Re: Reading group: for reals, though

1

Why do you hate Toussaint Louverture?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 9:08 PM
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duh, FA, racist. I bought the book today and I'm in, with some contrarian rationales on parenting.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 9:25 PM
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Even I am not this hardcore.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 9:50 PM
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I probably will have nothing to offer of substance but am interested in reading the book.


Posted by: Amber | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 9:52 PM
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How soon will this start? I'm interested but I'm not sure I can get a copy in time.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 9:59 PM
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So would you say that starting on the 13th doesn't sound reasonable?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 10:03 PM
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I'll see if I can get a copy in time but don't hold it up on my account.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06-30-15 10:04 PM
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I've never heard of this book before. I should read the other thread.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 3:44 AM
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I'll probably join. I don't really have an interest in the book,* but it might be good to read something philosophical** for the first time in a while.

* no aspersions cast on the good Professor, it just doesn't look to be in an area of philosophy or on a topic that I'm madly interested in.
** and not 18th century or before.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 4:03 AM
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I'll join. Is this book going to make me exasperated? Being philosophy in the domain of regular human experience?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 4:08 AM
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I'm in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 4:56 AM
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I think I have decided to participate, but actually I have no idea what the experience will bring and I'll probably drop out authentically somewhere along the way.


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:16 AM
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No way. Sorry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:54 AM
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Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:56 AM
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Except maybe for Moby.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:57 AM
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This is all about the mouseover text, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:57 AM
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The future me is going to die of heat exhaustion in a train between Reading and Slough.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:26 AM
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I'm up for a reading group. Have never heard of that book though am vaguely in touch with some parts of philosophy. Would give it a go, but can anyone put in more context? Influences, similar thinkers or something?

Also, if Piketty is a guide, erring on the side of a slower rate might be better.

Also, I have a physical copy of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus on the to-read shelf, so if everyone spontaneously wanted to switch to that instead, that would also be ok.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:27 AM
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Is this book going to make me exasperated?

Yes. You should still do it, though.

I think personally that -- while I enjoy the general argument and like talking about why I disagree with its particulars -- my ratio of time spent on it to value I get out of spending time on it is already in a good place, so I probably shouldn't try and read the book right now.

Fun idea, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:29 AM
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I can probably contribute some interesting relevant papers from adjacent-ish disciplines, though. I will do that!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:31 AM
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The future me is going to die of heat exhaustion in a train between Reading and Slough.

A blessed release, if the alternative is arriving in Slough still alive.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:41 AM
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I just read the back cover description.

Hasn't Rush already sorted these questions out?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:47 AM
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They're still touring.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 6:48 AM
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Buck just saw them in DC, in fact: 50th birthday present from a high-school friend.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:40 AM
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A Facebook friend just went to see them. She's from upstate New York, which I assume is where people pick up strange ideas.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:42 AM
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I bought the book. I do not promise to participate in the reading group.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:46 AM
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(Nor do I promise not to participate in the reading group.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:46 AM
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25: AISIHMHB one of my coworkers (a native yinzer) was formerly the lead singer in a Rush cover band. He still regularly does karaoke; his falsetto is amazing.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:53 AM
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I'm going to assume he was actually born in New York state and is lying to you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:55 AM
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Rush's drummer Neil Peart* is decidedly good at playing drums. But some of his drum sets were a bit over-the-top.

*Birthplace: Hamilton, Ontario, which is basically a suburb of Buffalo


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:03 AM
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Looking around and at the Paul, I am amused by the number of ways it alienates and offends me.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:06 AM
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30: Another win for theory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 8:09 AM
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Also, if Piketty is a guide, erring on the side of a slower rate might be better.

