scale widely used by Pythagoreans, Kennedy divided the texts into equal 12ths and found that “significant concepts and narrative turns” within the dialogues are generally located at their junctures. Positive concepts are lodged at the harmonious third, fourth, sixth, eight and ninth “notes”, which were considered to be most harmonious with the 12th; while negative concepts are found at the more dissonant fifth, seventh, 10th and 11th.

Zombie Philosophy

Bakker (snipped from a crucial post):

There will always be speculation — science is our only reliable provender of theoretical cognition, after all. The question of the death of philosophy cannot be the question of the death of theoretical speculation. The death of philosophy as I see it is the death of a particular institution, a discourse anchored in the tradition of using intentional idioms and metacognitive deliverances to provide theoretical solutions. I think science is killing that philosophy as we speak.

Once philosophy has been completely de-vitalized, compliance with its true vocation can begin …