Tuesday 25 March 2014

Philosophy on the hoof

I was on about End of Life Issues the other day, and threw in an off-hand Dickensian reference to "Barkis is Willing".  This quotation is relayed by David "Go-Between" Copperfield (not the magician!) from the said Barkis to Clara Pegotty as a matter-of-fact unromantic proposal of marriage.  Then I thought of La Manch', and (both) my readers from Ukraine who, whatever their fluency in English, could hardly be expected to have read Copperfield carefully enough to get the reference.  I therefore went off to youtube to see if someone had clipped the words from one of the several films of the novel.

They hadn't; but someone had posted a short video called "Barkis is Willing", which I watched.  As the star of the clip was wearing a Boston Red Sox cap and as he claimed to hail from Cheshire, trained researcher me started googling up +Barkis +Cheshire +philosophy, until I twigged that his reference to "Barkis" was as casual and irrelevant to the topic as mine.  There was indeed no reason to believe that he was called Brian, Billy or Brimblescombe.  In this case a hat was just a hat rather than an identity badge.  The production values of the video are desperate, I think he must be holding his phone at arm's length was he walks through the woods talking about grammar, existence and dogging.  Before a minute has passed, he cites one of Jorge Luis Borges' dense essays "Tlön, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius" from the book Labyrinths. Woo-har, my sort of bloke.  The conceit in T.U.O.T. is to imagine a language where there are no words for things, and how that would affect the way we think.  That's powerful magic because being able to point at an object and say "that is a tree", "there is My Beloved", or  "Usain is bolting", is one of our unconsidered certainties that The Blob makes an occasional point to exposing. You should/must watch the whole flick.  I am amazed that so few (about 500) people have watched it considering how many take an equivalent amount of time viewing auditions on X-factor.

As far as I can tell, the star, director, cameraman, best-boy and key-grip of this and ?2000 other? streams of consciousness is the sole contributor to a channel called conferencereport.  There's a LOT of interesting stuff there: on the nature of time "arse-forward into the unknown"  the relationships among wisdom, knowledge and data, or free-will as well as some seriously weird material on Bush (not the Presidential family), modern dance, and lunch.  Here's one where the picture quality is better than usual because he's propped his phone on a shelf but the sound is dreadful because he's chosen to talk about consciousness and noetics while making (fizz bubble hiss) a stir-fry.  There might be 300 hours of material there; it will be a task to sort out the dross from the gems but the gems are, well, gems.

You may chose (free-will) to be grateful that I spew out stuff in text with occasional pictures, so it's easier to skip over the waffle and see what the take-home message might be.

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