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/edu/ checkpoint Comrade 08/24/2020 (Mon) 16:25:44 No. 3434
Hello comrades. I propose a general thread in an attempt to get the /edu/ ball rolling again. Everytime you visit /edu/, post in this thread. Tell us about what you're thinking about, what you're reading, an interesting thing you have learned today, anything! Just be sure to pop in and say hi.
>>5019 Thank you... Last time I tried reading a book for productivity I almost read half of it. I'm afraid that nothing I read will work because my impulse control is so fucking abysmal. Anyway, I'm trying to fix something that someone helped me write for my assignment, which is overdue at this point, but god fucking damn, my douchebag-ass neighbors just had to throw a fucking party with alcohol and blaring music right when I'm most worried about submitting this shit ASAP. It's midnight, and it sounds like it's coming from inside my house. Makes me wanna shoot myself, I'm actually tearing up. Sorry, I just wanted to get it out my chest. I think I'll stick around this board from now on and try to actually read something.
I'm investigating about Object Oriented Ontology. The name has semblance to a programming concept which is pure neoliberalism and makes me want to shoot myself. There is still a lot about philosophy that I don't get, it sounds radically different than hegelianism (and materialist/marxist hegelianism), because as I have understood it so far, it ignores the human element in the understanding of reality. An object is never just itself, it exists in relation to a shit ton of things, and these relations are social in nature. The social part is human. It could be animals of course, but the point is that a set of consciousnesses has to create said social relations of objects. Zizek doesn't seem to have too many qualms on this area as far as I've seen, so maybe I'm missing something obvious. And it seems OOO is kantian + heideggerian in origin? Which ignores the advances made by hegel and marx to "unify" the phenomena and neumena.
>>5023 Hmmm, from a youtube comment of a lecture of the star of OOO: >Most of the issues raised by Harman in this lecture were solved long ago by Hegel. It's disturbing how many philosophers can still continue to work in the shadow of Kant. So maybe I'm not that far off the mark. I feel a need to tell everyone IRL about my shitty understanding of Hegel, but nobody seem to give a shit TT_TT
>>5023 >a programming concept which is pure neoliberalism and makes me want to shoot myself How many layers of ideology are you on right now?
>>5023 I don't think OOO is kantian or heideggerian explicitly. Maybe just on the most vague levels. Would like it if someone else could clarify.
Rafiq thread was excellent. My collection of his compilation of posts grows and I am very happy with the discussion there.
>>5022 Did you get your stuff done anon? Did you at least get some sleep? It's all gonna be okay bud.
>>5053 Thanks for taking the time to read it, Comrade
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Saw this in the OP of some poltoid bait thread on /leftypol/ where OP claims he tricked a Marxist professor into gifting him his old books and then burned them. Wondering if there are copies of any of them in socialist website/newspaper online archives, libgen, internet archive, wayback machine etc
>>5082 go check on libcom, im pretty sure i saw something like radical america there
Finished "I Am a Strange Loop" by Douglas Hofstadter. It's musings about how minds work without talking about the brain as an organ, very autobiographical and full of tedious punning (I admit I'm somewhat biased against puns in general as I always think about the poor translators when I encounter them). He makes the point that language doesn't only have metaphorical meaning in a few sentences here and there. People talk and think in metaphors and analogies all the time, it's just that we usually only explicitly call out the big and wild ones. He gives an example of you eating a cookie from a plate and remarking it's delicious, some kids then eagerly grab similar-looking cookies from the plate (instead of pulling the one you said is good out of your mouth like a REAL SCIENTIST would, stupid kids). The kids reached a conclusion through a mini-analogy. Hofstadter has actually worked on a computer program that finds analogies and my hope when picking up the book was he'd describe it in some detail as well as other AI research, but he doesn't. Instead he craps on soul-body dualism, ultra-individualism, and John Searle's Chinese room argument. He argues against these three entangled issues (or is it one issue?) very well, but I didn't need any convincing. I'm more like Hofstadter when it comes to that than he is himself.
"The Invention of Capitalism" by Michael Perelman, very good book about Adam Smith and other classical economists. It's a common trope among Marxists that economics used to be more scientific while the bourgeoisie had been a progressive force and then took a nosedive post Ricardo. The book shows that the change to capitalism was not a basically automatic outcome of tendencies within feudalism, but to a great extent helped by political machinations, with our respectable philosophers/economists being quite aware of that and being for a rather hands-on approach despite how they are remembered. There's some real vile shit in it from their private letters.
