Tuesday, April 10, 2007

How absurd it is for one word to mean so many different things

At 3:48 PM, MD said... It seems you really haven't come to grips with
a) how entrenched this word appears to be in your thinking (in other words, how attached you are to it), and
b) how much you want it to mean something, when regular word do the trick just fine, sans the "postmodern" tag.
1) technologically, where postmodernism is simply "what the web offers"
2) sociologically, where postmodernism simply means "people hanging out in (possibly) different ways"
3) politically, where postmodernism, simply means "people read what they agree with"
4) linguistically, where postmodernism simply means "we acknowledge bias"
5) journalistically, where postmodernism simply means "journalists acknowledge the needs of their audience"
The point in all this is how absurd it is for one word to mean so many different things, which already have regular words to describe their phenomena. The logical fallacy is one of coming to a conclusion, then finding facts to support that conclusion. In the process, you imply that smart journalists, smart news organizations, and smart people in general haven't always known that success in the social sphere's contest of ideas means mastering the media and responding to audience's needs. People who think this is a "postmodern insight" demonstrate immaturity.
I think this is a bogus, naive, unearned, and even patronizing tact to take, but one you are compelled to if you believe that "postmodernism" means anything. For it is is the notion of "progress", that whatever is "postmodern" has evolved beyond what came before it. How that happens is never explained, but rather just assumed for the purposes of epistemological taxonomy. The only kind of progress that anyone can point to with any kind of certainty (and not mere conjecture) is technological evolution. Which, for the purposes of this discussion, means you must talk about how media works. Which I don't think you are in any way that, for example, incorporates a "media studies" perspective, such as McLuhan. Until that sort of argument comes from you, I'll say this: Adding bells and whistles does not evolution make. md
At 9:57 AM, MD said...And I'll raise you not only the 103 Great Ideas, researched comprehensively by Mortimer Adler (my favorite philosopher). Also, no mention of postmodernism. But also this article, with the apt quote:
"Postmodernism is the irrational response of today's intellectuals to the failure of socialism both in theory and in practice. It is through the doctrine of postmodernism that these thinkers and politicians can continue their beliefs in many of the ideas that underpinned the failed worldview of socialism."
Or in a word, postmodernism is "whining", that socialism is losing, or in many senses, has lost. md
At 10:16 PM, MD said... America is the land of liberty. The dream of Western Europe, because Western Europe could never truly be a land of liberty, given its history. This is the land of liberty of thought, of living the state of mind that is the condition of liberty. America is not the place, or shouldn't be, for tired taxonomies of continental philosophy...
Postmodernism, and its larger taxonomy, is a blur on being and knowledge. My proposal for remedy is to discard the entire taxonomy, and simply adopt a philosophical life that uses as objects of meditation the ideas and perceptions that regularly pop up in great works of the integrated Humanities. General knowledge, across the disciplines, finding problems, questioning assumptions, returning to the great works time and time again, living a contemporary life. md 6:46 AM

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