Crappy Coinage . My penny’s worth.

But a week or so ago a group of inspirational citizens of the Steel City in the UK came together to discuss (UBI) Universal Basic Income. I was not present at these meetings and therefore can only imagine their discussion covered almost all of what I am going to write about here. Yet, this discussion, one of many happening simultaneously around the world I find inspirational and so perhaps this writing will only review what has already been mentioned but I hope there will be something added to the existing discourse on money, finance, and what to do with the capitalist order that seeks to apologise on behalf of inequality. I have been thinking through my own relation to the global economy and the ideology seen as dominantly hegemonic.

UBI should have been a reality a very long time ago; who is responsible for it not being implementable is difficult to say but I suspect it is not a person or a particular people: it is rather a period in the species history that started a process of material devaluation and therein value itself became own-able. This period in our history ranges across a large amount of time.[1] Yet, there are some dates that stand out as being a good starting point for thinking through the potential and I would say necessity for a new truly global alteration to the Capitalist system; that is if it is to continue or to be chosen by future cosmopolitans. The first dates are 1764 with the invention of the ‘Spinning Jenny’ the first industrial textile mill came into being in England. If you think about it this machine and that of its ilk the printing press became automated within the industrial revolution and one sees a correlation between the ease for printing paper and the unsociable and often unfathomable inequality that comes with it. Inherited wealth and business dynasties have cut this world up into ownership; there would be nothing wrong with profit if it could be distributed equally and evenly?

Other dates that are symptomatic of the current urgency of this ongoing discussion include: One of the fathers of the idea of ‘Political Economy’ William Petty was concerned that money be equal to itself which sits well with Karl Marx’s articulation that Gold and Silver where natural choices for currency because of this quality of appearing equal to what it is and this is seemingly embodied in these metals as they resist decay by oxidation. In 1964 the Bank of England was founded and four years later half of the United Kingdoms’s capital was paper. A Scottish financier John Law created a note issuing bank in 1716 to help in financing the then bankrupt French state. [2] A constant throughout these examples is the presence of war and its need for funding. It appears that although the change from metal to paper allowed a greater distribution of value but fails to secure equality; it is unclear if this change was ever made in the right spirit?

‘‘True’ and ‘false’ belong among those determinate notions which are held to be inert and wholly separate essences, one here and one there, each standing fixed and isolated from the other, with which it has nothing in common. Against this view it must be maintained that truth is not a minted coin that can be given and pocketed ready-made.”[3]

Professor Esther Leslie reminds us that this movement towards illusion has a direct connection to banknotes in the German language’s word Schein. The quote from Hegel gives us hope, if only a small hope, that truth is separate from Capital and so is a good point from which to invite more contemporary thoughts on money and income. The most important being a paper titled Bitcoin authored by a fictitious person whose nom de plume is Satoshi Nakamoto.[4] This paper is influential because it is considered to be the first attempt at providing a systematic proof that digital currency could make the economy more equal and such a change is more than possible and we are more than capable of implementing.

There have been many respondents to Nakamto-san but I came across his name in a recent article about LARPing (Live Action Role Playing) by a Liam Kelly. [5] One of the participants a character called Quinn does not like Hegel; referring to him as a Brain cancer. What is interesting about this recollection is that it is an example of a social phenomena increasingly set to increase: individuals wishing to take a break from the phantasmagoria and into the realms of fantasy.[6] This LARPing rave contains something interesting regarding the notion of cryptocurrency which is used here as a buy in and the currency that enables access to the rave. However the initial positivity surrounding Bitcoin has started to be met with negative press and on the same website of Breakermag we can read, ‘In the short term, though, that’s not what most big players care about—and the major social change blockchain has brought about so far is that a small number of people have become very rich indeed’.[7] Laurie Penny’s article is a sobering read indeed for those that have never been to such events or invested capital in capital. The criticism continues in an article on MIT’s Technological Review shared by Ami Clarke a lecturer at Central Saint Martins in London and director of arts space Banner Repeater.

‘In total, hackers have stolen nearly $2 billion worth of cryptocurrency since the beginning of 2017, mostly from exchanges, and that’s just what has been revealed publicly. These are not just opportunistic lone attackers, either. Sophisticated cybercrime organisations are now doing it too: analytics firm Chainalysis recently said that just two groups, both of which apparently still active, may have stolen a combined $1 billion from exchanges.’[8]

Such a lack of security runs against the claims of the Bitcoin Paper in which the fictitious Nakamoto lays out the issues of founding a peer-to-peer blockchain in which an equilibrium is created by the equality of users. Yet, in the Bitcoin paper Nakamoto struggles with a forecast problem: the dilemma of how to ensure ‘double-spending’ does not happen. The solution that was put forth is the use of a time stamp that anchors the data to a point then affixed to this is a proof of work using a required number of zero bits that show each node the truth of that data. The author, Nakamoto, goes on to show mathematically how via way of a calculation in probability he/they have successfully created the first economic exchange not based upon trust. Yet, as we have discussed there is more than enough evidence to contradict this infamous paper and a lot of them centre around the the inability of mathematics to nullify human greed and inequality. Furthermore, Orcutt’s paper delivers important details regarding cryptocurrency: it’s vulnerability arises from the same source of the human using the currency and although there are ground breaking attempts to use A.I and newer more and more complex math so as to secure the blockchain from corruption; it remains prone to hacking.

Does this not lead us back to Marx and his initial attack on financial ideology. Marx’s ideas regarding the universality of money and the general formula for Kapital continuously contribute to this discussion; as they have since the moment Marx wrote them. Marx uses a symbol symbolism to discuss the dynamic and the circuit capital produced at the onset of modernism. C for Commodity and M for Market are used to show certain relations between the two.[9] But we might appropriate them to clarify the need for universal basic income. Marx describes two forms of relations. ‘C-M-C starts with one commodity and ends with another… Consumption, the satisfaction of wants, in one word, use-value, is its end and aim. The circuit M-C-M, on the contrary, commences with money and ends with money’ presenting us with use value and exchange value. What is Bitcoin’s true aim to bring them together? Or to neutralise the commodity leaving just the market M-M-M?

It would certainly seem like the trouble maker is the commodity with its anthropomorphism, its capacity to draw from human’s an un-weilding power to influence and captivate. But is this commencing with money and ending with money even possible? The basic answer and argument is a yes because it follows from a simple logic that money is a human construct and so therefore under our power? Yet, this is a hasty simplification of a giant contemporary problem. From my perspective it is more than feasible but it requires the ability for all of us and by all I mean every single living being to agree to giving over power to a new Leviathan; a global government that rules over earth’s inhabitants. Such a proposal is hard and nigh impossible to believe but belief and security in the tried and tested are being put under pressure. There are major hurdles to this but we must consider a few possibilities or things that also contribute to our discussion and it is our discussion as it was in the United Kingdom that cash machines and ATMS first came into usage. It was a Barclays machine at the Enfield branch opened on June 27th 1967.

Such a fact gives us impetus to continue our thinking about how to resolve global inequality. For there is an urgency, year and year the human population grows and year by year unjust differences increase. I see no reason why we cant implement a system whereby everyone has welfare because they do not live in poverty as living citizens they are guaranteed a living wage regardless of job and position. Such a thought is not idealism it is a necessary part of a future human reality and it encompasses some very difficult hurdles. To bring about an equality that Block-chain technology promises (remembering that this technology is still in its youth) society’s work patterns and cultures will have to also change. A major barrier is the notion of ownership: how to retain the positive feeling this brings but without the propensity for greed? In the future work the notion of career should be cycle based and so a person rotates different jobs every year. Basically ensuring that a meritocracy and democracy is maintained. Next to this, work becomes optional, you can work for more money but this has a maximum capacity; the ability to horde wealth is stopped.