So, I'm not quite sure how best to do that, owing to the book's structure and my ignorance of where might be a sensible mid-chapter place to break. Would just having two weeks, or a week and a half, between posts be sufficient?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 9:40 AM
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I'll be interested to see if I understand it better than the prior paper on having children. I came away from the paper thinking that I really didn't know what "transformative experience" meant well enough to think that having children was or wasn't a good example of it. (I found myself resisting the idea that having children was necessarily a transformative experience, but not with a good enough understanding of what I was talking about to really defend my position.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 9:57 AM
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Surely any sane theory would have to acknowledge that the same kind of event needn't amount to a transformative experience for everyone.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:01 AM
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I'm not certain about that; I thought the claim was about experiences that were necessarily or universally transformative. Which seemed wrong to me, but if that's not the idea, than pretty much everything would seem to be "Maybe transformative, maybe not. Depends."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:03 AM
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Also, I have a physical copy of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus on the to-read shelf, so if everyone spontaneously wanted to switch to that instead, that would also be ok.

Capitalism and Schizophrenia is great but hell, I gave away my copy of Anti-Oedipus and A Thousand Plateaus along with a few thousand other books before moving and no way I can see buying them again without feeling like a dork. I need to start fresh here.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:04 AM
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I am pretty certain that any sane theory would be as I describe.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:07 AM
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You know nothing about my grammar!


Posted by: Noam Chomsky | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:09 AM
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I am not entirely sure that establshing 34/35 one way or the other is key to the argument, which iirc is premised more on "there exist experiences usefully described as transofmative s/t..."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:33 AM
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Gonna bow out of this one because I'm allergic to reading philosophy, but I'll read the discussion with interest.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:38 AM
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Ugh, do we have to do philosophy trigger warnings?

If we did something like the four chunks over 6 weeks, would that maybe be enough time for people? I'm a fast reader and will probably be able to keep up at the proposed schedule, so I don't feel like a good judge of this.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 10:44 AM
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40: That really has to be the explanation; I think I may have fundamentally misunderstood the point of the 'having children' paper.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 12:13 PM
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33: Maybe we could just not merge chapter 1&2 and that gives slow readers a chance for a head start on 2.

Or we could concoct a series of increasingly absurd schemes for slicing the book up in a rate-optimal way that ignores the structure. Like 10+(20/number of comments on previous installment) or something.


Posted by: conflated | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 4:31 PM
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Figuring out how to section this book sure is transformative.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:22 PM
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Just imagine how transformative reading it will be!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:26 PM
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I believe the children are our transformuture.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:40 PM
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48

Jammies is coming to join me on vacation TONIGHT! Talk about transformative.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 5:41 PM
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"there exist experiences usefully described as transofmative s/t..."

This got me to look at the precis because. while I'm probably not going to read the book, I'd pay good money to observe an argument about philosophy between nosflow and lizardbreath, and this looks promising, at least for a little while.

After reading it, I'm curious whether the idea of "choice" is part of their definition of a "transformative experience" or if that's just the aspect that they find interesting (I note, for example, that they use "fighting in a way" as an example would "being a civilian in a war zone" be a transformative experience in the same way?)

I ask because I was just thinking, earlier today, about the way in which aging is a transformative experience (it was a a fairly banal thought: I was listening to an album which I know well and hadn't listened to in years and realized that I was clearly not the same person that I was when I last listened to it, and that I couldn't pinpoint any specific moment of change). It it less useful, because it can't be isolated as a single experience and yet, it would also seem odd to ignore that in a discussion of transformative experiences because the transformations of aging are so basic to the human experience.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 1-15 7:03 PM
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Ok, I'm in. I just ordered the book. I may feel obligated to read the last 50 pages of Pickety, though, before I start this project. If I do, I'll be sure to revive the thread.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 7:11 AM
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You know nothing about my grammar!

I'm sure she was a lovely person.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 7:23 AM
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Further thought to 49; the Precis begins with this paragraph:

As we live out lives, we repeatedly make decisions that shape our future circumstances and affect the sort of person we will become. Some of these decisions are major, life-changing decisions; in such cases we stand at a personal crossroads and must chose our direction. Transformative Experiences raises questions about how, if we are to make these sorts of life-changing decisions about our futures rationally, we are also to make them authentically.

and goes on to talk about rationality

[O]ur standard decision models break down when we lack epistemic access to the subjective values for the possible outcomes . . . the rationality of an apporach to life where we think of ourselves as authoritatively controlling our choices by imaginatively projecting ourselves forward and considering possible subjective futures is undermined by our cognitive and epistemic limitations.

