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The ineffable and the interpretation

23 Jul

Before making today’s post, we can’t fail to register the Tokyo Olympics, whose opening takes place today and some protests: five teams: United States, Sweden, Chile, New Zealand and, surprisingly, the United Kingdom, knelt before their football matches in anti-racist protest, Australia’s women’s players have embraced, remembering the Aboriginal nation that lives there and signifying national unity.

But perhaps the most important demonstration was relegated to the background, the protesters are called “ultranationalists”, which is not true, as 43% of the population was in favor of postponing the Olympics, 40% were against it and only 14% are favorable.

The Pandemic was ineffable and it is there still showing signs of resistance despite the struggle of science for vaccines and their overcoming, exactly the most resilient people did not renounce an event, and this is also of course a problem of interpretation of what actually occurs right now.

Something ineffable that is not subject to interpretation and even metaphors would be little to try to explain them are the great questions of humanity: what we are in the universe, where we are going and now more than ever: where we are going.

There are many cosmogonies that try to give an eschatological interpretation to these issues, what is certain is that we exist and not because we think (I think, therefore I am), but we exist and this allows us to think and language (I am, therefore I think) and with it interpretation is possible.

Christian cosmogony, there are many others in different cultures, is the one whose metaphor of the seed grain transforms into life: the seed that falls among thorns, that falls on shallow soil and that falls by the wayside, the good soil will make it germinate and bear fruit, is an interpretation of the ineffable.

The biblical text of the multiplication of the loaves, whose earthly interpretation only sees the distribution of goods (Mk 6,1-15), does not observe the ineffable interpretation because it is Jesus who asks Philip (Mk 6,5): “Jesus told Philip : “Where are we going to buy bread so they can eat?”, and after multiplying the 5 barley loaves and two fish.

The ineffable divine, men wanted to give him an earthly power and the reading says (Mk 6,15) : “But when he noticed that they were trying to take him to proclaim him king, Jesus withdrew again, alone, to the mountain.”, is a divine interpretation made by the Master himself.

 

The ineffable that exists and the metaphor

22 Jul

Many phenomena in nature and in a broader sense of the universe, although they may have explanations, are ineffable, that is, because even when described, they have limitations due to their complexity and not obviousness.

One of these phenomena is the quantum tunneling of quantum mechanics in which particles transpose energy states that “logically” would be prohibited, they escape from regions surrounded by potential barriers even though they have a kinetic energy lower than the barrier.

Einstein, Podolski and Rosen (EPR) wrote an article in the 1920s calling this effect “ghostly” but in the 1970s it was proven and also breaks with the classical thinking that there is A and non-A, there can be no third hypothesis, it exists and it is proven, at least in physics.

The ineffable in everyday life are human phenomena that cross the imaginary barrier and are physically realized, they are mysteries and they exist not only to demonstrate tricks that are convincing to deify this or that group, or to make a “magic”, that is, field of charlatans, but for a clear phenomenological awareness of something beyond the human.

One of the functions of the metaphor is to be able to describe this phenomenon without resorting to a very complex logic for common sense, and to allow many people to understand these mysteries.

The figure in the parable enters into this aspect, with a small difference from the metaphor by using examples from everyday life and common sense, it is pedagogical in explaining how the mystery of life (and also death) can be seen in order to understand the fate of humanity and what life is.

Far from explaining its origin in the physical sense, Genesis for example, refers to Adam and Eve, the fact that man came from some complex aspect of nature is explained as being made of clay, the metaphor is that man came from organic compounds of nature, and of course, after God blew his nostrils and gave “life” in the spiritual sense, it is not difficult to understand that this life exists.

 

 

Language beyond logic

21 Jul

In the entire history of philosophy and even science, there are three concepts that surpass in many aspects the concepts of logic, among them, the truth, the good and the justice are the most common, already in

Plato go beyond being logical principles, they embody cosmological principles and as such must resort to metaphysics, analogy and metaphor.

Thus, in Book VI of the Republic, the great metaphysical analogy falls on the idea of ​​good, homonymous to justice and truth: the sun is the son and progeny of good itself, and is still its visible analogue, there it is placed in the shadows of shapes in the cave, the contrast with the real and perfect world of shapes and the analogy of the sun to “lighten” objects.

In the absence of knowledge, they confuse mere shadows with reality, and philosophy is for Plato the pedagogical bridge that serves to pass from complete obscurity to the light of knowledge.

The use of language can also be only logical, in the 1930s, Wittgenstein said that as we know that in language there are only propositions, and surprises only occur in the world, so there are no surprises in mathematics: mathematics is totally “grammatical”, right -se-ia today is just syntactic.

In the context of semantics, and of meaning, language acquires other properties and in them that the metaphor makes sense, when saying José is brave as a lion, the analogy serves to increase what it means brave, giving new semantics to the syntax: José is very angry.

But the metaphor is also contextual, the beautiful poem by Fernando Pessoa “The poet is a pretender” is only understood if we know that “rope train” refers to a child’s play in the 20s and 30s of the last century and that “wheel rails” refer to the tracks, there:

And so on the wheel rails

It turns, to entertain the reason,

that rope train

Which is called the heart.

There is also the penetration of the metaphor into the mystery, the ineffable as we have already posted, and being able to affirm it.

 

 

The ineffable and the metaphor

20 Jul

The linguistic turn is one of the hypotheses of interpretation of post-modernity, not the only one, but something beyond idealistic modernity was already emerging in the crisis of the beginning of the last century: the crisis of thought, of society (two world wars), the cold war and now polarization.

We have already posted about the link between metaphor and the ineffable in Paul Ricoeur and for him metaphor is a reagent (réactif) that reveals the symbolic in language, which leads us to think because of its excess of meaning and thus is a way of understanding available to the hermeneutician.

But there is something beyond the possibility of a hypothesis, how many scientific questions need to resort to metaphor before a final explanation, in John Searle’s work on Expression and Meaning asks an important question about what it means when we say S is P and we mean To be? And that actually the listener between S is P.

His question at heart is to know “how metaphorical emissions work, that is, how is it possible for speakers to communicate something to listeners speaking metaphorically, since they do not say what they mean? And why do some metaphors work and others not? (SEARLE, 2002, p.112).

According to the author, when thinking we should not dispense with different ways of understanding (myth, allegory, metaphor, analogy) and even less different methods to interpret them: exegesis, history, psychoanalysis, anthropology, linguistics and others, in my view, it seems like a principle more the universal because it is not confined in some methodological field and subject to its “vices”.

But the ineffable is an inherent part of the progress of human knowledge, and it means to be beyond the logical and the physical, being in that field whose most appropriate name is the ineffable.

The way in which this understanding can be reached is called the “short track”, and it was based on the hermeneutics proposed by Martin Heidegger, it consists of the way he intends to base his hermeneutics by deviating from what he calls the “short track”, proposed by Martin Heidegger, he consists in not seeking the methods or conditions of understanding, but from the being of man, his Dasein, whose existence consists in understanding, if something is ineffable there is always limitation

 

Answering Searle’s question, it doesn’t matter if the listener understood exactly S is P or S is R, because if S is P and this was what a source said, the recipient understood it exactly or not, it is due to its existence as a being that understands, your worldview, which may be limited.

Admitting the ineffable, which at a certain moment can only be said metaphorically, analogously or even exegetically, is to admit the coexistence of different worldviews, and this may be more palpable than the understanding of that phenomenon at a certain moment is only possible through metaphor.

 

Accelerated vaccination and new concerns

19 Jul

Vaccination accelerated in July as was the optimistic expectation, the fall in infections and deaths is still very slow and the new waves of infection in countries in the region such as Chile and Argentina light a warning sign, Peru was already in high numbers and some countries in Europe, such as Russia, also show that the Epidemic is far from over.