One major argument against this is that it is in our nature to be selfish and there is some evidence to suggest that altruism arises from selfishness (see George Price equation), yet this ignores other facts that seem to support radical change. For example, mathematical equations provide a truth in relation to nature but this thing we call nature is constantly also subject to revision and so thinking through ideas and forms that have an impact upon the economy is what we need to be doing. I have been fascinated by a simple perspective: if we observe the Price equation, an equation that tracks the growth and retention of a given quality in a population, then we can take the information (selfishness > altruism) and develop methodologies that lead to a greater understanding of this. Perhaps this suggests that over-consumption will lead to more friendly behaviour; the idea being that if my needs are met then the needs of others become more relevant. This is wishful thinking indeed but perhaps could be possible iff technology enables the production and recycling of commodities so they become more public and less private. This does not mean free but it implies that the exchange and use of a given thing are drawn closer together and so mirror wider social change. This is of course also dependent on a democratic use of technology like 3d-printing and intelligent design.

The contrasting idea is one of a luxury increase accessing Markets and un-regulate capitalism so that everyone lives in abundance. This idea does not provide a future as secure and as attainable as it might appear and instead unbridled capitalism makes an abuse of human desire, and our ability to use this force in a healthy way. Some thinkers, such as Frenchmen Gilles Deleuze and Georges Battaile have theorised that this be so and production is explosively unavoidable. In a book by English philosopher Nick Land one has confronted the idea that the storing of information is necessarily one of isolation and explosive. The formula of Bataille’s economy that Land uses describes how expenditure always exceeds acquisition and how this is indifferent and leads to isolation. But, I choose to read this continuously different communication as arising from the isolation and as the only immediate way we can overcome such unhelpful notions. This also includes a highly relevant discussion on the nature of information and whether or not it is entropic or negentropic; whether or not it privileges chaos or order? Physically we have understood that the past appears as ordered and in the future it is opposite but this is perhaps too reductive a perspective on information and indeed moves us towards pushing for a reversal of this polarity; so that information in the future can be re-ordered and resist decay and corruption?


Here we return to Hegel who rightly stated that truth is not minted and does not reside or has never resided in a bank. Instead the development of rationality in our own time leads us naturally to desire a new state. Hegel, though does not contain answers, like every philosopher he generates more problems. Frankly his thoughts on Asia are outdated but his master slave dialectic and infamous ‘work of the negative’ may indeed have more work to do. Taking all this into account then surely we can conclude that when it comes to money and the economy we need to generate an ideology and ethos that sets our global communities and cultures of exchange not continuing on the narrative of mass production/consumption but rather a system by which the total number of living beings are not subjected to brutal losses by the greed of others. In other words if only it was possible to play a non zero sum game? Is there really such thing as perfect information? I sincerely hope so, as I am not proud of my country of birth as a recent report on poverty by the United Nations discovered one of the most historically influential of nations has left a large swathe of its residents in unforgivable material situations. If all else fails we can always resort to being Saboteurs in the original dutch meaning of throwing wooden shoes sabots into the machinery?

[1] I am not going to mention China’s usage of paper money in the 7th century A.D here because I do not have access to the relevant information and therefore can not offer a commentary on the success or failures of this change of currency. Although, it happened so long ago only adding more time to this problematic time.

[2] Esther Leslie. (2005),Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry, Reaktion Books, London. 89-92

[3] Ibid. Hegel, Preface for The Phenomenology of Spirit.

[4] Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System,

[5] Liam Kelly. (03.06.2019), I Larped as a Monero Developer and It Ended in Tears, [] 

[6] The difference being one is innate and subconscious (kleinian) and the other a conscious choice (fantasy).


[8] Mike Orcutt. (2019), Once hailed as unhackable blockchains are now getting hacked, MIT Technological Review.

[9] Karl Marx. (2008), Capital, Oxford World Classics, OUP.94-95  



Dubbing with Derrida



Dubbing With Derrida:

An underview of a Unique and Great French Philosopher



[Je regrette que ce ne soit pas écrit en Français.]


The following is an attempt to provide an overview of one of my favourite philosophers and even with his renowned status as a university professor and the creation of his own way of doing philosophy Jacques Derrida and ‘Deconstructionism’ remain under-appreciated. Admittedly this may be the possibility of an impossibility: we may not be able to appreciate him enough; that is it may be humanely impossible to give Derrida enough appreciation. It is absurd to even raise the question, but why is it important to appreciate the achievements of this man? To answer this is simple. Jacques Derrida belongs to a group of thinkers gathered together under the tag of post-structuralism but for me he remains the most successful thinker at gaining acceptance in the highest level of a major public institution yet undermining its stability and in doing so democratised an industry and business that often excludes paths and practices of thought, reading, writing, and communication that are considered incomplete but still hide a logic just as certain as those that are streamlined into mainstream education as a commodity form.

The following is a humble attempt to be a good reader of Derrida and re-read some of his texts so as to deepen my understanding of the viral meaning his Deconstruction harnesses and hones.


Speech and Phenomena” (1973) La Voix et le Phinomene


There are interesting perspective on language involving a medieval notion of language; a trivium: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. The thoughts of a man named Ibn Khaldûn characterising language as a technical habit related to an art or craft malaka sintfiyya. The theories of language arising from German distinctions such as Frege’s Sinn (sense), and Husserl’s Bedeutung (meaning) lead to a Charles Morris’s idea of another trivium: syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; which is in need of a separate consideration. Then Wittgenstein is chosen of Austin because he sits closer to a continental tradition and how in the Tractatus Wittgenstein runs up against the hegemony of knowledge; the hegemony that me and Derrida constantly complain against because of it’s crippling conditionalities (knowledge produces a reality bound purely by conditions that it alone generates). Phenomenology sits in a certain narrative of thinking that stems all the way back to Plato and then through Descartes and Kant arrived at its father Edmund Husserl. This philosophy then is one which is comfortable striving for the production of knowledge. Against this are different ways of thinking that reveal the truth of understanding. Derrida shows clearly how phenomenology may be read as successful in its aims of suspending the ‘natural attitude’ so as to assist in a truer understanding of our experience of a given phenomena.

