What I’m reading 17 Apr 2017 through 24 Apr 2017

writing and image

au printemps

The struggle of writing against the image – historical consciousness against magic – runs throughout history. With writing, a new ability was born called ‘conceptual thinking’ which consisted of abstracting lines from surfaces, i.e. producing and decoding them. Conceptual thought is more abstract than imaginative thought as all dimensions are abstracted from phenomena – with the exception of straight lines. Thus with the invention of writing, human beings took one step further back from the world. Texts do not signify the world; they signify the images they tear up. Hence, to decode texts means to discover the images signified by them. The intention of texts is to explain images, while that of concepts is to make ideas comprehensible. In this way, texts are a metacode of images.

Flusser, Philosophy of Photography

How would McLuhan respond to this? He might be ok with the idea of struggle. He might be good with conceptual thinking born of writing, as an abstraction from senses. This might be a trace to the spectacle, too, as writing and the writing stand in for the world.

What I’m reading 11 Apr 2017 through 15 Apr 2017

What I’m reading 1 Apr 2017 through 9 Apr 2017

What I’m reading 26 Mar 2017 through 29 Mar 2017

What I’m reading 21 Mar 2017 through 24 Mar 2017

  • Donald Trump’s dizzying Time magazine interview was ‘Trumpspeak’ on display | Douglas Lawrence | Opinion | The Guardian – and an anaysis of the mad – (none)
  • Donald Trump: TIME Interview on Truth and Falsehoods | Time.com – transcript of the mad – (none)
  • Trump’s Comey tweet was one of his most terrifying lies yet. – I watch the Cuban Missile Crisis unfold on The News. I watched the Watergate investigation live on network tv. I watched the nightly reports wth death tolls from Viet Nam. I even saw Oswald shot live on a b&w tv. This is scarier because it's Trump going nihilist.

    > It’s difficult to describe the feeling of seeing the president of the United States lie, in the moment, about ongoing events and testimony.
    > …

    >This, in the end, is what’s so disturbing about his Monday afternoon tweet. It’s another sign of Trump’s basic contempt for the idea of an independent, observable reality that stands as a baseline for his actions. That reality is how you hold politicians accountable; it’s why the press is vital to a free and healthy democracy. But Trump sees no advantage in accountability, no reason to honor the truth or even gesture toward its existence. Both he and his White House have made a conscious decision to destabilize public discourse, to fracture and undermine common understanding. President Trump isn’t just lying to the American people; he’s saying, almost openly, that the truth just doesn’t matter either way. – (rhetoric trump )

What I’m reading 2 Mar 2017 through 17 Mar 2017

  • Trump Embraces One Of Russia’s Favorite Propaganda Tactics — Whataboutism : NPR – Rhetoric is *always* about policy.

    > But whataboutism extends beyond rhetoric, said Dmitry Dubrovsky, a professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. "It's not only a narrative practice; it's real policy," he said. "For example, the Russians installed a special institute to cover the violation of human rights in the United States." – (epistemology politics rhetoric trump )

  • Trump knows the feds are closing in on him – Today's poli-rhetorical lesson from Business Insider. – (none)
  • Trump’s Speech to Congress Was Not “Normal” – The New Yorker – > Yet these were superficialities. On closer inspection, Tuesday’s speech was not that normal at all—at least, not in light of what the President and his aides have spent the past few weeks doing and saying. Trump’s sudden distaste for “the wedge of disunity”—a wedge he has used with such abandon that he could just as well brand it, gild it, and have his sons sell it—was so obviously at odds with his public persona that it provoked, on the Democratic side of the aisle, bitter laughter. But the starkest contradiction the speech contained was the one between the President, who promised “a new program of national rebuilding,” and the words of his senior adviser, Stephen Bannon, who announced, only five days earlier, at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in Washington, that the Administration had begun a project of “deconstruction.” So which is it: Is the federal government in the construction business, as Trump insists, or the deconstruction business, as Bannon has put it? Can it possibly be in both? – (rhetoric )

What I’m reading 1 Mar 2017

What I’m reading 23 Feb 2017 through 24 Feb 2017

What I’m reading 9 Feb 2017 through 19 Feb 2017

  • Donald Trump and the Enemies of the American People – The New Yorker – How to define the enemy as anyone who challenges power

    > an old-fashioned autocrat wielding a very familiar rhetorical strategy.

    > all follow a general pattern. They attack and threaten the press with deliberate and ominous intensity; the press, in turn, adopts a more oppositional tone and role. “And then that paves the way for the autocrat’s next move,” Simon told me. “Popular support for the media dwindles and the leader starts instituting restrictions. It’s an old strategy.” Simon pointed to Trump’s lack of originality, recalling that both Néstor Kirchner, of Argentina, and Tabaré Ramón Vázquez, of Uruguay, referred to the press as the “unelected political opposition.” And, as Simon has written, it was the late Hugo Chávez who first mastered Twitter as a way of bypassing the media and providing his supporters with alternative facts. – (rhetoric politics trump )

  • Donald Trump Will Leave You Numb – The New York Times – I can't recall the rhetorical figure of "repeat until exhausted." Too tired. But this is also about kairos: "Not by accident did he put on that 77-minute performance for the media — hurling insults, flinging lies, marinating in self-pity, luxuriating in self-love — just three days after the resignation of his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and amid intensifying questions about collusion between Team Trump and the Russians.
    "He was cluttering the landscape. Overwhelming the senses. Betting that a surfeit of clangorous music would obscure any particularly galling note. That wager got him all the way to the White House, though he has no place being there, and so he sticks with it. The news conference was a case study in such orchestrated chaos." – (rhetoric rhetorical_velocity kairos exhaustion simuations analysis )
  • Understanding Trump « George Lakoff – – (none)