Argentina reached on Wednesday (14/7) the symbolic mark of 100,000 deaths, high for a population of 44.5 million inhabitants, and entered a new lockdown, with results already containing the new high, the numbers in week fell again.

Brazil like Argentina reaches the number of vaccinated 16% and 11% respectively, while the first dose in Brazil reaches 44.5% and Argentina 45% (see chart above), the next numbers suggest greater attention to the possibility of a new ascending curve, it would be a greater expansion of the delta variant, climatic factors (Chile and Argentina are colder) or even a variant called lambda , and the effectiveness of the Russian Sputnik is questioned.

The lambda variant detected in Peru is frightening, called C.37, its preliminary studies indicate greater lethality and the ability to circumvent vaccines is serious. Researcher Pablo Tsukayama, coordinator of the Microbial Genetics laboratory at the Cayetano Heredia de Lima University, detected that the variant it is already 100% of the infected cases in Peru as of April 2021.

The lack of open data hinders the research, the Ministry of Health of Peru does not disclose it and Professor Tsukayama is one of those protesting this lack of access.

Another issue of concern is the lack of scientific data on the effectiveness of vaccination for the new variants, there are many people who make statements trying to compromise, but do not present clear scientific studies, for example, on new variants such as lambda.

One of these studies, reported by the newspaper El País on July 11, is by Chilean virology Ricardo Soto Rifo, who focused on the CoronaVac vaccine, the main one used in Chile, in a group of volunteer health workers who discovered that lambda presents “increased capacity for infection and immune escape against neutralizing antibodies”, the extent of such loss remains to be clarified.

Another study pointing out in El País is that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine, from the University of New York, pointing out that the results were “relatively lower”, but Professor Tsukayma makes a less than encouraging observation: “It is practically impossible to predict how a virus will suffer mutation”, but reducing transmission is possible through vaccines and this is effective.

 

 

Interiority and the social relationship

16 Jul

If today’s society “isolates” the individual, and the pandemic has done so in greater depth, this does not mean that some isolation is not necessary in an increasingly hectic urban life.

The cultural drama of our time is when “it presupposes exactly the non-satisfaction (by oppression, repression or some other means) of powerful instincts explained Freud (see the post on Civilization and its Discontents), he exposes this as a “cultural frustration ” that dominates the field of social relationships between human beings, but Byung Chul Hang goes deeper when analyzing what pain is.

Byung-Chul Han’s new book “The Palliative Society” will describe the medieval society as the society of martyrdom in the face of pain, and the current one as the Survival Society, and because of the attempt to avoid pain, as a Palliative Society, so many antidepressants, anxiolytics and “analgesics, prescribed en masse, hide relationships that lead to pain” (Han, 2021, p.29).

In a curious analysis for a Buddhist, but perhaps aware that Easter means a “passage” through pain to eternal life, the author describes: “in view of the pandemic, the survival society even prohibits the Easter Mass. Also priests practically “social distancing” and wear protective masks. They sacrifice faith entirely to survival… Virology espouses theology.” (Han, 2021, p. 35).

Everyone listens to the virologists, says the author, the beautiful narrative of the resurrection “gives place entirely to the ideology of health and survival” (Han, 2021, p. 35), it is not about life but: “Death empties life into survival”.

Using Hegel, the author explains the true meaning of pain: “Pain is the engine of the dialectical formation of the spirit” (p. 75), the formative path is “a painful life: The other, the negative, the contradiction, the split belong, therefore, to the Nature of the spirit” (p. 76) and so interiority.

Jesus, always after some intense moment of preaching or participating in some social event, would leave with the disciples, it was the moment of interiority, but often situations forced him to leave his rest aside and go back to seeing the people (Mk 6 , 31-34):

“He said to them: ‘Come alone to a desert place and rest awhile’… When he disembarked, Jesus saw a large crowd and had compassion, because they were like sheep without a shepherd” and Jesus came back and taught them other things.