‘Husserl will radicalise the necessary privilege of the phoné which is implied by the whole history of metaphysics, and exploit all its resources with the greatest critical refinement. For it is not in the sonorous substance or in the physical voice, in the body of speech in the world, that he will recognise an original affinity with the logos in general, but in the voice phenomenologically taken, speech in its transcendental flesh, in the breath, the intentional animation that transforms the body of the word into flesh, makes of the Korper a Leib, a geistige Leiblichkeit. The phenomenological voice would be this spiritual flesh that continues to speak and be present to itself—to hear itself—in the absence of the world. Of course, what one accords to the voice is accorded to the language of words, a language constituted of unities—which one might have believed irreducible, which cannot be broken down—joining the signified concept to the signifying “phonic complex.” Despite the vigilance of the description, a perhaps naive treatment of the concept of “word” has doubtless left unresolved the tension of the two major motifs in phenomenology: the purity of formalism and the radicality of intuitionism.’(D. 16)

Here we have a lot of things to unpack and offer a small explanation (I apologise to those who are acquainted with both Derrida and Husserl) so as to re-inforce my own small understanding of these European thoughts. I ponder, is it enough to say that the purity of formalism and a radical intuition can be connected and associated with Kant and Plato’s theories of ideas (the distinction between synthetic and analytical judgements are found uniform in our intuition, and ideas are mathematical forms). The spiritual flesh is seen as dependent on the unity of words and this indeed presents a linguistic continuum. Husserl’s theory of language as it is found in the second part of his Logical Investigations states that an ‘“empty thought” needs a sign as an “Intuitive Support”’ and ‘all thought is carried on by way of certain “acts” which occur in a context of expressive discourse’(Husserl, LI, II. 667… in Petr Urban’s The Relationship Between Thought and Language in Husserl’s Philosophy, Czech Institute of Philosophy). But, we also discover Derrida’s point of contention with Husserl when we observe that this German master saw both the sign and meaning as unified however the use of the word sign Zeichen can either be expressive Ausdruck or indicative Anzeichen. This seems like a small difference but from two different perspectives there is much to discuss and take from the position of Husserl ‘there is the possibility of a sign that signifies nothing; that has no meaning Beudeutung. Contrasting with Derrida where there is no sign without the signified. I will have to take a step back from the assumption that I know my everyday usage of language and also suspend judgement on various phenomena. I will read this book properly because one suspects this text along with On the Origins of Geometry to be essential in understanding the wider situation of the birth of Deconstruction and what questions this philosophy was born amongst. This leaves me to share two of the more important statements or benchmarks ever marked into the long history of thinking; and especially thinking about language.


  “Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, dariiber muss man schweigen” (“What we cannot speak about we must consign to silence”).    

  Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Philosophicus


II reste alors a parler, a faire resonner la voix dans les couloirs pour suppliéer l’éclat de la presence” (‘It remains, then, for us to speak, to make our voices resonate throughout the corridors in order to make up for the breakup of presence”)

– Jacques Derrida,



Of Grammatology (1976) De la grammatologie


I am reading from the text translated by the awesome Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak an Indian philosopher of great Great GREAT inspiration. For her never ending belief in education and the necessity of using language to fight for more equality and openness in our systemic structures of education and learning. Let’s begin with one of the great descriptions of Derrida’s philosophy, ‘Deconstruction seems to offer a way

out of the closure of knowledge. By inaugurating the open-ended indefiniteness of textuality—by thus “placing in the abyss” (mettre en abîme), as the French expression would literally have it—it shows us the lure of the abyss as freedom. The fall into the abyss of deconstruction inspires us with as much pleasure as fear. We are intoxicated with the prospect of never hitting bottom.’((Derrida, lxxvii)).


“If the nonphonetic moment menaces the history and the life of the spirit as self-presence in the breath, it is because it menaces substantiality, that other metaphysical name of presence and of ousia. First in the form of the substantive. Nonphonetic writing breaks the noun apart. It describes relations and not appellations. The noun and the word, those unities of breath and concept, are effaced within pure writing. In that regard, Leibniz is as disturbing as the Chinese in Europe: “This situation, the analytic notation of representations in hieroglyphic script, which seduced Leibniz to the point of wrongly preferring this script to the alphabetic, rather contradicts the fundamental exigency of language in general, namely the noun. . . . All difference [Abweichung] in analysis would produce another formation of the written substantive.”((Derrida, 27))


This re-production is interesting and I wonder how close it is to Delueze’s metaphysical understanding of the necessity of production. Although, like every text authored by Derrida this book is complex and explores many separate writers and thoughts it is useful in a summary to simplify; and so in this spirit I will take my lead from Wikipedia and split this text into two components parts, yet also add a third: the famous ‘Exergue’. The first two parts are comprised of Derrida’s study of the linguistic thoughts of two fellow French giants Ferdinand de Saussure and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Analysing Saussure’s idea of the ‘sign’ stating the claim that written symbols are not inferior to the phonetic sounds and matter of factly the privileging of speech that has been a constant since the beginning of philosophy is a fallacy according to Derrida; as he shows this opposition is an opposition held within language itself and therefore can not be overcome only embraced, only deconstructed.

The analysis of Rosseau’s thoughts on language is interesting. Pursuing a logic of supplementation Derrida analyses a chain of such events in Rosseau’s literary body. This analysis of the chain of supplementations has a psychoanalytic flavour beginning with the absence of a mother and moving through a presence and absence and then the priority of an absent presence written by Rosseau. One which is deeply haunting not just in how Derrida describes it but also in what interpretive difficulties it traces and marks for us today; and indeed the process is one which a person may readily identify with.


‘In his eyes it will remain the model of vice and perversion. Affecting oneself by another presence, one corrupts oneself [makes oneself other] by oneself [on s’altère soi-même]. Rousseau neither wishes to think nor can think that this alteration does not simply happen to the self, that it is the self’s very origin. He must consider it a contingent evil coming from without to affect the integrity of the subject. But he cannot give up what immediately restores to him the other desired presence; no more than one can give up language. This is why, in this respect as well, as he says in the Dialogues [Pléiade, vol. 1] , “to the end of his life he will remain an aged child.”(154)


As I am writing I am also reading the pdf copy of this text and it is not a preference the presence of an abundance of digital texts may indeed be turning me into an aged child. I would much prefer the actual book yet Rosseau is shown to be one of those that privilege speech. Remember Derrida supposedly does not mean to critique these thinkers and so I think he has more than a little respect and admiration for Rosseau; and I follow suite, Rosseau’s source for his study on language, a Duclos, provides a startling account of the liberty and therein the collective properties of “spoken” language and the political attacks that take place against language by way of alterations and shortenings. Duclos or Rosseau state, ‘The language is the property of the people. Each derives its unity from the other. For if language has a body and a system, they inhere in the people assembled and “bodily” united: “It is a people in a body that makes a language…. A people is thus the absolute master of the spoken language, and it is an empire they possess unawares.’(170) But, what of the written does it remain un-mastered, free, and unpossessable?

These difficulties are re-stated by Rosseau in terms of the voice and words pre-forming music, ‘If music awakens in song, if it is initially uttered, vociferated, it is because, like all speech, it is born in passion.That is to say in the transgression of need by desire and the awakening of pity by imagination.’(196) Pity interests me here; in Eastern culture, in Japan the Buddhists have a unique reading of the noun. Pity is read as mercy: Jihi 慈悲 has the radicals for happiness and sadness residing above the kanji for mind/spirit/heart. This Japanese noun would be well suited to Derrida’s method of working through the inner logic and contradictions of textual reality. What Japanese texts would enable a working through these signs of pity and mercy?

It is very clear, that many more readings of this book will have to be done for me to fully understand Derrida’s reading of Rosseau’s supplement and interval and this distinctly French exploration of language. Rosseau’s text are shown to contain much interesting reasoning on the state of linguistic change in his day and a discussion of a necessary relation of the child to the sign by way of non-relation; the sign is but it isn’t because unlike adults children do not immediately have a self relation from which to relate to a given meaningful phenomena such as a sign. Before I part ways with this book let’s look at this famous Exergue. Our looking at this description of ‘logocentrism’ benefits from the assistance of Gabriel Rezende’s work on this section of the Book. Rezende nicely describes this centrism and does so in an ambitious project of writing that emphasises the political aspect of Derrida’s work. Correctly stating the three problems that Derrida is dealing with: 1) our thoughts on writing are geared towards an ahistorical concept of phonetic writing, 2) Metaphysics is always bound to a logos, and 3)because of the later it can be stated that humans are nothing more than a teleology of sciences.