I wonder how far into the future that "standard decision model" can extend. It makes sense for short-term or even indeterminate term decisions like, "where shall I eat tonight?" or "what doctor would I like to work with?" Because the time frame in which the outcome of those decisions will be evaluated is short. But it seems like it's of limited use for decisions like, "what should I major in?", "should I change jobs/careers?", "should I move to a new city?" "should I marry this person?"

For the latter set of questions* it is possible that there will be an obvious, short-term conclusion about whether the decision was correct but, most likely, the decision can only be evaluated over a period of time (years) which is long enough that time and age will have created an "epistemic and personal transformation."

* I realize that for each of those questions there will be some people for whom they would not be a major long-term decision. My perspective my be shaped by the fact that I am cautious and reluctant to change.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 9:00 AM
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Don't let's get ahead of ourselves, Nick.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 9:20 AM
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the rationality of an apporach to life where we think of ourselves as authoritatively controlling our choices by imaginatively projecting ourselves forward and considering possible subjective futures is undermined by our cognitive and epistemic limitations.

Hot take!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 10:28 AM
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33: Maybe we could just not merge chapter 1&2 and that gives slow readers a chance for a head start on 2.

Ok, but how about we merge ch. 1 with the precis? because otherwise it seems a little slim for the first week.

BTW, people should also VOLUNTEER to write summary thingums for the various weeks.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 10:39 AM
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Don't let's . . .

No one in the world ever gets what they want and that is beautiful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 10:42 AM
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I will respond to 52 in due time. Her "standard decision model" is a funny one, that doesn't really map to a lot of the literature I'm familiar with.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:29 AM
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You can guilt me into anything, nosflow, but I suppose you've already noticed. I'm fine with any assignment except going first.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:29 AM
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the rationality of an apporach to life where we think of ourselves as authoritatively controlling our choices by imaginatively projecting ourselves forward and considering possible subjective futures is undermined by our cognitive and epistemic limitations

Sounds like somebody watched a lot of "Sledge Hammer!"


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:29 AM
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That got canceled too quickly for anybody to have watched much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:33 AM
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Trust me, I know who I will be at time T for any given value of T.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 12:41 PM
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T = i?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 12:48 PM
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It's complicated.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 12:54 PM
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I've already started reading the book and have discovered two things:

a) my cousin is mentioned both in the acknowledgements and the text and
2) I have some serious questions about some of the assertions she makes about color perception

So I'm looking forward to the reading group. At least maybe someone else will be able to shed some light on 2).


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 1:14 PM
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I noticed (a)! I swear, I have more connections to your cousin than anyone else who has never heard of me. It's the plate of shrimp phenomenon with your cousin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 6:11 PM
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Part of it's that he went to a university near Boston, I think; he's also friends with some people I knew online in the '90s (and who J, Robot knows IRL). But I keep meaning to ask him how he knows Paul.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 6:26 PM
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None of those are my connections with him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 8:35 PM
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I keep meaning to ask him how he knows Pauly Shore


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:03 PM
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Whenever I see the post title I think of this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 2-15 11:08 PM
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I was woken in the night (spoiler alert: transformative experience of having small children!) and just finished Chapter 1 and think that would be a bad place to stop to be able to have meaningful discussion, so I vote for the original nosflow chunking suggestions.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 1:50 AM
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And fine, now that I've read 1 and 2 I could be the person to write them up. But maybe nosflow would be better and less spluttery. And now is it time to experience an hour or so of sleep before I'm awakened again? That's one I should probably have some policy-driven answer for since it comes up so often.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 2:20 AM
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So I guess the SMBC guy doesn't understand rap music, discrete mathematics, or how venn diagrams work.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 6:55 AM
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Ryan North, on the other hand, knows all about rap music.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 1:05 PM
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Ryan North is an admirable man.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 3:23 PM
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None of those are my connections with him.

Josh's cousin is one of Heebie's long-lost cousins?