He also had moments of pain prior to Easter, when he drank the cup, and little rest.

HAN, Byung-Chul. Sociedade Paliativa: a dor hoje. (Palliative society: pain today). trans. Lucas Machado, Petrópolis: RJ: Ed.Vozes, 2021.

 

Civilization and being’s malaise

15 Jul

The phrase widely used in literature and sometimes in the public domain is from Freud: Civilization and its malaise, however, is not only in the field of psychology, the author clarified to be: “impossible to despise the extent to which civilization is built on the renunciation of instinct , how much exactly does it presuppose the non-satisfaction (by oppression, repression, or some other means?) of powerful instincts. This “cultural frustration” dominates the vast field of social relationships among human beings. … It is not easy to understand how it can be possible to deprive an instinct of satisfaction. This is not done with impunity. If the loss is not economically compensated, one can be sure that serious disturbances will result from it”. (Freud, 1930/1997, p. 118).

See that “oppression, repression or some other means” belongs to the author, who could hardly imagine a digital world capable of this, and cultural frustration placed in quotation marks by the author dominates relationships, and who states even more curiously that the search for “economic compensation” is a refuge.

But this was registered in other areas as well, Edmund Husserl wrote about the crisis of the sciences: “In the urgency of our life – we have heard it said – this science has nothing to say to us. It initially excludes precisely the questions that, for men of our unfortunate times, abandoned to the most fateful revolutions, are the pressing questions: the questions about the meaning or absence of meaning of all human existence” (The crisis of the European sciences ), one can also speak of the crisis or night of God, of the identity and the oblivion of Being.

Thus, in Postmodernity, if we dispense with superegoic resources in the Freudian sense, what assures us a cultural mask is the dispute between nations and a new form of defense of honor, for example, which are disguises for the various types of urban violence, the drug addiction, the new presence now of psychopolitics that drives us to consumption and polarization and angers us.

This omnipresence of violence camouflaged in different social relations is what characterizes the end of respect that characterizes a healthy distance between I and the Other, or we include the equal that is my mirror, or we violently repel as an Other.

FREUD, S. (1997). O mal-estar na civilização. In Obras psicológicas completas de Sigmund Freud: edição standard brasileira (Vol. 21, pp. 75-174). Rio de Janeiro: Imago. (Original publicado em 1930). (Civilization and its Discontents) 

 

 

Topology of Violence

14 Jul

The book Topology of violence (original: Topologie der Gewalt), can be considered a continuation of the analysis of Sociedade do Cansaço, in which it shows why society is on the brink of collapse, and shows that at the same time a general thesis about its disappearance, a war trend that now gives way to the other, changing its way of operating.

His ideas about violence are innovative and out of common sense, which always thinks of the modern conception of society in freedom, individuality and personal fulfillment, goes in search of the dark side of the subject, where he begins.

This violence is the one that tends to eliminate the other, anonymous, “subjective” and systemic, which is not revealed as it accepts the antagonist’s freedom.

His concept of violence is then that which he defines as functioning in a free individuality, motivated by the activity of persevering and not failing, and with the ambience of efficiency he renounces even making sacrifices at the same time, but entering a whirlpool of limitation, self-exploration and collapse.

All this has a relationship with seduction, which he explained in an interview with El Pais newspaper that seduction cannot be confused with buying: ““I think that not only Greece, but also Spain, are in a state of shock after the crisis financial . The same happened in Korea after the Asian crisis. The neoliberal regime radically implements this state of shock. And here comes the devil, which is called liberalism or the International Monetary Fund, and gives money or credit in exchange for human souls.”

All this to increase credit and give greater incentive to supposed efficiency, and he explains that in the end: “We are all exhausted and depressed. The fatigue society in South Korea is now in a deadly stage,” revealing the little-known side of the country he came from and who speaks property.

And it’s not a happier society, he explains, “the invisible doesn’t exist, so everything is delivered naked, without secret, to be devoured immediately, as Baudrillard said”, he explains that everything should have a veil, however thin, an interiority.