Rezende expresses why this part of Derrida’s book is so important and perhaps summarises why Derrida remains widely loved and deeply relevant to today and the future yet to come. It is Derrida’s respectful readings of the three big German H’s (Husserl, Hegel, and Heidegger) that culminates in the very real idea that a cultural teleology is present in the works of these major philosophers and results in logocentrism or the voice that speaks closest to the truth. In Deconstructing this Derrida helps us understand an absent cultural teleology one in which hidden truths are made manifest by the very grammars of writing.


Writing and Difference,(1978) L’écriture et la différence


A preface is a beautiful thing and in this book it is a translator’s. I am always taken a back at how a written object of respect and repute often comes with an introductory mask one that I often find just as rewarding. This preface does not disappoint I encounter: Epekeina tes ousias the Platonic term for the beyond of being, the shared interest in the difference between Sinn/sense and the senses; between Sein/être and Seindes/étant; the “ontological double genitive,” i.e., the necessary fluctuation of the subjective and objective cases in order to speak of Being, which always means the Being of beings and the beings of Being. Nietzsche gifts us voluntarism (the doctrine of the will) passed down to us from Latin voluntas our volition and funnelled through French vouloir implying even more of a wanting; and Edmund Hussserl’s distinction/opposition between hylé and morphé (matter and form). All of this and more is contained in Alan Bass’s short introduction.


Derrida begins his work on a note of anxiety one that is about language and in language itself. Discussing a kind of somnambulism (sleepwalking) situated between a structuralist ideal and the history of ideas; a schism within a force, ‘Form fascinates when one no longer has the force to understand force from within itself. That is, to create’(Derrida, 1978, 3). Here we find ourselves on the outside if we wish to be a creator? Thus soliciting a solicitation (check the Latin etymology), how writing and difference are intertwined. In Derrida’s intro we learn that there is an Art for Immanuel Kant and a Rousseau that is a hidden thing that does its work in secret, yet we can still understand that our imagination is what initiates such a process. We read of drastic yet true procedures, ‘One must be separated from oneself in order to be reunited with the blind origin of the work in its darkness’(D,7) and again this outside also applies to the purity of the literary morphé.

The pure book naturally turns towards this Eastern edge of this absence which, beyond or within prodigiousness of all wealth, is its first and proper content. The pure book, the book itself, by virtue of what is most irreplaceable within it, must be the book “about nothing” that Flaubert dreamed of-a grey, negative dream, the origin of the total Book that haunted other imaginations.’(D. 9)

Derrida could be giving a description of many of his own books and I can not help with my own personal connections to Asia; also long to return to the Eastern edge. This haunting of other imaginations is important it has a connection and relation to the production of truth and Husserl’s innessential (Unwesen). This we are told is dictated by an essence and happens under the rubric of sedimentation. Then a tussle between Flaubert and Nietzsche comes after Derrida’s own stylish eidetic translation, ‘the things for which we do not have enough forms are already phantoms of energy, “ideas” larger then the plasticity of style’(D.34) relishing in the natural lack of language; how it can never quite incomprehensibly structure and has to remain somewhat other to itself. A discussion on Foucault’s reading of Descartes’s nisi me forte comparem nescio quibus insanis…‘Unless perhaps I were to liken myself to a madman’(Descartes. First Meditation) associates this inoculation performed on behalf of philosophy by Descartes against madness is also a question of the sign. Derrida likens the Cartesian split to the presence of an obvious and then a latent language; intimately embroiled in questions surrounding knowledge as a historical construct and the attribution of meaning inherited from master Foucault.

Derrida’s own special Hegelianism rises when he starts discussing the juxtaposition of the Silent (the mad) and reason (the ordered mad) and how escaping reason is impossible unless you embrace its abstractions and its power to disturb. This Entzweiung, a dissociation that Foucault enacts; apparently ancient Greek logos did not have a contrary in comparison to classical reason (D.64). I am not certain what this implies the time of the ancient Greeks was so long ago yet perhaps this comment is a comparison between the pursuit of an Arche by the pre-socratics and the ideas against contradiction formulated by Aristotle and then developed by the Rationalists. Either way Writing and Difference offers questions that for me question writing over difference; that is the book offers an opportunity an invitation to write about writing. Which Derrida was overtly interested in privileging: the inscription over the act of speaking. The relationship between the younger French master and the older German master is fascinating and a relationship which I will be heavily invested in exploring in the coming years. This relation comes to the foreground when Derrida describes a Violence hidden in the history of Metaphysics. The need to determine one’s being in relation to Being.

Writing then is a very unique thing and deeply mysterious, the power of the pen endures in an age of instability. The power of our writing tools (I am eager to explore the power of the brush) remains because they are essential we need them to cut into reality and engineer new lines and sequences. Before, one finishes this the first brief reading and before this text ends with a commentary on the historical and the economical. One last reference to the great German master Husserl is necessary; Derrida cites some giddy German starting with the word Urtatsache (nonempirical factuality) and then moving onto two of Husserl’s sentences, ‘der intentionale Urgrund für meine Welt’, and ‘die Urtatsache, der ich standhalten muss’. After this, some beautiful reflections of what distinguishes a child or beginner philosophical baby from an authentic lover of wisdom. Derrida writes that the child will when first encountering a ghostly corner with an absence of light haunted by solipsism, relativism, and psychologism be naturally daunted; but we are told that, ‘The true philosopher will prefer, instead of fleeing from these ghosts, to illuminate the dark corner. Derrida, don’t pretend that you weren’t an infantile thinker once upon a Parisian dawn.   

‘This vigilance is a violence chosen as the least violence by a philosophy which takes history, that is, finitude, seriously; a philosophy aware of itself as historical in each of its aspects (in a sense which tolerates neither finite totality, nor positive infinity), and aware of itself, as Levinas says in another sense, as economy. But again, an economy which in being history, can be at home neither in the finite totality which Levinas calls the Same nor in the positive presence of the Infinite.’(D.146)


[There are so many books written by Derrida that are worth reviewing and so I will post a ‘Dubbing with Derrida: Part II’ at some point – Merci pour la lecture, mais j’ai maintenant besoin de revenir à l’étude japonaise]

The best job application letter that didn’t work

Human Pages

James Murray (1837-1915), the Scottish lexicographer and philologist, sent the following letter regarding a job at the British Museum in late 1866. Largely self-taught, he later became the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. Before then, this letter somehow didn’t get him the British Museum gig:

I have to state that Philology, both Comparative and special, has been my favourite pursuit during the whole of my life, and that I possess a general acquaintance with the languages and literature of the Aryan and Syro-Arabic classes — not indeed to say that I am familiar with all or nearly all of these, but that I possess that general lexical & structural knowledge which makes the intimate knowledge only a matter of a little application. With several I have a more intimate acquaintance as with the Romance tongues, Italian, French, Catalan, Spanish, Latin & in a less degree Portuguese, Vaudois, Provencal…

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This post includes a few things I have been reading and translating. I have already posted some of them on Instagram but here I have included a translation of my friend Yutaka’s book, and my teacher Yoko’s buddhist text. I have also included some important practice in Japanese grammar which I really need to commit to memory in a fluent way so I can use them correctly in speech. I also found this amazing website for students of Japanese: it is full of a wide range of literature and I will be using it a couple of times a week.


