February 2010

You’re free to enjoy yourself. right now.  Probably best to lose the self.

Which body is sick in infection? Somatic illness has a collective side.  Mental illness has a somatic side.  Nothing new here, folks.  Move along now.

The camera, and to a greater extent, the moving camera, have truly messed with our notions of experience and objectivity.  The movie editing techniques that have proliferated do not respect the view from one point of view.  In that, they insist upon a third person view of the world.  Weird. Wherewith with that?

In experience, there is no division between subject and object.  That I have long seen.  However, that is to make the usual passive mistake of assuming that humans are observers: passive perceivers.  That is the error that leads to the simple cartoon bubble of the Umwelt: the underlying insight being that the world appears from a point of view.  Subject and Object are also, of course, syntactic categories.  However there are the semantic categories, or case roles, of actor and patient.  These are closely related.  Thinking of the simple view of the Umwelt, the actor and the acted-upon are just what are missing, and what von Uexküll called the Wirkwelt, as opposed the the Merkwelt of signs. Just as the unification of Subject and Object in experience prevents the syntactic categories of language from ever describing the Merkwelt, so too the unification of Actor and Patient prevents language from ever speaking of the Wirkwelt directly.  A rather oxymoronic observation, I see.  Good.