Reinhart Koselleck’s theory of history for a world in crisis

“According to Koselleck, three basic oppositions structure all historical experience. Every possible history is conditioned, first, by before and after, for example the anthropological span between birth and death that makes each life singular and part of a shared experience distinct from other generations, times and experiences. The possibility for new beginnings is as much a part of the human condition as the necessity of death or the ability to kill. Second, all possible history can’t escape the political difference between inner and outer (or, in a conflict, friend or foe). Hence, Koselleck’s repeated critique of the idea that human difference can be morally resolved and not just politically mediated. Only the recognition of difference allows for compromise. Finally, Koselleck claims that the opposition between above and below, ‘master’ and ‘slave’ in the terminology of Hegel and Marx, structures all social relations in history. This isn’t to say that more equality and freedom can’t be gained in the course of events, but that social hierarchies permeate all forms of human community, generating new conflicts and hence new histories.

[…]

The analytical grid that Koselleck suggested as the baseline of his theory of history – before and after, below and above, inner and outer – also conditions historical writing itself. It’s crucial for the viewpoint of historians, whether they are a contemporary or born later, and are thus an eyewitness or a retrospective narrator of events, respectively; whether they are situated higher or lower in social or political terms, for example, whether they are on the side of the winners or losers of the conflict they are describing; and, finally, whether they belong to the political, religious, social or economic community whose history they are writing about, identifying themselves more or less critically with it, or whether they are looking on from outside.”

The Paradoxical Role of Social Capital in the Coronavirus Pandemic

The Paradoxical Role of Social Capital in the Coronavirus Pandemic

“In the King James Version (known to us all from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”) the angels proclaim, “On earth peace, goodwill toward men.” Other translations, in more militant Bibles, render the Greek phrase as “Peace on earth to men of goodwill.” Very much like the question about whether Edwin Stanton sent Lincoln, on his deathbed, upward to the angels or outward to the ages—a thing that might be the subject for a book—the small difference in the Biblical words implies a large difference in our vision. Is the happy news that of Heaven’s dispensation of ever-increasing trust toward all people? Or is it a special favor restricted to those already possessed of good will toward us?”

Catfish Stew Reanimation

from Ken Arneson

The Paradox of Individualism and Hierarchy

“Hierarchy is an organizational tool that comes with both benefits and costs. The benefit is that hierarchy is a potent way of organizing large groups. By concentrating power, hierarchical groups can act cohesively in ways that egalitarian groups cannot. (For details, see Peter Turchin’s book Ultrasociety.) This cohesiveness is a huge advantage in group competition. But it comes with a cost — namely despotism. When groups use hierarchy to organize, rulers inevitably use their power to enrich themselves. This despotism, in turn, undermines the benefits of hierarchy to the rest of the group. So to reap hierarchy’s benefits, groups must concentrate power without succumbing to despotism.

Perhaps individualism grows with hierarchy because this worldview is a tool for limiting despotism.”

It’s Time To Abolish Single-Family Zoning

It’s Time To Abolish Single-Family Zoning

The suburbs depend on federal subsidies. Is that conservative?

[…]

In fact, the conservative thing for suburban leaders to do here is to not wait for the federal government to tempt us with more handouts, but to go ahead and show those progressives running the big cities that we live by our principles, that we embrace vibrant markets and free people, by preemptively repealing single-family zoning.

War over being nice

“Most people don’t have the skills to both express their feelings of frustration and anger, and make sure social harmony is maintained at the same time. In this case, do they err on the side of maintaining social harmony at the cost of their own needs? Or do they get their needs met and damn the social cost?”

Wait, what? Sense-making & sense-breaking in modern art

“If we take the predictive processing model as our most-accurate-yet description of how cognition works, we gain insight into how a piece of art or literary text (for example) interacts with our sensory and analytical systems. We gain a vocabulary for talking about what a “schema,” or cognitive knowledge structure, is, and what it means for that structure to learn from surprising events and prediction errors, and how expectations and beliefs at the structure’s highest level can radically distort how sensory experiences are processed at its lowest.”

Vimeo: Black Lives Matter – Alameda Protest and Car March

Black Lives Matter – Alameda Protest and Car March

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50 years off-grid: architect-maker paradise amid NorCal redwoods

50 years off-grid: architect-maker paradise amid NorCal redwoods

April 26, 2020 at 06:57AM

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