Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reading ad Infinitum

I have been reading all evening. I finally took a break and ran a mile and practiced a little karate...just a little something so I feel human again. Karate is good stuff. I went for a short run, ran harder which I should make more time for. Running fast requires more concentration, and I would much rather plod along in the "dead zone" then have to watch for footing and branches at face level, dogs, night creatures, etc. I have to watch for night creatures (raccoons and possums) because they aren't quick to get out of the way. I'm no stealth runner either so either the critters are deaf or they don't care (or they're really dumb). I almost tripped over a skunk last summer. I half stumbled and jumped over him but I remember seeing the glowing eyes and initially thought it was a funny fat cat behaving out of character and then realized it was a skunk. The moon was full tonight...I like. Interesting shadows from the trees and rooflines, and I play shadow games while I run.

Reading tonight...some parts were OK, some parts were interesting, some parts made no sense to me. I am worried about the parts that mean nothing at all to me. I think I've come to realize that Galen Strawson is somebody all these philosophy-devoted authors write about. I have yet to see anything profound from Strawson that warrants such interest. Tonight, I learned that Strawson is credited with this "idea" or "theory" or whatever the hell...that priori justification makes no reference to experience, meaning priori knowledge is independent of experience (not contingent upon experience).

As an aside to that, and as a result of stuff in the paragraph above, I learned that posteriori knowledge is derived from experience or imperical evidence. Empirical evidence is that which is verifiable from observation or experiment.

Other readings today related to organizations and their values. How their mission and values statements that they push out to the global world and to their stockholders, employees, customers, and partners do not mesh with their behavior. The writings pick apart the wording bit by agonizing bit to show how what it's really about is the bottom line, making money for the stakeholders, and not about the benefit of such an organization to the communities it is a part of. However, if you analyze the business statements of Japanese and German businesses, you find that the wording is different in such that the wording indicates society will benefit more than the stakeholders. American businesses are structured and managers are taught to think in terms of how to control employees and force them through punishment to achieve the specified mission statement. Japanese and German businesses are much more democratic. Structure is less hierarchical, job duties for positions are less defined, and employees are more likely to find a niche where they can feel useful.

So much for that stuff. Some vocabulary today:

ephemeral - lasting a brief time
coterie - small group of people who associate together frequently
panoptic - everything visible in a view
positivism - knowledge is based on natural phenomena and properties are verified by empirical evidence.
archetype - model; prototype...from this I learned that Jung says an archetype is an inherited pattern of thought is present in a person's unconscious.
hermeneutics - theory and methodology of interpretation
discursive - covering a wide field of subjects; rambling

I could go on by I need to go to bed! It's a late night.

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