このポソトは私の読むと翻訳するの物です。インスタグラムで前にアップロードしたにですけど、友達豊君の本も私の先生、陽子さんの仏教テクストの翻訳を有ります。そして、大切な日本語の文法の練習する事も有って、この事が私はとてもペラペラ経由で暗記しなければなりませんから、話すときに使えますね。で、この素敵なサイトを見つけましたので、このサイトは日本語の生徒さんために便利だと思います。 はたくさん文学が持つので毎週二回目使えましょうです。





kanji 005


If we make space for worshipping our nature with sublimation, existence is magnified.

Spring is passing / the birds cry / and the fishes fill with tears on their eyes.


kanji 001

Ah tranquillity! / penetrating the very rock / a Cicada’s voice.



Zen does not shout:

Its will is free

We can swim in the sea of its heart

The place of decision is a turning point in existence

Is the natural profound meaning.





Gradually meet philosophy


What good can I do when angry?


Yutaka Morinaga


Throughout the day there are many problems with being angry, right?

___ Morinaga, This way of resolving was an inconvenient state of affairs.


Morinaga ‘whether one likes it or not, it is a little laughable. A sporadic person, reaching their limit has an angry feeling, and this is an object of torment?’

‘sporadically, ‘yes, this is how it is?’


___what Sporadic people, and Morinaga want to say is failing to come to an end.


Morinaga ‘ sporadic people reaching their limit try and make a sign of the angry episode, this considerable speech is understandable. But, for example, you can’t control the anger, and the anger is unreasonable, oh dear!’


Sporadically, ‘well, yes, you can. Seeing the person who sells, and what person suddenly gets angry like this.


Morinaga ‘ Yes?!’



All Turtles Should be Red:

Watching An Isolated Isolation in Reddo Tātoru: Aru Shima no Monogatari レッドタートル ある島の物語




In 2016 Japanese director/producer Toshio Suzuki and Dutch animator Michaël Dudok de Wit collaborated to produce a jewel of a silent film; the title translates directly into English as Red Turtle: The story of an island. A film that features a narrative of a shipwrecked existence terrorised by a strangely coloured turtle. The Silence of this film lends and supports its Japanese flavour and taste. One loves the way it is animated with such care and compassion for the re-depiction of reality that it presents. Indeed the narrative of isolation that the protagonist suffers is also a potential re-depiction of reality in that although we are strongly grounded in living in communities of infinite variability this might not provide enough data for an individual to understand their own being. Thus after watching this film we could choose to take away from the experience a question: how do we understand ‘isolation’ as it is in the film and in wider contexts of life?

For me the medium of animation is partly isolating and this needs no proving it is self evident that even with contemporary production software that makes use of nodes and modes so as to maximise and streamline the working of animation the process remains time consuming and therein isolating. But animation is like an island a very small patch of land surrounded by a liquid and in this sense it carries a metaphorical energy that reminds of the place of the cell in artificial movement. But, here the cell seems closer to biology and therefore the belief that one might know a given state of the natural world; although is this not contrary to the truth of animation and its relation to that ancient belief; that ancient truth that states everything is subject to a force understood and experienced as change. Along with this, the relation we have had with knowledge is increasingly troubling me: for instance in the perspective ordered by science we use the word ‘isolation’ in tandem with a positive idea that of objective certainty, ‘we need to isolate the cause’, but at the same time thinking about the social use of the word we find a mainly negative usage of isolating.

There are ways in which individualism which is perhaps the term we might use to describe the idea that isolation is a positive. But, isn’t this cultist self so absurdly false and artificial that it deserves to be laughed at and derided because although there are great achievements made by remarkable individuals is it not the case that these are still socially determined and culturally by acts of barbarism? Is it not a point to wrestle with this antagonism between being all alone, and how in society this is often a kind of punishment: a naughty step, a sin bin, and a detention. Today, though we need to encourage retention so in this spirit one wishes to explore the theme of isolation not as a punishment ( we can do this another day) but rather as a part of survival itself. This will be attempted by way of a short exploration of the wider use of shipwrecked individuals and their islands both in art and wider cultural events. But, before we take a leap from the island with the red turtle let us make a brief nap on the island called language. In Japanese the name for island is Shima, the kanji 島 is composed of two parts bird and mountain and so from a Japanese perspective the position from which we are looking at the island and its isolation is one from the fluid movements of the sea.

Not all islands are in possession of mountains but they all possess their own geological culture which is not dependent on humans being marooned on its land. I wonder if this was a concern at any point for artist Charles Avery created a fictional island under the project The Islanders () one reads that our access to this island is mainly by a town brilliantly named Onomatopoeia and in the manner which these inhabitants might like or appreciate I can not help but take the noun of this capital topos and play on the place called island. Island sounds like its meant to be split into ‘is-land’ and I do not know are ‘is-lands’ the smallest land; is there not some land smaller than an ‘is-land’? I think so however I do not know so! Avery’s project is extremely seductive I want to read more about it and look at his dynamic drawings which are our only points of entry to this fiction that serves as a gateway towards greater insight on the determination that comes hand in hand with isolation. Do Avery’s islanders feel isolated and if so do they actually want foreigners visiting?

Japan, we are told by a world history was isolationist certainly not protectionist as it is now. This most Eastern of islands has a history of not only being isolated but of isolated individuals its almost as if the presence of many separated land masses presented an opportunity for the Japanese to exercise their imagination in spectacular ways. Japan has an island exclusively for Cats, and an island unfortunately patriarchal in its spiritual value (the island of Okinoshima excludes woman). A man named Masafumi Nagasaki has lived as a hermit in Japan for so many years and does not seem to have cared about his isolated condition. Next to this is the specifically unique Japanese notion of being a hermit 引き籠もりHikikomori a withdrawn world. Japan is a country comprised of a series of Islands that gracefully slide from the east of the earth. There are so many beautiful places in this country from the outskirts of Hokkaido, Hiroshima, and Okinawa, to Kyoto and the towering Tokyo.

Next to these Japanese is-lands there is a widely read and influential Arabic story about a boy growing up on a desert Island. I was introduced to this story by the princely German Idealist Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling who references it in a text he wrote in praise of Immanuel Kant’s monumental achievement in re-defining the place of the subject in human thinking.[I] Schelling references Philosophus autodidactus in dismissing the causal scepticism of David Hume as Kant so forcefully did. Schelling’s words and sentences liken the causal presupposition the necessity of a portion of our judgements being prior to experience because the experience itself is created by the time and space already present at the moment of judging. This independence of our will is perhaps similar to the universal law of gravity suggests Schelling. So here we have an isolation in philosophy an attempt to give ground to a metaphysics that was then in need of solidifying as an objective science. I wonder if the child on this fictional Arabic island shares traits with the red turtle’s captive?

The child like the man finds a route away from isolation by the application of an innate understanding. We learn that this medieval jewel of philosophical reflection might not have made it through history if its author had not been the protégé of a prince who translated the works of Aristotle into Latin. The most delightful thing about this text and it is a quality shared by the animated film is that although theology is present it is as an undercurrent or something you have to see yourself. Rather then the usual focus on a neoplatonic emanation and a kensosis anchored to the One what you have instead is the number two: two islands, two islanders, two forms. Perhaps there are two ideas that are influential for our viewing of this fantastic film: I was recently watching something that gave me the idea that silence (remembering the animation is silent) is made possible by the failure of language. Next to this is the existence of pure negativity that our positivity has to constantly resist? I often wonder if Japanese notions of nothingness are able to mediate this issue. In our Arabic story of island isolation there are frequent moments where the language plays between this dynamic of universality construed as infinite and the finitude of the individual being.

