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Comment author: HalMorris 01 September 2014 07:44:11PM *  0 points [-]

Postmodernism is anti-Enlightenment and views Marxism as an unfortunate result of the Enlightenment the same as capitalism.

(ChristianKI) Could you name people that argue that position explicitly?

Here is an article that addresses the issue pretty directly: http://www.merip.org/mer/mer187/marxism-postmodernism

It starts off with

*During the Thatcher-Reagan-Bush era, just as critical intellectuals and left political activists had won a small place for the concepts of political economy and class analysis in academia, postmodernism and post-structuralism replaced Marxism as the favored mode of Anglo-American intellectual radicalism.

Strictly speaking, postmodernism and post-structuralism are not the same thing. What I mean by these terms is an array of literary and cultural theory rooted in a Nietzschean -- as opposed to a Marxian -- critique of bourgeois modernity. Postmodernists hold that reason -- the leading principle of European post-Enlightenment modernity -- is not universal, but merely masks relations of power. ... Postmodernists reject the notion that the interests and outlook of the working class or any other group constitute the basis for liberation of all of people (my note: This goes against the heart of Marxism). They are suspicious of abstract categories like class, and deny the existence of unified subjects -- individuals or classes -- with historical agency.*

Further on:

They [postmodernists] often adopt a playful, ironic, self-contradictory style, reflecting their view that there is no correct analysis of anything, but only an infinite variety of “readings.”

It is complicated by the fact that Marxism tends to be bent into pretzels all sorts of ways in order to make it agree with the fashions of the time, be they Freudianism, postmodernism, or the "New (largely Anarchic) Left" of the 60s/70s

It might be arguable that the kernel of truth in postmodernism can be approached via Ainslie (see http://www.ribbonfarm.com/2013/10/18/the-government-within/)

Here is another bit from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

While [Michel] Foucault himself was deeply involved in a number of progressive political causes and maintained close personal ties with members of the far-Left, he was also controversial with Leftist thinkers of his day, including those associated with various strains of Marxism, proponents of Left libertarianism (e.g. Noam Chomsky) and Humanism (e.g. Jürgen Habermas), for his rejection of what he deemed to be Enlightenment concepts of freedom, liberation, self-determination and human nature. Instead, Foucault focused on the ways in which such constructs can foster cultural hegemony, violence and exclusion.

Habermas has been strenuously engaged with postmodernists like Foucault in defense of the value of Enlightenment rationality).

Postmodernism/Poststructuralism is a complex and confusing stew that I've bumped into in the course of study of history and later history of ideas and epistemology, especially social epistemology. There are two very separate groups who call themselves "social epistemologists". One leans towards postmodernism, headed by Thomas Fuller, which has an online forum at social-epistemology.com. One of the complaints against it is that it is “veriphobic” by Alvin Goldman, the main standard-bearer of the other branch of Soc. Epist. (Knowledge in a Social World, 7ff). This is something akin to saying it is highly relativistic and opposed to any standard of "objective truth", and the postmodernists have tended to treat all religions gingerly and have found favor among some theologists, and they (esp Thos. Fuller and Feyerabend -- a sort of precursor to this school of epistemological thought) have engaged in apologetics for creationism.

Many articles in Fuller's social-epistemology.com forum have mentioned "enlightenment"


For more on the different approaches to Social Epistemology, see http://social-epistemology.com/2013/07/22/two-kinds-of-social-epistemology-finn-collin/ (one of the best articles by far to have appeared in that forum).

Comment author: Emile 01 September 2014 08:59:48PM 2 points [-]

You haven't really answered ChristianKI's question, he just wanted names of people who explicitly "view Marxism as an unfortunate result of the Enlightenment the same as capitalism." rather than a link to a long article from someone claiming that some people did something kinda like that maybe.

Comment author: Sherincall 25 August 2014 05:54:08PM 5 points [-]

Are the European meetups in English or the native language? I'm moving to Germany soon, and would love to attend some closer meetups (Germany/Netherlands/Belgium), iff they are English by default.