>>5082 guess that guy succeeded his goal of triggering me because wow, fuck that guy. burning a book isn't the most evil thing you can do but it is one of the most transparently, pointlessly evil things you can do, IMO
>>5499 I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Gödel, Escher, Bach" by Hofstadter. The rest of your post was good, I have little to comment on, but I enjoyed your review. >I'm more like Hofstadter when it comes to that than he is himself. Based and marxism-pilled.
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Currently reading Engels' Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. It's an interesting work. I've only read the very beginning so far, but am very interested in seeing where the rest goes. On another note, I've been thinking a lot about Kant and his transcendental idealism. I recently read Marx's Theses on Feuerbach and Engels' Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, and both touch on Kant's philosophy, though the Theses do it more indirectly. Reading these I think I've been able to understand and form a pretty consistent critique of transcendental idealism from a materialist point of view, though this only makes me more interested in actually reading Kant, which I haven't. I guess I'll work on studying him more closely as I read these other Marxist works. I'll probably start with Descartes then Hume or something like that. Might check out Leibniz at some point too. >>5978 So the book shows how economists/philosophers like Smith and Ricardo were not just responsible for indirectly 'justifying' liberalism, but also directly engaged with its politics, all the while knowing its flaws and surrounding opportunism? That sounds pretty interesting, I guess I'll check it out sometime. Will add it to my 'critique of liberalism' reading list.
halfway through my first book since probably middleschool, Against Empire by Michael Parenti I wish this board was more active >>5992 someone did this on /mu/ once too, they got a whole suitcase full of EXTREMELY rare Three Six Mafia tapes and other very valuable Memphis Rap releases and were like, >I no longer agree with the message of this jungle music, it promotes violence and degeneracy and then procedes to start melting them and throwing them in the garbage
>>6018 I've had this book for a while but have put off reading it. Maybe it's time. >>6024 You can make it more active comrade. Look through the catalog and see if there's anything you like if you don't wanna make a thread! >>6020 Based. One of my favorite Engel's works, was a huge breakthrough moment for me in getting the 'bigger picture' of humanity.
Anyone read Ted Reese's book "Socialism or Extinction: Climate, Automation and War in the Final Capitalist Breakdown"?
Am reading Carr's History of Soviet Russia. Currently on Part 3 (Socialism in one coutnry), vol. 1. PARTS 1 and 2 were really good.
Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations". When people sit alone at home and do philosophy, they rip words out of their usual social contexts, and with these shifted meanings they "find" many "logical flaws" in how normies are talking. Wittgenstein points to normal usage of words and while he gives many weird scenarios, their purpose is to highlight by contrast something about how language normally works. No familiarity with other philosophical works is needed to read this. The less familiar you are with philosophy, the more often you'll say to yourself while reading: Well, isn't this banal. The more familiar you are with philosophy, the more likely it is you will get a headache.
Having a quick skim through .pdf attached atm
It's Christmas comrades. Time to get some mulled wine and armchair away the days with good books. Still working my way through Zizek's Living In The End Times. Very much enjoying it regardless of its length.
Passages from the Life of a Philosopher" by Charles Babbage (copy from standardebooks.org). Disjointed ramblings about physics and engineering, how annoying street musicians and beggars are, his fascination with his figurine "Silver Lady" etc. He also makes lists about which ethnic groups play which annoying instruments in public and who encourages them (e.g. "ladies of doubtful virtue"). He got harassed a lot in public over his opinion on banning street music by the mob. While he's explaining his calculating Difference Engine at an exhibit: <…I was insulted by impertinent questions conveyed in a loud voice from a person at a distance in the crowd. My taste for music, and especially for organs, was questioned. As for his other politics: <In the course of my efforts to inform myself of the real wants of those around me, I profited much by the experience of one or two friends, both most excellent and kindhearted men, whose official duties rendered them far more conversant than myself with the subject. Mr. Walker and Mr. Broderip, both of them magistrates, were amongst my intimate friends. Mr. Walker, the author of The Original, maintained that no one ever was actually starved in London, except through his own folly or fault. <Whenever any further extension of our representative system becomes necessary, the dangers arising from the extension of the personal suffrage may fairly be counterbalanced by giving a plurality of votes to property. About half the book is like looking at a REEEing Pepe with a monocle. Not recommended.
Hey, this is anon from earlier in the thread. I fucking passed the bar exam! Woo! Anyone know of any resources for leftist attorneys?
>>6338 I lold
>>6337 Not sure if this is what you're asking for, but have you heard of Evgeny Pashukanis? Soviet law theorist, seems like the most important thinker in marxist critical law theory. I keep hearing things about him in local marxist circles, and he does seem interesting, but I haven't yet read anything from him. https://www.marxists.org/archive/pashukanis/index.htm
>>6337 Congrats man! You're free!