‘since the notion of imperfection is nothing but a mere Non-existence or what depends upon it? And how can he in anyway partake of Non-existence, who is the Pure Existence, necessarily by his Essence; who gives being to everything that exists, and besides whom their is no existence; but He is the being, He is the perfection, He the plenitude, He the beauty, He the glory, He the power, He the knowledge?


As if you take any Body whatsoever in your hand, and then move your hand, the body will without doubt follow the motion of your hand? With such a motion as shall be posterior to it in Nature, tho’ not in Time, because they both began together. So all this World is caused and created by this agent, out of time, Whose command is, when he would have anything done, Be, and it is.’


–  Ibn Tufayl [II]

To further Tufayl’s contribution to the animated experience let us deal with the ultimate mischief maker called time. The above quote suggests time and space began together and this is indicative of the thoughts of Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason, ‘Time is nothing other than the form of inner sense, i.e., of the intuition of our self and our inner state. For time cannot be a determination of outer appearances; it belongs neither to a shape or a position, etc.’[III] Evil German philosopher Martin Heidegger found Kant’s definition to be inspiring and states so early on in his philosophical masterpiece, ‘…apriori is the interpretation of genuine historical beings. Travelling through time with their own historicity.’ [IV] This motion then is to be considered as nature; time is our natural state. But to resolve these German notions of time let us turn back to the medieval period and to an Asian master, Dogen Zenji who has a distinctly unique concept of time, a ‘Time Being’ or Uji in Japanese. It seems more befitting to both the marooned man attacked by a turtle and other historical individuals such as Nakahama “John” Manjirō who was one of the first Japanese translators to work with the Americans. As a young man Manjirō-san was indeed marooned and shipwrecked on Torishima Island.

In master Dogen’s essay on Time Being, we see how it might be a complete waste of time to initiate a thinking about isolation. Dogen’s words make it appear as if time is a unifying thing only if one has attained the capacity to see the way. Dogen describes a unified and not an isolated time thus, ‘The way the self arrays itself is the form of the entire world. See each thing in this entire world as a moment of time. Things do not hinder one another, just as moments do not hinder one another. The way-seeking mind arises in this moment. A way-seeking moment arises in this mind. It is the same with practice and with attaining the way. Thus the self setting itself out in array sees itself. This is the understanding that the self is time.’[V]This understanding is present and sharply felt if one finds themselves in extreme isolation when one is forced to consider the limits of being: time remains ever present and mischievous. Natural time then is unforgivably uniform and only appears to change; Dogen’s point is that we should learn to partake in this uniformity lest we fall and victimise the self.

In a way the Western perception of isolation dwells in an unhelpful negativity as described in a recent article by researcher Frank Johnson, he says ‘”[R]eality” resides outside the individual. The accepted orientation is to relate to the world in a direct and a discrete way as an external environment. States of cogitation which center on internal phenomena run the risk of being disparaged as irrational and dangerous.’[VI] Here though what is this natural force experienced as the blood red turtle other than a demand to work with this radical evil, this das radikal Böse, or a pure negativity? Freud gives voice to a potential for two methods to unite to solve unwelcome separations and to move towards surviving them; two methods that reside under the names Psychoanalysis and Zen Buddhism may be different but possess the same aim. Writing in ‘Beyond The Pleasure Principle’ Freud diagnoses this devilish red shelled being, ‘errare humanum est perseverare autem diabolicum (to err is human, to persist is of the devil). If this science of the human psyche and the most refined of Asian spiritual practices were to find themselves being brought closer together then we can continue to isolate what makes isolation always potentially part of the silence of animation.

“A state is called the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly lieth it also; and this lie creepeth from its mouth: “I, the state, am the people.”

– Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

Finally these guardian deities of the lonely spirit brought the war.

You are not to blame. I, of course, am not to blame. Everything is the doing of loneliness.


Loneliness made them carry guns, even made them, with the bait of loneliness, shrug off their mothers and wives

and leave toward where the flags flapped.

Trinket makers, cleaners, clerks, students,

all turning into folk shaken with the wind.


Every and each one, no distinction among them. All taught to die was best.

Petty, timid, good-natured people, their thoughts darkened in the name of the Emperor, went off like brats, delighted, hubbubbing.


But on the home front, we’re nervous,

fearful of an arrow with white feathers,

forcing ourselves to push aside skepticism and anxiety,

we try to spend just this one day, we’re all doomed anyway,

drunk on the sake given out.

Egoism, and the shallowness of love.

Bearing it in silence, women wait for rations,

linking themselves like beggars.

People’s expressions growing sadder day by day,

the fate of the folk of an all-out nation,

I had not seen, since my birth, a loneliness so immediate, so profound.

But I no longer care. To me, such loneliness doesn’t mean anything now.


The loneliness that I, I now truly feel lonely about

is that I can’t feel, around me, any desire, not even of a single person,

holding his ground in the opposite direction of this degradation, trying to find the very roots of loneliness as he walks with the world. That’s it. That’s the only thing.


On 5 May 1945, Boys’ Day

– Mitsuharu-Kaneko, The Song of Loneliness



I. Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling. (1994) ‘On the History of Modern Philosophy: Kant, ed. By A. Bowie Cambridge, CUP, 94-106 

II. Ibn Tufayl. (1929), The History of Hayy Ibn Yaqzan (Alive, Son of Awake), Translated from the Arabic by Simon Ockley. Westminster Press, London

III. Immanuel Kant. (1998), Critique of Pure Reason, Cambridge University Press, B 50. 163

IV. Martin Heidegger. (1996), Being & Time, State University of New York Suny Press. 11

V. Zen Master Dogen, Moon in a Dewdrop, trans. Dan Welch and Kazuaki Tanahashi

VI. Frank Johnson. Psychological Alienation: Isolation and Self-ESTRANGEMENT , Psychoanalytic Review (1963), 62:3 (1975:Fall) p.369




2016年で日本人の演出家スズキ・トツオとホランド人のアニメーター、デゥドクデウィット・マィークル静粛な映画を作るのでご協力しました。題名は英語に翻訳して「Red Turtle: The story of an island」です。映画のナラティブは難破の存在が変なカラード亀経由して恐怖しました。映画の静粛な事は日本的な嗜好に支持しました。私は映画のアニメ仕方で実をまた描くのために用心と慈悲がとても大好きです。実際には、主人公が苦しむ孤立の物語はまた、我々は強く無限の変動のコミュニティに住んでいるに基づいているが、それは個人が理解するのに十分なデータを提供していないということで現実の潜在的な再描写である。したがって、この映画を見た後、私たちは、経験からの質問を取ることを選択することができます: どのように我々はそれがフィルムで、生活の広い文脈で「分離」を理解するのですか?





