Print Story And I trust it like the ground
By TheophileEscargot (Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:08:29 PM EST) Reading, Theatre, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "Philosophy as a Way of Life". Theatre: "Bedlam". Watching: "Winter's Bone", "The Enigma of Kasper Hauser", "Back to the Future Part 2". Links.

What I'm Reading
Finished Philosophy as a Way of Life by Pierre Hadot. The guys on the Stoic Forum are always going on about Hadot so thought I'd give it a try. He was a significant French scholar who specialized in classical philosophy, especially that of the Stoic, Cynic, Academic and Epicurean schools. This book is a collection of several long essays by him.

Hadot makes a good case that classical philosophy had a large element of self-improvement: the purpose of which was to improve oneself through "spiritual exercises". These were carried through various schools, and made their way into the Christian tradition too. Hadot's particularly good on showing the links between Christian monasticism and classical philosophy. He continues tracing these elements into modern philosophers like Nietzsche and Wittgenstein.

Hadot's view is that many of the spiritual exercises of stoicism were incorporated into Christianity. He thinks it's at this time that philosophy become a less practical, more theoretical exercise, as it was demoted to serve as a handmaiden to theology.

The book is at a reasonably accessible level, though he (or the translator) does have a habit of introducing ancient Greek philosophical jargon without telling you what it means.

Hadot also makes some good points that the classical philosophical texts have to be considered as adjuncts to a mainly oral tradition: often just aides-memoires, exhortations or sales pitches for the school.

Hadot is enthusiastic and especially informative when comparing the different schools of classical philosophy against each other: despite some rivalry they had many elements in common.

Overall, interesting book with some new angles: well worth reading if you're moderately interested in classical philosophy. If you're an absolute beginner though this might not be the best introduction.

Saw Bedlam at the Globe. Original play, set in gin-happy 18th century London, with the Mad Doctor in charge of the Bedlam lunatic asylum under pressure from a more modern rival with radical ideas like not exhibiting the inmates for a penny a head.

Has a large cast, most of them in common with the Henry IV run. (That's been extended due to popular demand: go see it if you haven't, it's fantastic). Pretty hard work for the actors doing two different plays a day, though not quite up there with the staggering Elizabethan workload. They seem pretty comfortable and interact well with the crowd though: Barbara Marten managed a nice bit of improvisation when a rogue pigeon threatened to disrupt things. Good performances especially from Sam Crane as a preening poet.

Script is also pretty good, very funny in places. Does go on a bit long though especially since some of the reversals are fairly obvious and could have done with some trimming.

Overall though, a good play, worth seeing.

Playwright review, review, review, review review.

What I'm Watching
Saw Winter's Bone at the cinema. Drama about a teenager in the Ozarks seeking her missing crime-involved father. Read the book a while back and loved it. The movie's good too, with some nice laconic performances. Maybe a bit more sentimental with things like the folk music: this doesn't seem as brutally harsh an environment as in the book. Still worth seeing though.

What I'm Watching 2
Saw Werner Herzog's The Enigma of Kasper Hauser on DVD. Good film about a mysterious character apparently brought up in isolation: fairly accessible and good to watch.

What I'm Watching 3
Also finally got around to Back to the Future Part Two on DVD since I keep seeing references to it. Holds up fairly well, liked the way it's cleverly integrated with the first film, pretty good fun.

Video. OK Go: White Knuckles (about). NMA News: GOP derailed by Tea Party Express. Didn't know that Is Your Son a Computer Hacker made TV (via). The Canadian spoofs The American (via). Hand dance. Cthulhu Old Spice. Backin' Up Song.

Random. The Disney Vault (wondered why I couldn't find The Lion King on DVD)> SimSoc sociology RPG. Narcotics checkpoint (via). Yellowback novels (via). Selections of #spikedinthe18thcentury hashtag. Anthropology classic: Body Ritual Among The Nacirema. Guardian and National Portrait Gallery show portrait with exposed vulva.

Politics. US: Responses to Codevilla's Ruling Class essay. Iran: Metafilter's Hossein Derakhshan faces death penalty. Sweden: election lessons for UK.

Tech. YouTube copyright fingerprinter. Dark Patterns: obnoxious web design.

< zoom swish zoom | I foolishly destroyed my last diary >
And I trust it like the ground | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)
Back to the Future 2 by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:15:00 PM EST
Most of the action takes place in 2015. 5 years from now....

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Yeah, we've really got to get cracking by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 03:19:58 PM EST
With the flying cars.

We did OK with the big flatscreen TVs and the retro Eighties crazes though.
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Hover boards. We need hoverboards. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 10:46:56 AM EST

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
generic flying car response. by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #12 Thu Sep 30, 2010 at 05:44:49 PM EST
Have you or anyone you know ever run out of gas while driving?

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface
[ Parent ]
Enigma of Kasper Hauser by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 04:47:00 PM EST
One of my fave Herzogs, about the limitations of reason - no matter how much data they collect on Hauser they never know who he is. Imagination in teh form of speculation gets you closer to the answer.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Fuck Disney by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:43:47 PM EST
I'm still waiting for them to release Song of the South from the Vault, the gutless bastards.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

Also: Another Monday Gripe by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 05:52:37 PM EST
Dear Sean O'Hagen:

No, her vagina is not fucking "visible below her skirt." That's her vulva, you dumbass. I can clearly see you attended Irish Sex Ed classes, but failed to complete even those. Fucking editors! How do they work?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I still haven't seen Back to the Future II or III by lm (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Sep 20, 2010 at 08:15:59 PM EST
Part I was bad enough.

I did, however, catch Soylent Green over the weekend. Seeing a projected paper and person powered information exchange as the font of all free knowledge was kind of interesting.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Wow.You 1 in 6 billion. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 03:57:47 AM EST
I've never met anyone with unkind words for BTTF, until now. Amazing.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
My dislike is rather mild by lm (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 08:59:50 AM EST
others have dedicated entire blog posts to it.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The YouTube story pissed me off. by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #10 Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 01:01:51 PM EST
I don't really mind that they have the tech to match content samples, but they need to disclose precisely what they're passing on to the copyright holders under the "Track" option and the copyright holder should absolutely NOT be the arbiter of Fair Use in America. It's a RIGHT here and of course the copyright holders' default response to queries will be to deny the requests. Here, that's the call of the courts. I'm sure YouTube's management doesn't want that responsibility, but there has to be a better way.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (4.00 / 1) #11 Wed Sep 22, 2010 at 05:09:25 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

And I trust it like the ground | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden)