Sunday, July 02, 2006

Reviewing Charlie's Jade for Thankful Opiniations on Root Causes


I'd like to thank everyone for their opinions on the Event Marketing position, whether you e-mailed me about it or posted your opinion here.

In the end, I've decided to take the job, and training starts tomorrow. Even if I went against your opinion, I have taken it to heart and will probably use it as a way to evaluate the position.

Most certainly, I will post my progress at Blue Green Resorts.


A couple months ago, the deal on an apartment for the fiancee and me had fallen through. We had to come to Chicago on short notice to find the apartment we live in now (so much happier with this one than the other one).

While doing the search, the fiancee and I had gotten into a disagreement about our strategy and tactics. I wanted to take the earliest opening that had space and was under a certain rent. She wanted to keep looking and stay open to moving into a place mid-month after our original move date.

She made a compromise with me about Charlie Jade if I would compromise about the move in date (which, honestly, I'm happy that I did -- but this compromise is SWEET!). See, she had some built up resentment Charlie Jade because I hyperfocused on watching at the cost of us spending time together.

I understand her resentment, but after reading Driven to Distraction, I can also understand that I pretty much instinctively hyperfocused on Charlie Jade to prevent chaos in my mind. . .and also to avoid hyperfocusing on other things. Still, though, it really is a good show.

We've had this deal for a couple months. Her brother comes for a week long visit, starting Independence Day. She said that we could start watching it when her brother gets here.

Charlie Jade start date will occur in T-3 days. WOOHOO!


Started reading The Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman. Like many of the books I have read recently, it falls into what I've started to consider a fallacy: failing to examine root causes of problems, mainly the problem of what makes a symptom wrong.

In large part, these authors have listed symptoms of what's wrong with society then provide something of a solution for the symptom instead of for the cause of the problem. I believe the US government does the same thing with terrorism and the resistance in Iraq. They try to destroy symptoms of a problem, but I have yet to hear about them isolating the root cause of the issues there then try to solve it with good lateral, constructive problem solving skills.

I first became aware of this problem when I started reading about human rights. Only until I read that book about political obligation a couple weeks ago did I find a good argument for basic "inalienable" human rights: if everyone violated them, civilization would, for all intents and purposes, end, and we'd find ourselves in Hobbes's State of Nature.

This argument follows a good argument for following the rules of the road: if you break them, you increase your chances of getting into an accident. And if you don't and you get into accident, it won't be your fault.

But in Berman's book so far, he has cited the following problems:

"(a) Accelerating social and economic inequality.
"(b) Declining marginal returns with regard to investment in organizational solutions to socioeconomic problems.
"(c) Rapidly dropping levels of literacy, critical understanding, and general intellectual awareness.
"(d) Spiritual death -- that is, [Oswald] Spengler's classicism: the emptying out of cultural content and the freezing (or repackaging) of it in formulas -- kitsch, in short."

-- p. 19 from (C) 2001 Norton Paperback version.

Berman then goes on to provide examples of these problems that he cites. I have yet to reach any point where he explains how they act to destroy civilization. He just highlights that all collapsing civilizations have these characteristics.

I guess this tact works when the person agrees with Berman, which I do, but what about the person who doesn't agree or the person, like me, who does agree but also wants to find an argument with intregrity and the root cause of such problems.

Aldous Huxley does the same thing in Brave New World for the same argument. With literature, I believe I can excuse such a fallacy. After all, literature doesn't necessarily need to follow the rules of a solid argument. It just needs to strike the reader as truthful. Even if it doesn't entertain them, they can feel it says something, as long as it holds truth to it.

Unfortunately, Brave New World suffers somewhat from this fallacy when younger people read it these days, even though plenty of people point to Brave New World to criticize culture in the United States, which was Huxley's original intent back when he wrote the book.

I'm willing to argue that literature, especially allegory (honestly, though, the best place to find a good definition for allegory is Paul Goring, Jeremy Hawthorn and Domhnall Mitchell's Studying Literature: The Essential Companion), appeals to archetypes or literary symptoms.

Through my bachelors thesis, as a secondary purpose, I hope to try avoiding making arguments with this fallacy, basing them on archetypes and symptoms. I will, possibly, use them as conventions in the novel. For the academic side, though, I want to provide root causes to the conventions of utopianism.


Well, I meant to write some reviews on Superman Returns, a restaurant and a board game but not tonight. I really need to get some sleep if I want to train well tomorrow at Blue Green


Shaw Israel Izikson said...

How come everyone's seen that superman movie except me?

I feel so unhip

The_Lex said...

Dude, according to your own blog,, you don't even want to see Superman Returns!