これらの日本の島々の隣には、砂漠の島で育った少年についての広く読まれ影響力のあるアラビア語の物語があります。私はこの物語を、人間の思考における主題の場所を再定義する際のイマヌル・キャントの記念すべき功績を称えて書いたテキストの中でそれを引用している、ドイツの理想主義者フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリングによって紹介されました。[1] シェリングは、カントがデビッド・ヒュームの因果的な懐疑を却下する際にフィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズを参考にしました。 シェリングの言葉や文章は、経験そのものが判断の瞬間にすでに存在している時間と空間によって作られているので、因果関係の前提は経験の前に判断の一部が必要であると考えています。私たちの意志のこの独立性はおそらくシェリングを示唆している普遍的な重力の法則に似ています。 ですから、ここで私たちは哲学を孤立させ、形而上学に根拠を与えようとしました。 この架空のアラビア島に住む子供が、アカガメの捕虜と形質を共有しているのでしょうか。

男のような子供は、先天的理解の適用によって孤立から離れた道を見つけます。 著者がアリストテレスの作品をラテン語に翻訳した王子の原始者でなかったならば、この中世の哲学的反射の宝石は歴史を通してそれを成し遂げなかったかもしれないことを私たちは学びます。このテキストについての最も楽しいこと、そしてそれがアニメ映画によって共有されている品質は、神学が存在しているけれどもそれはあなたが自分自身を見なければならないという何か不足しているということです。 そうではなく、ネオプラトニックな発散と、人に固定された尖塔に焦点を当てることは、2つの島、2つの島人、2つの形式です。この素晴らしい映画を見るためには、おそらく2つのアイデアがあります。私は最近、言葉の失敗によって沈黙(アニメーションは沈黙していること)が可能になるという考えを与えてくれるものを見ていました。 これの隣に私達の積極性が絶えず抵抗しなければならない純粋な否定性の存在がありますか。私は、何もないという日本の概念がこの問題を解決することができるのではないかとしばしば思う。 島の孤立についての私達のアラビア語の物語では、言語が無限として解釈されるこの普遍性の動的と個人の存在の間で演じる場面が頻繁にあります。


「不完全さの概念は単なる非存在に他ならないのか、それともそれに依存するの か? そして彼はどうしてもとにかく彼の本質によって、純粋な存在である存在しな いのに参加することができます。誰が存在するすべてのものに存在を与えるのか、 それ以外には存在しないのか。 しかし、彼は存在であり、彼は完全さであり、彼は 寛容さであり、彼は美しさであり、彼は栄光であり、彼は力であり、彼は知識であ るか。

あなたがどんな体をあなたの手の中に持っていってそしてあなたの手を動かしたか のように、体は間違いなくあなたの手の動きに従うでしょうか? それらが共に始ま ったので、時間内ではなくて、自然の中でそれの後にあるような動きで。ですか ら、この世界はすべて、このエージェントによって引き起こされ、創造されたので す。」

イブン・タフェール [2]

アニメーション体験へのタフェールの貢献をさらに深めるために、私たちは時間と呼ばれる究極のいたずらメーカーに対処しましょう。上記の引用は時間と空間が一緒に始まったことを示唆しています、そしてこれは彼の純粋な理由の批評におけるカントの考えを示しています、「時間は内なる感覚の形式、すなわち私たちの自己と内なる状態の直感の形に他ならない。しばらくの間、外観の決定はできません。 形や位置などに属さない。ドイツの邪悪な哲学者マーティン・ハイデガーは[III]、カントの定義が感動的であると述べ、彼の哲学的傑作の早い段階で述べています。自分自身の歴史を持って時を経て旅をする[IV]。時間は私たちの自然な状態です。しかし、これらのドイツの時間的概念を解決するために、私たちは中世の時代と、明確にユニークな時間の概念、日本語での「時の存在」またはUji(有時)を持っているアジアのマスター、道元禅師に話を戻しましょう。他の歴史的な人、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんと難破の男性にもっと相応をみたいですので、マンジロウ・”ジョン”ナカハマさんは日本人の翻訳者がまずアメリカ人と働きました。若い人でナカハマさんは鳥島に難破しました。

道元禅師氏のTime Being(有時)に関するエッセイでは、孤立について考えることを開始することがいかに完全な時間の浪費になるかを見ています。 道元の言葉は、時間が道を見る能力を達成した場合にのみ、時間は統一的なものであるかのように見えるようにします。道元は統一された、孤立した時間ではない、と説明しています。この全世界のそれぞれのものを時の瞬間として見てください。瞬間がお互いを妨げないように、物事はお互いを妨げません。道を探す心がこの瞬間に生まれます。この心の中に、道を探す瞬間が生まれます。それは練習でもやり方でも同じです。このように、配列の中に出ている自己はそれ自身を見ます。これは自己が時間であるという理解です。[V] この理解は存在し、存在の限界を考慮せざるをえないときに極端に孤立していると感じると鋭く感じられます。自然な時間はそれから容認できないほど一様で、変化するように思われるだけです。 道元のポイントは、私たちが転倒して自己を犠牲にしないように、この統一性に参加することを学ぶべきだということです。

ある意味では、研究者フランク・ジョンソンによる最近の記事で説明されているように、孤立に対する西洋の認識は有益でない否定性を示しています。「現実は個人の外にあります。 受け入れられている方向づけは、外部環境として直接的かつ個別の方法で世界に関係することです。 内部現象を中心とした共引用の状態は、非合理的で危険だと惑わされる危険があります」。[VI] ここで、この急進的な悪、このdas radikalBöse、または純粋な否定的なものと共に働くという要求以外に、この自然の力はどうしているのですか。フロイトは、歓迎されない分離を解決し、それらを生き残るために動くための2つの方法の可能性を表明します。疎遠’精神分析とZen Buddhism禅という名前の下にある2つの方法は異なるかもしれませんが、同じ目的を持っています。「喜びの原則を超えて」と書くと、フロイトはこの悪魔のような赤い殻を診断します(誤った人間は人間であり、持続するのは悪魔です)。 この人間の精神の科学と最も洗練されたアジアの精神的慣行が互いに近づくことを発見することであるならば、孤立を常に潜在的にアニメーションの沈黙の一部にするものを孤立させ続けることができます。


寂しさの歌   四










1.フリードリック・ウィルヘルム・ジョーゼフ・スケリング(1994年). ‘近代的な歴史: カント’. エッドはボウイ・ア、ケーンブリッジのプレス

2.イブン・タフェール(1928年). ‘ حي بن يقظان’, ‘フィローソーフィカズ・オートディダクタズ’アラビア語から翻訳者はサイモン・オックレ、ウエストミンスタープレス、ロンドン

3.イマヌル・キャント(1998年).’純粋理性批判’ ケーンブリッジ大学のプレス


5.道元禅師(ドウゲン・ゼンジ)(1996年)’露滴の月’ 翻訳者はダン・ウエッチと棚橋・カズアキ




Mad Speculations of Becoming — synthetic zerø

The question remains one of how exactly the hallucinatory activity of cognition relates to the black chaotic assemblages of elementary particles… Excerpts from Ben Woodard’s “Mad Speculation and Absolute Inhumanism: Lovecraft, Ligotti, and the Weirding of Philosophy” (2011): In rejecting the Kantian apparatus we are left with two entities – an unsure relation of thought to […]

via Mad Speculations of Becoming — synthetic zerø

Inorganic Animations

Inorganic Animations:

A Review of Spyros Papapetros’ ‘On the Animation of the Inorganic: Art, Architecture, and the Extension of Life’(University of Chicago Press: Chicago & London, 2012).




Paul Harrison (2019).


To what extent do humans have agency in the worlds they inhabit? What can we consider as animation? How far does life extend? These three questions are but an initial triangle shaped sample of the many questions nestled within the pages of Papapetros’ book. A book that encompasses a vast range of important aesthetic and historical interventions and explorations. Drawing on the work of some influential European art historians such as Aby Warburg, Wilhelm Worringer, Otto lehman, and Ernst Haeckel this book is one of a handful of critical studies of the fluid movements that have been considered as possible explanations for the movement that resides in matter we long considered to be dead. Such is that ingrained assumption inherited from ancient cultures that things that are visibly in motion are alive and that which is opposite isn’t. How then does this text undermine and usurp this assumption?

