a thoughtful web.
Good ideas and conversation. No ads, no tracking.   Login or Take a Tour!
virginiawoolf's profile

x 1

following: 0
followed tags: 2
followed domains: 0
badges given: 0 of 0
hubskier for: 2550 days

recent comments, posts, and shares:
virginiawoolf  ·  2531 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Should Literature be "triggering"?

Thank you for your comment -- it's a valid perspective, definitely, because you mentioned how the media handles such content.

I wanted to add to my original comment that 'triggering' scenes or things that remind me of what happened don't help as much as does literature written by people who understand the loss. So, reading Woolf helps me, particularly a book like To the Lighthouse, that is about loss, and capturing, and turning into art, a section of her life. Similarly, as I am at odds to deal with loss, I like thinking about Georges Perec's experiments with capturing what was happening around him, because the Holocaust had destablized him, and he was forced to recognize the ephemeral nature of everything, including/especially the ordinary.

virginiawoolf  ·  2532 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Should Literature be "triggering"?

The author seems to just focus on writing provocatively...but he got the entire concept of trigger warnings wrong, which means that he's mad about...something that he can't even define correctly.

I've been through a lot these past few months. It's hard for me to wake up in the morning, it's hard for me to get through the day, because I experienced a traumatic event this year. Of course, there are many things that make me see horrifying visions, lose sleep, dissociate, start crying, or just want to get up and leave 'normal' conversations. The thing with the anti-trigger people is that they don't understand the kind of living hell people who have been through traumatic events or have PTSD are facing. The event in itself is one thing...but the true horror is living, knowing that tomorrow you're going to think about the same things, and your life is still unalterably fucked and nothing will ever be ok like it was. Your entire world is shaken for good.

It is not worth it to come to class and try to get some work done, get your mind off things, only to discover everyone's going to discuss the aesthetics or thought process of something that has happened to you. I was studying Hamlet the year I had faced another traumatic event. It was fucked up. I would sit in class and brood. And let me tell you, Hamlet, or any play, can never compare to real life anyway -- as much as literature's core function (even more than it is to be 'triggering', perhaps) is to unveil and discuss the human condition. I wondered the same thing Hamlet did: if I faced the murderer, would I take revenge? Hamlet's not left me any richer, or given me a text to relate to. I just remember it bringing up unpleasant memories a lot, and being overall quite disappointing.

My point is not to degrade Hamlet because it brought up something unsavory. My point is, shoving something down somebody's throat when a) they cannot deal with simple things in life because they have been through significant trauma, and b) they are in no position to appreciate it, is clearly a pointless exercise. The advocates for no trigger warnings are mostly belligerent, forceful, and arguing for an abstract merit that literature has (ironically, not having become any more empathetic themselves) to help those 'triggered' become better human beans.

Would I leave a class for something that 'triggers' me or makes me cry? I do it anyway. I have to. I can't focus if I'm emotionally overcome, no matter how great the lesson. I don't want to appreciate violence anyway.

Long rant, but a lot of these issues are abstract to people who don't understand the feeling. I would love to be a whole and uncaring human again, but I can't. I've tried. That's why I don't mind 'missing out' because of a trigger warning.

virginiawoolf  ·  2538 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Most Famous Ethical Puzzle: The Frege-Geach Problem

Thanks for the great comment! I'm a bit more on the applied side of things (social sciences), so I consider that (application) more than things philosophers consider, which you have outlined in your comment. My approach is more concerned with how people view, act on, and use morality, which is why my comment reads the way it does. I will read Nietzsche sometime, I've heard good things :) Again, thank you for taking out the time to write a play-by-play explanation/rebuttal!

virginiawoolf  ·  2538 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: July 15, 2015

I'm feeling more like myself than I have in so long...I'd almost written off the possibility altogether. I'm so grateful, even under the circumstances.

virginiawoolf  ·  2538 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Most Famous Ethical Puzzle: The Frege-Geach Problem

Just a lay person, but...

I think it's odd that the theory was "destroyed" by an argument using formal logic. It presupposes that a) humans are logical b) they act in a logical fashion c) if stealing is bad then murder is bad is not an opinion, and d) opinions can't be logically consistent (wtf?)

A 'logical' argument can be made for being homophobic: non-procreation is bad; hence, homosexuality is bad. Yet, a) not everyone who is homophobic uses arguments, because a bunch also just want to follow scripture, b) this can still be an opinion [1] and logically consistent. What happens in the real world, though, is that non-procreating/infertile couples do not face discrimination in the same way [2], and a homosexual might procreate and then raise the baby with a partner, and still face discrimination.

