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FleshFactor: #1 re Weiser; #2 re Churchland

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"


I like mark weiser's post about skin and boundaries.

One of the things that has to be taken into account when dealing with the
period that creates descartes is that there is a whole body of events, a
whole birth of awareness in the culture regarding the idea of movement at
this time:  there is movement in the sky, in the universe, (the
astronomers) there is movement within the body (discovery of blood
circulation for example).  Everywhere, at this moment in western
civilization there is movement, and everywhere there are inventions
created to detect and measure movement.  Movement is everything-it is at
this moment that western europe bounces from the static world of the
greeks and the medievals into the movement that we were all born into and
experience now as frantic, or even as the kind of frozen paralyzed
annihilation (again virilio) that dante found at the center of the
inferno, that happens is it in parkinson's (?) where the rigidity is
actually the result of a multiplicity of tremors... 

in that moving, bouncing world, which is the world that we inherited,
the skin serves only as the sign of a boundary between the bouncing that
occurs within the body and that which occurs outside of the body.  It is a
sign, a poem, if you will, dividing the inside from the outside.  Just as
the earth moves differently than the moon and the sun, so do our inner
seas move differently from those outside of us.  Skin just tells us which
one we are looking at. 


I am extremely reticent to disagree with dr. churchill's comments about
simulation on account of I know of grad students who are rearranging their
whole lives to go to san diego and study philosophy there. 

nonetheless I must respectfully say to dr. churchill that suggesting the
great lakes and the bumblebees as being simulations of things, it is a
kind of misreading of the whole idea of simulation that seems sort of
hyperlogical and grandly medieval, if you don't mind me using that word. 

If we make reality through our perceptions, and if our perceptions are
conditioned by what we are taught to see and more importantly not see and
how we are wired and not wired, and if our organization of reality is
limited by what we can, and more importantly, cannot process on account of
the grounds of approval by which our forebears selected one another then I
think we are able to say that a given view of something can be called a
simulation because it is created by a set of factors that exist primarily
as concepts which have been constructed by building language and image
symbols for the perceptions that we think we have, by agreements. 

There is I think a difference between a flower as an event
and a flower as an idea. 

The simulation I refer to is in the idea, not the event (although it could
be argued I think that we are trying our damnedest to modify the event of
the flower to conform more conveniently to the idea we have about what the
flower ought to be). 

When baudrillard talks about simulation, it seems to me that he's talking
about something that's happening on an aesthetic plane which happens to
dovetail right into our culture, because our culture is sort of
head-heavy, but without the authority that aquinas could invoke, for
example, which was the idea of an abstract powerful presence of the divine
which could not be represented, or represented imperfectly, like the space
between the two cherubs on the ark of the covenant where God said he
lived.  Though now we invoke chemistry as received knowledge even as we
once invoked the divine, chemistry seems to have a less mysterious aura &
appears to carry less weight with the symbol makers. 

I submit this disagreement most respectfully.


in earthspace

Carmen Hermosillo

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