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 4:37 PM
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I should have the book in a few days. I wonder if I will need to become familiar with decision theory and formal epistemology before reading it. I"ve answered my own question and I'm off to google, but if anyone wants to reassure me that I don't have to do this, speak right up. (I'm probably going to be mostly lurky but am looking forward to this.)


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:17 PM
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You don't, particularly, I'd say, no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:21 PM
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Epistemology is easily the most annoying thing ever. You never need to know it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:21 PM
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I always say that I use sophisticated methodological falsificationism. If that doesn't shut them up, I socially construct a reason to kick them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:25 PM
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Thanks for that!


Posted by: Penny | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:28 PM
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I just tweeted a criticism of somebody's research design while drunk. Because you have to control for different patient characteristics or you've fucked up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:35 PM
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This is going to be one hell of a reading group.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:36 PM
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I'm at my long lost cousins' house tonight, actually, in Alabama. They are very nice and relatable. Not exactly like my family but plausible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:38 PM
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It turns out that six other people asked the same question and it was already answered, kind of.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:39 PM
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83: You can socially construct them into your family.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:41 PM
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I thought she already did.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:44 PM
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It's seemed sort of Bayesian to me so far.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:45 PM
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At least I had trouble following it, which is what usually happens when somebody tries something Bayesian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:50 PM
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Maybe we should ask an epistemologist.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:50 PM
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90

Go get an episiotomy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:52 PM
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Becks had a great line back in the day about that confusion, but I can't find it in the archives.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 7:56 PM
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All knowledge lies between the vagina and the butt. It's true.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:00 PM
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Taint it the truth.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:01 PM
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A perineal truth, to be sure.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:02 PM
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Thanks. I had no idea where to go from there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:03 PM
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91: The hoohole's gotten larger?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:03 PM
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That's the whole point of epistemology.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:05 PM
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96: Apparently so. I tried both Google and Yahoo with no success.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:05 PM
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And I just tried Bing, again with no luck. It may have been at her (now-defunct) personal blog, but I'm pretty sure it was in comments here.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:07 PM
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Something, something, Kant's categorical imperative.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:07 PM
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Wait. Becks is a woman?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:09 PM
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99: That's a real surprise. Bing claims to be a cut above other search engines.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:10 PM
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It is, but he's interested in a cut below.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:15 PM
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I'm interested in a furbelow. Anyone have one at a reasonable price?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:17 PM
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You can get one for free if you just stop shaving certain areas.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:18 PM
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I looked up the book on Amazon and clicked the "Surprise me!" link and was indeed surprised to see the word "vampire" on all the pages that popped up, so maybe I'm in.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:18 PM
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I had a horrible nightmare recently that I had grown a huge neck beard and didn't have time to shave it off before work.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:22 PM
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106: Per the précis linked in the OP, becoming a vampire appears to be one of the transformative experiences discussed in the book.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:25 PM
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108: It is indeed! So is becoming a cyborg with a sense beyond the human five. Not all boring parenting stuff!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:43 PM
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So we'll be discussing how to both rationally and authentically become a cyborg vampire? I reiterate 82.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:48 PM
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I mean, it was 4 am when I read all that, but I was sober. I think we could get entertainment mileage about deciding which other commenters should become vampires, cyborgs, or both.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07- 3-15 8:50 PM
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I'm watching Underworld to learn about vampires. Their greatest power is the ability to shoot an ordinary-sized pistol on full auto for like half a minute without reloading.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 6:13 AM
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110: You're forgetting about our cognitive and epistemic limitations.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 6:33 AM
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The silent airport TV tuned to CNN seems to be saying that one of the top news stories at the moment is "U.S. cities on high alert after terror threats." My usual online news sources don't have anything resembling that. I think maybe CNN should just switch to repeatedly broadcasting the words "Be Afraid."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 6:35 AM
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Ooh, now it's "Trump support surges despite controversy."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 6:35 AM
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"I think maybe the guy with the uncorroborated story of heroism and 'Craven' as his actual name might be hiding something."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 6:56 AM
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A cranberry raven?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07- 4-15 10:23 AM
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