>>6352 >The pre-eminent Soviet jurist of the 1920s and early 1930s, Pashukanis fell victim to the great purges of the late 1930s and was thereafter reviled as an “enemy of the people” until his posthumous legal rehabilitation in 1956. https://www.marxists.org/archive/pashukanis/biog/biogintro.htm stalin purged literally all the good marxists. it's fucking crazy
This site wont let me post threads, i wanted to create a thread with the contents below but the captcha 100% of the time says its wrong or expired so i dunno.. can someone post a thread for me? I have fuck all time but to be a proper revolutionairy i need to read and comprehend much more than i do. I don't have the time to read books and not remember the contents. I was hoping everyone could drop their tips, hints and self-help books on reading and studying more effectively so that we can all become more effective students.
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>>6395 Any other examples of important Marxists being purged by Stalin? I have limited experience with Stalin's purges and I don't want to be sullied by Western propaganda information.
>>6399 Lukacs wasn’t purged but he was exiled, and it was sort of his own fault
>>6400 WHat did he do?
>>6398 >make it stick >how to read a book >deep work >atomic habits
Still reading Hegel's logic. (a secondary source on Hegel's Science of Logic). I read ridiculously slow and I've been very distracted lately. I'm like 20% of the book done after months of reading lol. I recently shared the books with a friend and they already surpassed me -.- My biggest hurdle is actually starting to read. The book's material is not easy for me, so I actively try to not read. I can have the book open in front of me, but I'll watch an hour of youtube videos just to avoid starting to read. I'm not sure how to mitigate this.
>>6422 (me) I was reading Capital a while ago, also ridiculously slow. I noticed I've gotten much better at reading, because when I read normie books, I can read them much much quicker and with less effort than before (I still read them slow, but at least I can read now). I stopped reading after chapter 1 *facepalm* but I'm meaning to retake it once I've matured my Hegel knowledge a little bit more.
Finished "A History of Psychology" by Mikhail Yaroshevsky, published in the USSR in 1990. It starts with psychological conceptions of the ancient Greeks. Did you know that they already did vivisection of the brain of animals back then to check what part does what? "Experiments were carried out not only upon animals but even on human beings (criminals who had been condemned to death)." Freud really shrinks to an unremarkable figure when you have broader context. Pavlov and Vigotsky get far more attention in the book and rightly so.
Hi, I watching lectures on LISP right now.
I'm reading "Understanding Syntax" by Maggie Tallerman. My hope was that this book could directly help me programming something with some limited ability for figuring out syntax (I'm mostly interested in automatic summarizing), but the presentation is too informal for that. The author lists many names for particular components of sentences and what kind of checks you can make to figure out whether you guessed the correct name for the component. These checks often rely on your own understanding as an adult human speaker of English. Does this particular switcheroo result in an ungrammatical sentence? This approach won't work for a program (unless the program gets to manage a budget for outsourcing these questions to humans) :/
Im watching this video and from 3:57 onwards I'm stuck because I can't understand what he's saying https://youtu.be/emnYMfjYh1Q?t=242 It's advanced english
>>6488 There are captions available. Is it that you can't hear or that you literally don't understand the words?
Finished "Fashionable Nonsense" by Alan Sokal and Jean Bricmont, a famous book from the 90s about how pomo writers bamboozle their audience with terms cribbed from math and physics that neither the audience nor the writers understand. It's really just that, investigating the crimes against math and physics with a small bit of conjecturing on top about motives. It's not about debunking the targeted authors regarding other themes (e.g. various claims about history) or methods they employ (e.g. psychoanalysis). The book also contains Sokal's hoax essay "Transgressing the Boundaries…" It was funny when I heard about this nonsense getting published by a pomo journal, but reading it is something else. It has over 100 footnotes and while not all of them go to pomo sources, what's in this essay plus the rest of the book shows that he and Bricmont must have read literally thousands of pages of this pomo dreck. The book has been presented in mainstream media like NYT as an attack on the radical left coming from conservatives. This is also how it's seen on the (self-identified) radical left. Like their targets, Sokal and friends are mostly non-Marxist progressives to the left of the US Democrats (people like Barbara Ehrenreich or Chomsky). Though that shouldn't really matter. A physics guy with sympathies that are monarchist or whatever could have also debunked the voodoo math/physics by these "intellectuals" and his claims about that would be just as valid.
Currently reading The Hierarchies of Cuckoldry and Bankruptcy by Charles Fourier. Simply just because I'm a cuck.