By taking these mostly conservative German sources and drawing a line from Warburg’s dissertation ‘Sandro Botticellis “Geburt der Venus” und ‘Frühling,’(1893) with its aims of exploring the animated status of the fabrics and clothing decorating the bodies of art on to Worringer’s Abstraction and Empathy (1919) putting forth how this historian saw an inorganic framework of the swirling motifs of the animal ornamentation of the Nordic and Celtic forms. Lehman, who was a crystallographer, coined the term ‘flüssige or fliessende Kristalle’ (liquid or flowing crystals) measuring the changes in expansion under heat and cold temperature. Finally, Haeckel also adds to this liquid crystalline section of the book, but he demands we consider the homophagy involved in the creation and merging of crystals: clearly pointing to, ‘how immobility can become pregnant with a new form of life’. This nod to cannibalism makes me think of how languages swallow other languages; and how some languages manage to resist such a process. German is encountered on every other page of the book because of its unique place in aesthetic thinking.

It is certainly true that next to this gratitude we should have for the book’s capacity to teach and remind the reader of the beauty of the German language; there is another unarguably special quality this book contains. Everyone understands that books are better when they have pictures in them and in this case you shall not be left disappointed. One example of such a visual delight comes from a cartoon in a political magazine called Simplicissimus (1919) the image is of an aggressive German expression of cubes attacking man; the German reads, ‘Die Kurve, die Grundform des Kapitalismus, ist überwunden. Die neue Beist bricht an. Dröhnend marschiert der kubus durch das Universum’ (“The curve, the primary form of capitalism, is overcome. The new day dawns. Threateningly, the cubes march through the universe.”). Other examples of visual events that are striking include a slide of a book, James Furgusson’s Tree and Serpent Worship (1868); on Asian culture and belief that supports a reverence for snakes and their mechanical cold blooded motion.


Next to this Ouroboros reminder we find a delightful reference to a French love of liquor found in the very first advertisements for the tire manufacture Michelin. One poster is titled with the Latin Nunc est Bibendum (“Now let us drink!”) we learn these posters carry a force from the painter Fernand Léger that moved from the ancient pneuma (soul/spirit) and towards a French pneumatique invested in the production of rubber tires; objects that remain just like the beings who invented them something capable of inhaling and exhaling air. Prior to this automotive turn there is the matter of how artists and philosophers such as Picasso and Emile Durkheim wrestled with that powerful form of nature the forest. But, as we soon find out this place of wonder is also a place of horror and so reflects the book’s line of inquiry as it shivers down its spine. Penultimately culminating in perhaps the most iconic transformation or animation in the history of Western art; the flight of Daphne from Apollo. The psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan thought of Daphne as an example of an architectural limit, a plane of identification that is beyond our reach, and so completes this texts invitation to reflect on the inorganic and its maddeningly marvellous movements.    

Such illustrations allow a route into the aim of this book. By highlighting the human’s struggle against reality Papapetros also simultaneously highlights how the struggle itself lends form to an inhuman energy: an animation. One that is in need of special attention and although this book is nearly eight years old it has lost non of its power to enrich the minds of its readers.




Paul Harrison is a graduate of Sheffield Hallam University and KU Lueven University studying Art and Philosophy respectively. His work has always centred around understanding animation but is increasingly becoming interested in language. In the future there are plans to combine these things.


Avataṃsaka – sūtra.

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Seeking of the Path


Once there was a boy named Sudhana who also wished for Englightenment and earnestly sought the way. From a fisherman he learned the lore of the sea. From a doctor he learned compassion toward sick people in their suffering. From a wealthy man he learned that saving pennies was the secret of his fortune and thought how necessary it was to converse every trifling gained on the path to Enlightenment.

From a meditating monk he learned that the pure and peaceful mind had a miraculous power to purify and tranquillize other minds. Once he met a women of exceptional personality and was impressed by her benevolent spirit, and from her he learned a lesson that charity was the fruit of wisdom. Once he met an aged wanderer who told him that to reach a certain place he had to scale a mountain of swords and pass through a valley of fire. Thus Sudhana learned from his experiences that there was true teaching to be gained from everything he saw or heard.


He learned patience from a poor, crippled woman; he learned a lesson of simple happiness from watching children playing in the street; and from some gentle and humble people, who never thought of wanting anything that anybody else wanted, he learned the secret of living at peace with all the world.


He learned a lesson of harmony from watching the blending of the elements of incense, and a lesson of thanksgiving from the arrangement of flowers. One day, passing through a forest, he took a rest under a noble tree and noticed a tiny seedling growing nearby out of a fallen and decaying tree and it taught him a lesson of the uncertainty of life.


Sunlight by day and the twinkling stars by night constantly refreshed his spirit. Thus Sudhana profited by the experiences of his long journey.

Indeed, those who seek for Enlightenment must think of their minds as castles and decorate them. They must open wide the gates of their minds for Buddha, and respectfully and humbly invite Him to enter the in-most chamber, there to offer Him the fragrant incense of faith and the flowers of gratitude and gladness.


Avataṃsaka – sūtra.

I’ve Always Seen Myself as a Bridge, Connecting People, Knowledge, and Ideas — Discover

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar of Ideas Beyond Borders on making more resources available in Arabic: “I had this belief about the importance of removing barriers. . . . The motto of our translation project is ‘making the inaccessible accessible.’”

via I’ve Always Seen Myself as a Bridge, Connecting People, Knowledge, and Ideas — Discover


I am sorry blog, I have been away for too long, but here is a post about some translations from Japanese into English. I am sharing it for other Japanese learners and for anyone with an interest in Buddhism and Kanji.

First up we have some letters I am sending to old students who I miss a great deal. I hope to see them all soon they where such nice people and I was lucky, I will always be lucky to have met them. The above Japanese translates as,’ Maki, Please give this to everyone. On the other side of this letter there is interesting English poetry. I am looking forward to the next time I am in Japan. Let us stay in touch. Paul’


The second is a map that my friend Yutaka wrote me… it describes a place of nature, a place near Tokyo which has a lot tress; a kind of forest. Yutaka is a fellow philosopher and I want to talk about co-authoring some texts with him in the future.

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Thirdly, there is this bookmark, I took it from a flyer for an exhibition on Ink Painting and I love Sumie and Ukiyoe (Ink painting and Wood Block painting) I could spend all day every day looking at these Japanese art forms. 水墨の風, このブークマークは東京駅近くに出光美術館で展覧会からですね。

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I saved the best to last, this year I will sit my first JLPT exam and then each year after I will sit another. My enthusiasm for this Asian language comes from a teacher I had a Yoko amongst other Yokos. Yoko is a translator of Taiwanese Buddhist texts for one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the world. This translation below is from a recently published book Learning the Spirit/Mind of Zen. Like all authentic Buddhist literature its beauty, power, and truth are constants.

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The Translation into English Reads:

“Mutually helping each other.

A place where this happens becomes heaven.

Respecting the neighborhood together.

A place where this happens becomes a pure land.

Heaven is ones home.

The Pure Land is ones spirit”

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Remove the weeds of the mind. And allow the seeds of merit to grow.


Thank you for reading.  I will post a much larger and more extensive Japanese translation soon.