From: Davey Witmer
To: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: good luck
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2002 12:20:51

That that is, is.

From: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
To: Davey Witmer
Sent: Wednesday, July 31, 2002 8:30 PM
Subject: Re: good luck

Read Heraclitus.

From: Davey Witmer
To: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck
Date: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 11:11:18

Read Ecclesiastes.

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 00:02:19 -0400
To: Davey Witmer
From: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck

Ah, yes. I see now.

Were you interested in starting a conversation on some aspect of philosophy, or did you just want to stand on the sidelines and "throw stones"?

From: Davey Witmer
To: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 09:22:52 -0400

Philosophy is like life itself: either you accept the random notions that pass before your eyes as part of the "what is," or you come up with some BS as to why not.

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 19:03:26 -0400
To: Davey Witmer
From: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck

Can you be more precise?

From: Davey Witmer
To: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2002 21:05:57 -0400

Not at this point, if ever. But let's agree: "Things are what you think they are." If so, a fella's gotta watch what he thinks, doesn't he? Or does he?

Date: Fri, 02 Aug 2002 21:33:36 -0400
To: Davey Witmer
From: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck

Can't agree with that. Through our neural-linguistic processes we construct largely hypothetical "models" or maps to account for our responses to "what 'is' going on", and we use those models to navigate, sometimes finding out that our maps are wrong, sometimes not finding out that they are wrong. Watching what we think, knowing that whatever it 'is' that we think, it 'is' not what is going on, allows us to be prepared for errors in our maps. And we all have our own highly individualized maps that are all constantly changing. We can only see our maps; we cannot see that which it is supposed to be a map of, because the process of seeing just makes another part of the map.

Refer to Gaston Bachelard's epistemological profile and the modern philosophy of science as described by Karl Popper - but was hinted at by Plato's metaphor of the caves.

My thoughts about what the shadows on the cave wall might be a reflection of - never can they "be" what they are trying to describe.

In the simple ABC's of general semantics, "The map is not the territory".
So thoughts are never the things they may be about.

From: Davey Witmer
To: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck
Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 11:37:25 -0400

I owe you an apology, sir. So: I am sorry. Seems I flipped off a couple of random comments without fully knowing whom I was taunting. Had I properly studied your web sites, as I have now belatedly done, I would have held my peace and moved on. Intellect-wise, I am an amateur on the far shore of a distant island at ebb tide. You are a "made man" right smack dab in the heart of downtown Mt. Olympus.

(To be 100% honest, which I know you will be happy to hear that I am, I landed on one of your pages, had my curiosity piqued, noticed your address, mistakenly figured you for a college student, and in a wrong-spirited impulse, fired off my provocative missive. This was a very wrong thing for me to do - it was pure ego-twitch, something that you - or for that matter, even some sophomore - do not deserve to have your happy life afflicted by.)

I'm just a poor auctioneer, trying to make a living. As such, I know better than to fall in love with a thing I may be selling. And, I know that what a similar thing sold for somewhere else, some time ago, is no assurance of what it will sell for here and now. Each market, each moment, realizes its own expectations.

Same thing goes for words, thoughts, BS, and science. What something meant when it was uttered some 2,500 or 250 or 25 years ago - or perhaps even 25 minutes ago - carries very little import, beyond mere curiosity, to where we are in this moment. Each of us is, or should be, busy with our own stuff. None of us has the time, resources, priority, or access to accurately assay meanings that tease us from antiquity. By "access" I mean none of us is privy to the mental juxtaposition of the author of the words to whomever he was speaking, we can not recreate the dynamics of that flown moment, we cannot but surmise as to the ego condition of the poor soul who thought it would be worthwhile to set down those particular musings on the record. Nor can we know the motives or needs of past travelers who preserved (or burned) those words, who chose to pass along those words, to print them, publish them, gather them into libraries and data bases, read them, repeat them, and eventually own them and teach them.

Can there be a virtual industry here, the trafficking of so-called "logical positivism"? Is there money to be made (or demons to be exorcised)? Is this similar to those frockies who are in the black box of "medical science," who routinely bury their cancer victims one year after chemo-therapy while un-scientific Laetril takers go on happily living for decades? Or law, where, by established procedure, they will not nearly permit to come out "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth"? Or of course religious BS which is so transparent that it does not even deserve being noticed?

(I have ever cautioned my friends and loved ones and all with whom I deal, "Never, never, never let yourself begin to believe any BS that has been forwarded by someone else, no matter what their pedigree. Believe only the BS that you have originated in your own mind, out of your own good senses, such as they are.)

Any of us who attempt to build a discipline out of the utterances of half-crazed malcontents down through the ages, erecting one principle atop another as though to prove a line of rational BS, is indeed founding oneself on shifting sands. Even Olympus can not stand. Where is Zeus now?

Popper, who apparently now holds forth from the scientific limelight, just recently up-staged someone else. Soon, another fool will read him off and he, too, will exit to the left. Popper will join the pantheon of all philosophers down through the ages who have one great thing in common, which is, like Nietzsche, that they are all dead.

You and I discover their spent words. We make a choice. Some of us linger over them, some staying for a life time. But some us detail our cars. Some of us work on our back swings. (Or dance!) Some sell put options. Some, as you and I, get on the internet and exorcise our demons, mighty or puny as they may be. I keep crying for another bid. For me, things past-said are now superseded.

Well, you have my apology . . .

Good luck to you, sir, whatever you may infer good luck to be.

Date: Mon, 05 Aug 2002 22:50:41 -0400
To: Davey Witmer
From: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr.
Subject: Re: good luck

Amazing!

I see a significant similarity in your evolved perspective to "received doctrine" in the philosophy of science, which also exhibits a remarkable similarity in the verbal traditions of some of the Sufi mystics. You just might be onto something. :-) Having yet another perspective just might quicken some insight in some readers.
Do you mind if I put this whole conversation on my correspondence page? (I'll take the lack of an explicit objection as ascent.)

So, I bid you, take your wife, or somebody else's wife, or some other beautiful young (at heart if not otherwise) companion out dancing.

Best of luck to you too, sir.

By the way, have you noticed how "Nietzscheans" are portrayed on the science fiction TV series Andromeda?
http://www.space.com/sciencefiction/tv/andromeda_nietzscheans_000505.html

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