This does not explain cultural differences, and exceptions, and other arbitrary moral attributes (i.e. not 'logical' ones). If I can find a cross-cultural counter-example for something one culture deems moral, and both are equally logical in their claim, what does that say about logic? That is, to go meta-meta: why is something being logical good? Examples: if murder is bad, how are capital punishment and war good? How is a crime of passion excusable? Most importantly, how is being pious a marker for morality? If my culture thinks maximizing self-interest leads to maximum aggregate happiness, and another culture believes it comes from maximizing group interest, both are logically consistent arguments in and of themselves.

There is a (now famous) classroom experiment where the teacher said that blue/brown eyes were superior [3], resulting in kids treating each other in a generally shitty way. What I mean is: a) morality is tied to power, and that b) it is perfectly capable of producing a logical system that can be immoral. Take racism as an example, take the moral judgements of colonists as an example.

Notes: [1] Why is non-procreation bad? And have attitudes about the morality of an act changed? Does that mean a change of logic or of opinion?

[2]As an aside -- procreating has a high value placed on it in the Old Testament, for example, and G-d often promises prophets 'a nation', because there is no concept of heaven. Hence, this system is consistent in placing a value upon procreation.

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Elliott#The_first_exercise_using_brown_collars See also: Stanford Prison Experiment


virginiawoolf  ·  2538 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How Climate Scientists Feel About Climate Change Deniers .

That's actually the funny bit. I remember reading about how, if the temperature rose by a degree centigrade, there would be a specific rise in the sea level. It has now happened.

The problem is that not everyone has studied this in school. We learned it as fact. The US (and Americans don't really understand this) is probably the only country where climate change is taken as a debatable issue. What's worse is that climate change denial has been exported by the US to other countries, especially via the internet/cultural discourse, so now there are lay people who think that global warming is something that you can debate about. Most of this, of course, so the US can continue to guzzle oil. I remember when China was shamed for its carbon emissions. Just this year it's actually begun to cut them; in the US, though, Keystone is still a frackin' issue...

virginiawoolf  ·  2542 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why Beauty Matters

Wonderful documentary. Gave me a lot of food for thought the first time I saw it, and later changed my views on beauty. Being a thoroughly modern child, I used to think that beauty did not matter, and was largely an elitist construct. Now I don't, because I think it's important, and that modern art's answer -- to be 3edgy5u -- has just led to a proliferation of art that asks questions, instead of being art according to an aesthetic judgement, i.e. it's creator centered, and says fuck you to the onlooker. In other words -- it's another elitist construct, except that now the craftsmanship, the rigour, and the aesthetic judgement are missing.

virginiawoolf  ·  2542 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's your favorite question?

My favourite question is definitely about where we are are on the determinism/free will spectrum.

My working answer is that repetition and lack of self-awareness reduces the plasticity of our minds, resulting in an increase of determinism. That is, we lock ourselves into certain behaviours, reducing our own free will. This is why meditation, reflection, philosophy, literature, and certain social sciences can lead to increased plasticity through self-awareness and presence.

virginiawoolf  ·  2542 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What's your favorite question?

After recovering from depression and being in a much better place that I used to be, I started asking people how they are. I do it every day, and I mean it. Mostly don't get a response, or get a 'good'. However, every once in a while, especially on chat, someone will say how they really are, and I'll be glad I asked.

Also, you mentioned that you are okay but if you're not, you can always PM me too. :)

Good read! I would guess the majority of the world runs on slow, if not painfully slow, internet.

I just hope there's a version published for software and game devs. Not everyone upgrades their computers, because they simply can't afford to.

virginiawoolf  ·  2544 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Hubski, do you know of any good books on European folklore?

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but try Italo Calvino's Italian Folktales.

virginiawoolf  ·  2544 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: How do you feel about underlining in your books?

I used to hate it/be terrified of it, and then I read on a blog I followed that the person underlined a lot in her favourite books. I'd never really liked the thought, but the more I read, the more I fell into the underline camp. I usually do it with a pencil, though, and if I want to underline a whole paragraph I just put a line beside it instead of underlining all of it (seems like a waste). I usually underline beautiful phrases/metaphors, and whatever is uniquely and especially well articulated.

Recently, I was reading The Hours, which is a very light book to read, but is also a dense net of references to Virginia Woolf's books. Read and re-read, it's quite rewarding (as is VW, though in a different way), and I really wanted to outline a bunch of things but it's not my copy :(

When studying, I definitely underline. It actually helps me focus, too, and when I have to re-read for exams I know that the key points are already underlined.