Comment author: Emile 25 August 2014 07:28:07PM 4 points [-]

In France it's French if everybody speaks French, English otherwise (or sometimes a little bit of German, there are sometimes more German speakers than French speakers).

Comment author: Metus 20 August 2014 07:45:55PM 6 points [-]

I am trying to manage my information intake. The problem is that I spend way too much time reading meaningless or useless drivel on hacker news, lesswrong, reddit and finally my RSS feeds. So far I came up with two possible interventions:

  • Reduce the total amount of information to take in by removing meaningless content or comments
  • Increase speed of intake through automated summaries and/or speed reading

I am sure other people around here ran into a similar problem, so I post here. The latter point seems feasible, especially the speed reading part. Automated summaries for news stories seem to work reasonably well. The former point is somewhat more complicated. I could use the end of the week or month and some kind of social aggregation process to filter out the daily and weekly noise to get to the signal. Problem is that especially Reddit does not work very well for that.

The current idea is to have relevant reading material sent to my kindle with no possibility to get lost in related content, constant refreshing and ongoing discussions in the comments. Psychological factors influencing the process are fear of missing some information and stimulation of the seeking system because of the jagged rewards while browsing social media. A good technical filter would level the reward and thus supress the inner gambler.

Comment author: Emile 20 August 2014 09:07:31PM 3 points [-]

Some stuff I did in that direction:

  • Installed RescueTime to track where I spend time. I hardly never check the dashboard so I don't think it's very effective.

  • I avoid having too many tabs open. If I need to look something up, I open a new window, do a search and maybe open a few tabs, and then close the whole window, so I'll rarely have lingering half-finished stuff to look at again.

  • On Reddit, my default settings only show posts for the latest months, so in the few subreddits I follow regularly, there'll rarely be new things (and I avoid at looking at other kinds of feed like new or the front page), and I don't worry about missing things. This doesn't make visiting reddit very rewarding, but that's a feature :)

  • I do regularly cull low quality stuff from my RSS feeds, so I rarely have that much

  • I never check RSS feeds at work (and rarely check personal mail or lesswrong)

  • I occasionally do pomodoros (not a fully ingrained habit yet), which works on getting myself to stay focused.

  • I have no fear of "missing some information", that's just silly, in ten years I don't think my life will be changed because I didn't read a blog post or some news. Most journalism is a waste of time anyway, reading wikipedia or textbooks is more effective.

Comment author: nydwracu 16 August 2014 01:42:45AM 4 points [-]

Maybe genealogically, but Moloch and Gnon are two completely different concepts.

Gnon is a personalization of the dictates of reality, as stated in the post defining it. Every city in the world has the death penalty for stepping in front of a bus -- who set that penalty? Gnon did. Civilizations thrive when they adhere to the dictates of Gnon, and collapse when they cease to adhere to them. And so on. The structure is mechanistic/horroristic (same thing, in this case): "Satan is evil, but he still cares about each human soul; while Cthulhu can destroy humanity and never even notice." (in the comments here) Gnon is Cthulhu. Gnon doesn't care what you think about Gnon. Gnon doesn't care about you at all. But if you don't care about Gnon, you can't escape the cost.

There's nothing dualistic about Gnon: there's only the spectrum from adherence to rebellion. Moloch vs. Elua, on the other hand, is totally Manichaean: the 'survive-mode' dictates of Gnon are identified with Moloch, the evil god of multipolar traps and survival-necessitated sacrifices, and Moloch must be defeated by creating a new god to take over the world and enforce one specific morality and one specific set of dictates everywhere.

(Land, Meltdown: "Philosophy has an affinity with despotism, due to its predilection for Platonic-fascist top-down solutions that always screw up viciously.")

Comment author: Emile 17 August 2014 05:10:57PM 0 points [-]

Philosophy has an affinity with despotism, due to its predilection for Platonic-fascist top-down solutions that always screw up viciously.

