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2013.01.13: Odds and Ends

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miscellany ... for tidying up my mind and life. Some computer stuff, some philosophy and quotes, some reading -- old and new --, and all that jazz, though little of the latter.


From earlier in the week:

I set up VirtualHosts as per http://diymacserver.com/instal

Under /Library/etc... I created my document root for a VirtualHost, used wget to get the latest WordPress zip file, unzipped it, and chowned it to 'www:www' (the apache user on Mac OS X)

I ran the install script. And file access works now.

This is just an update of sorts to my working on the iBook G4, getting 10.4 running, installing lots of packages from MacPorts, and -- after getting Apache, PHP, and MySQL running -- getting WordPress to function fully.

It's not worthy of its own post.


Kelly Dean Jolley's Preface to "The Concept 'Horse' Paradox and Wittgensteinian Conceptual Investigations" (Burlington, VT: Ashagte, 2007) begins:

"I never purposed to write a book on the Concept 'Horse' Paradox. I wrote toward an understanding of the Paradox. Benno Kerry’s strangely resonant thrust, 'The concept "horse" is a concept easily attained', and Gottlob Frege's even more strangely resonant parry, 'The concept "horse" is not a concept', kept fencing in my philosophical imagination. The two sentences never tired, but I did. Not until I reflected on Frege's Context Principle ('Never to ask for the meaning of a word except in the context of a proposition'), did I began to see how to surmount the sentences, how to free myself from their fencing."

This captured my attention and imagination. I want to read it in conjunction with finishing U. Eco's "Kant and the Platypus," which I can highly recommend to all those interested in language, philosophy, and conceptual systems; it's relatively accessible.

My interest in Jolley's volume waned slightly in the following two paragraphs of the Preface, by which I should not judge the book (I suppose), due to the maddening repetition of the short sentences. But then the fourth paragraph gave me reference to Wilfried Sellars, with whose work I became slightly acquainted in the summer of 2010.

I came across Sellars when doing work on Kant, and concluded that in one essay Sellars basically recreated a Kantian solution by way of merging Aquinas and Hume in his own 20th-century analytic way. In retrospect part of me sees what Kant himself does as applying alchemical transformations to Aquinas and Hume, but that's neither here nor there. That same week I was looking for a new apartment and went to have an interview with a guy to whose Craigslist ad I'd replied. And he was a philosophy grad student; we hit it off pretty quickly, I liked the place well enough, and we decided that I'd move in (and take the rather small room that was becoming available in a few weeks). We discussed Wittgenstein and Kant, and Ayers, whom I'd also been reading at the time, and suddenly Sellars came to mind. It was the most fruitful philosophical discussion I'd had in months and the best I'd have for many more to come; likely it's not been bested, since in almost all the rest I've been in the position not of equal but of professor, whereas here I was an 'expert' of sorts taking on the role of student.

But it was not meant to be. A few days late I got a job offer in a different part of the country -- it might have been the very next day --, and I had to back out of that apartment situation. I'd not signed any lease, but I still felt horrible about it. In some ways it was a good move for me, leaving that city, where I'd grown stagnant, but it's not as if I've progressed greatly since then.

In any case ... these are the things Jolley's book brings to mind, and perhaps I'll read it.

Perhaps not.


This week I finished "The Ruins" (my first old book / carry over of 2013) and "Cold Days" (book 14 of 'The Dresden Files'). I ought to finish "American Sideshow" (Marc Hartzman), which went so well with "Humbug" ('X-Files', season 2).

When the new year rolled around my thoughts went to what to read 'next,' or at least early in the 'new year' ... main ideas in the non-fiction realm include(d) "Hallucinations" (Oliver Sacks) and "How Music Works" (David Byrne ... yes, that David Byrne). In 2011 I bought Ms. S. two volumes of an Orson Welles biography, and I'm tempted to read those myself. The other day I loaded Guy Deutscher's "Through the Language Glass" onto my iRiver Story HD.

Today during brunch writing a friend recommended "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" as being right up my alley, and that would be more a matter of fiction than non-.

I may read the last two in parallel.

Instead of our usual television rotation Ms. S. and I may skip that this Sunday and instead turn to quieter thought slightly more active endeavors. There's always some cleaning and tidying to do, such as laundry. Ms. S. wanted to read, and she's thinking of returning to "Little House on the Prairie."

I'd failed to notice that she has an almost complete collection in one of the bookcases; my own set, collected nearly 30 years go in early childhood, is in my father's garage, boxed up. Slightly chewed on by dogs. I recall the television show with a certain fondness. And to think that both Laura Ingalls and Almanzo Wilder lived past the end of WWII. She survived past the Korean War.

In the 70s there as a Japanese animated series about her, "Laura, the Prairie Girl" (1975-1976).

Ms. S. is missing a few books; we'll likely be able to find them from time to time at the thrift store down the road.


When we went shopping the other day Ms. S. found a 4-pack box of "ultimate beefless sliders" from Gardein, so we're having those tonight. We also have pickles and I'll be making oven fries in a little while.

It's a healthy alternative to going to Krystal, I suppose. Thought I've never been ... as we of course didn't have Krystal in Wisconsin, California, or Idaho.

But it also makes me miss In-and-Out Burger and, by extension, The Dude, something else we haven't yet watched in 2013. Just get me some coffee liqueur and decent straight vodka, and we're golden ...
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