 

Arroyo, Francesc. Aviso de derrumbe (Crash warning). interview by Byung Chul Han to the daily El País, Spain.

 

 

Walking towards a troubled future

13 Jul

Lectures and motivational books have been growing since the beginning of the 21st century, it doesn’t matter much the message, the important thing is to lead people to an action force that is performance.

Traditional religions lose adherents to churches that change the discourse of sin for self-help and the desire for recognition and success, political polarization does not leave this aside, a good politician must demonstrate his “deeds” and not his exemption, balance and honesty.

Far from disdaining technological evolution, it is important and can help in a co-immunological resumption, one in which we discover mutuality, the “exam” as described by Byung Chul Han only seeks performance and it can include disrespect and fake- News.

The repressive and disciplinary society of the 20th century described by Michel Foucault (Watch and Punish) loses space to a new form of coercive organization: neuronal violence, fanpages fill up, lives exhibiting performances and even exhibiting violence, which is worrisome.

Interiority, which is different from subjectivity, which is what is proper to the subject, is that internal space that we need to cultivate to make our lives more balanced, with more positive thoughts and actions and that collaborate with mutualism, the feeling of responsibility for the other, the social conscience, finally, the community (the immunological society).

Chul Han points out that subjectivity, already present in discourses of current thinkers, such as “post-industrial society” (Bell, 1999), “control society” (Deleuze, 1992), “cognitive capitalism” or “material economy” (Negri and Lazzarato, 2001, Gorz, 2005) and “biopolitics” (Foucault, 2008) were forms of expression of this subjectivity, however without resorting to interiority.

Society is pushed towards an excess of positivity as Chul Han calls it in his Society of Tiredness, the coercive disciplinary concept (“you shall”) imposed from outside, brought into the scene a new statement (“we can”), which, in its most immanent aspects, “refers to a false freedom by imposing on individuals the imperatives of performance and self-satisfaction.

The author’s analysis starts from the film Black Swan (Aronofsky, 2010) to explain his thesis, the imposition of performance and performance through self-overcoming is incorporated by the protagonist who is taken to the last consequences.

Today’s society of tiredness is nothing more than the unilateral absolutization of “positive power” and cognitive enhancement (neuro-enhancement) may not pose any moral problem, but it will lead to an even greater moral problem in the normativity of the performance society.

Han, Byung Chul. (2015) THE BURNOUT SOCIETY. Translated by ERIK BUTLER stanford briefs. An lmprint of Stanford University Press. Stanford, California.

 

Fall trend and vaccination in Brazil

12 Jul

According to the consortium of press vehicles, the number of vaccine doses in Brazil reached 83,794,712 for the first dose, while 28,108,088 for the second, to this value must be added 2,465,295 single doses, for a total of 114.3 million doses applied, it is expected to grow to maintain the declining curve seen in infections and deaths.

In percentages it means 14.4% who have already received either the second dose or Janssen, which is a single dose, while the percentage that received the first dose is close to 40%, this being important to contain the most offensive variants, the delta and the delta plus, which are already in the country.

It should be noted that clinical analyzes indicate that the second dose is needed for the new variant, and a wider range above 60% starts receiving the second dose, but the application of Janssen is the most optimistic because the number of can make the immunization grow.

When will we achieve so-called herd immunity that will allow for the relaxation of protective measures is the question we all want to know, Anthony Fauci, head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the leading physicians in the efforts against covid-19 in there, it estimates that it should reach 70% of the population, but there are others who indicate that it would be 80% to 90%, as the biggest problem is the mutability of the virus.

Japan, which has numbers close to Brazil, 17% for the two doses and above 30% for the first dose, has already announced that there will be no public at the Olympics starting in a week, and the athletes’ trips will be monitored with all measures of protection.

At the pace of vaccination, all precautions are still needed, whenever there has been some relaxation, there has been an increase in cases and deaths, we expect the curve to keep falling.