"Platonic-fascist top-down solutions" that didn't screw up viciously: universal education, the hospital system, unified monetary systems, unified weights and measures, sewers, enforcement of a common code of laws, traffic signals, municipal street cleaning...

Comment author: Emile 17 August 2014 09:28:40AM 4 points [-]

I would add 4) Promoting better understanding of the issues (similar to ChristianKI's, but more general).

This would cover:

  • writing plain English explanations of the topic
  • linking existing quality explanations, advocacy groups, etc. (or even better, linking all explanations and advocacy groups, but with reviews)
  • collecting and displaying information about how different parties involved see the issue
  • improving the Wikipedia articles related to the issue, finding scholarly papers
  • finding case studies of similar approaches in the past or in different countries
  • making nice graphical summaries of information
  • writing specific policy proposals
  • getting well-regarded experts to review policy proposals, summaries, etc.
  • collecting all that information in one place
  • paying people to do the above
Comment author: arundelo 07 August 2014 04:06:03PM *  2 points [-]

It's a performance error; the predicate should be nominative.

English pronoun cases don't divide up the same way Esperanto cases do (e.g., prepositions take the object case), but note that many English speakers say, "It is me" rather than "It is I". (I don't know Emile's first language.)

Also, leaving off the accusative ending is such a pitfall for most beginners at Esperanto that people sometimes overcorrect anything matching the pattern "nominative verb nominative" to "nominative verb accusative".

Edit: Corrected "pronouns take" to "prepositions take".

Comment author: Emile 07 August 2014 08:27:03PM 0 points [-]

(I don't know Emile's first language.)

French, and despite liking learning languages, I'm not that good at reasoning abstractly about grammatical rules; "accusative" and "nominative" are not very salient concepts in my mind, and I have to look them up to be sure of what they mean exactly.

Comment author: bbleeker 07 August 2014 01:34:30PM *  1 point [-]

I don't think that is wholly correct. I'd have written:

Tio ne estas la plej granda problemo. Pli granda problemo estas ke malmultaj homoj parolas Esperanton. Mi de longa tempo ne uzas ĝin.

Sorry for nitpicking; I'd have said nothing (or maybe just in a PM), but since others have commented on the construction in the first sentence...

Comment author: Emile 07 August 2014 08:23:38PM 1 point [-]

Thanks for the correction, it's helpful! I wrote that in a hurry (pomodoro break at work), I wanted to add "there are probably plenty of grammatical mistakes in all this" but I didn't even remember how to say "mistake" in esperanto :)

Comment author: Alejandro1 06 August 2014 04:29:54PM 7 points [-]

On the other hand, it is kind of awesome that people with no knowledge of Esperanto but knowledge of two or three European languages can immediately understand everything you say--as I just did.

Comment author: Emile 07 August 2014 07:39:38AM 1 point [-]

Agreed, tho my sentence is probably easier than average because I haven't used Esperanto for years now, so I'm much more likely to remember vocabulary similar to languages I know.

Knowing some of a Latin language and a Germanic one, plus knowledge of basic syntax (nounds end in -o, adjectives in -a, verbs in -is/-as/-os (past/present/future), adverbs in -e, plural is -j, accusative has an extra -n) is enough for understanding a lot of simple content.

Comment author: jaime2000 06 August 2014 04:47:05PM 0 points [-]

What motivated you to learn Esperanto in the first place?

Comment author: Emile 07 August 2014 07:30:35AM 1 point [-]

I like learning languages in general, and Esperanto looked interesting and easy.

Comment author: ChristianKl 06 August 2014 04:09:06PM 0 points [-]

If you want that kind of language learn Esperanto. The problem is that it takes up much more space than English. You need more letters to express the same idea.

Comment author: Emile 06 August 2014 04:20:59PM 1 point [-]

Tio ne estas pligrandan problemon. Pligranda problemo estas ke malmulta homoj parolas Esperanto. Mi de longa tempo ne uzis tion.

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