Done with "Wired for Culture" by Mark Pagel (2012). It was weird how old the author was when writing that and how long he had been doing anthropology, because the whole thing felt very reddit and superficial to me, like a guy who is normally doing something else entirely dabbling with anthropology. I don't believe I have deep knowledge about history and anthropology, but I was already familiar with literally anything the author brought up (muh Zipf's law, muh prisoners' dilemma, muh ethics Gedankenexperiment with guys tied to a train track, muh six degrees of separation), and at more detail than what's presented in the book. The author is soaked in capitalist ideology and American chauvinism. This shouldn't be surprising and I shouldn't be mad about it. I don't expect purity and I don't get mad about stains of ideology sauce here and there. We are all bound by the times and places we live in after all, but I still have the expectation that people who 1. are old and 2. have an interest in anthropology and 3. have been to many different countires in their lives have gained some ability to stretch their necks more than most. Maybe the guy had fast puberty or something. It looks like his personality and outlook was firmly locked in place already at an early age. He sees everything through burger goggles that are firmly screwed to his head. In one place he muses that Esperanto isn't more widespread than English because language evolution made English so easy to learn!! In the end there is a sermon that communism is bad because human nature: <Equally, and for the same reasons, no one could plan our societies, and there could not be a predetermined number of people in a society with a predetermined number in each of many different occupations. What if all of a sudden the society needed more of one particular commodity? When societies have been designed—Moore’s Utopia, Pol Pot’s Year Zero, the vast sprawling social housing estates of Western European social democracies, or the hugely controlling and interfering theocracies of the world—they have usually proved far from utopian. The weirdest aspect, which I picked up early in the book and it really runs throughout the whole thing, is his hateboner for Neanderthals. A common theory is that they died out because they burned more calories and couldn't spawn children at the same rate as us. But he constantly repeats that surely the Neanderthal people vanished because they weren't smart enough. Bigger Neanderthal cranium? Doesn't explain nothing, they still had some areas of the brain that were smaller and this is crucial! Also, they didn't have complex rituals like burials. They did have burials. OK, it looks like they had, but umm that's just because nobody likes stinky corpses lying around and the flies and so on, those weren't REAL burials man! Also they didn't have tools and ornaments etc. Really, none at all? Weeeelll uhm those few they had were probably gifts from their homo sapien friends! … And on and on it goes with that guy. He mentions a mutation in a specific gene sequence (FOXP2) that he himself says is crucial to language in humans which is also present in Neanderthal samples in the same version – and since that doesn't strictly prove that they had language, he thinks that makes it OK to proclaim they most likely didn't have it. It's outright pathological. What is the deal with this guy? The most parsimonious explanation is that he and his wife had a time-travel adventure and she boinked a Neanderthal man.
Just got through the 2021 book "Math without Numbers" by Milo Beckman, which I picked up just because I found the title intriguing. Turns out it isn't even first book with that name. It got some bits about topology, diagrams, cellular automata. It's simple enough that kids can read it. When it comes to practical applications of math, he mentions neoclassical economics of all things, quote "…in some cases, this supply–demand model actually makes pretty decent predictions". Just a very small part of the book, but eeh.
Went through half a dozen papers by Peter Ruben, a GDR philosopher who was thrown out of the SED for revisionism. His stuff is available at https://www.peter-ruben.de/ (in German). I just thought maybe he's some maverick thinker, too cool for the SED bureaucrats? Well, turns out he's just an anti-communist wanker: He's constantly "arguing" for the entrepreneur as an inventor/engineer type person (similar to Schumpeter) by repeating claims of that sort (of course with nothing empirical to back that up) and rhetorically groups together traders with transport workers. He denies that the means of production can ever be held in common in one global state, claiming that would destroy all economic rationality, since he is conflating the absence of a market in the means of production with the absence of a market for consumer goods.
I came here to ask a question, I guess I could do it ITT rather than make a new one? I have a good layman's understanding of both dialectical materialism and bourgeois systems theory. I'm hoping for a perspective from someone who has a fairly good grasp on both, whatever your background. Is 'systems thinking' (a more qualitative mode of analysis borrowing frameworks and concepts from systems theory) just dialectical materialism reinvented and rebranded, or is there an actual difference? Obviously they are distinct traditions, if you can even call systems thinking that, with different origins and histories and modes of application. But is there a concrete, practical difference? Or are bourgeois intelligentsia really coming to appreciate Marx's insight 150 years late and only when they think they invented it?
>>6617 Isn't systems thinking mostly just looking at systems from the angle of self-preservation? That would be a big difference.
>>6593 The other book named Math Without Numbers is an extremely dull work (threatening you with a "volume I" in the title) about representing ideas with set theory, written by a lawyer named William S. Veatch.

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