Aphorisms XIII

Though it’s had a rough start, I think that social media will end up making us more dialogic, willing to consider other points and views. It might already have begun. The same patchy start was true of the printing press, of books and pamphlets, right? It will take hundreds of years having all the impact it will have, and may never finish impacting us. Has the printer finished with us yet? Probably not.


I can’t stop thinking, can’t stop until I’ve said something, laid my stone in the path. Made my mark on the surface of the world’s water. It’s a problem.


The coronavirus and infection might come to mark a generation as a new original sin, asking for constant washing beyond the possible. Insofar as the concept goes beyond what is pragmatic or useful on an individual level. Given that this is something that necessarily goes beyond the individual level if treated seriously.


The phenomenology of the other, when performed and explicated by a singular author, will reproduce on a theoretical level the way that person experiences the other in their life. As terrible, as luminous, as happy and interesting. For me, terrifying and confusing, but run through with love. Like a kind of testamental god.


Authoritarian politics, beside the form driven mostly by pigheadedness, also appears in a form which reproduces an inner insecurity as an outer obsession with security or action. Amongst many other forms.


An origin is always a concealing, or a force expressing itself over history like a cut and then a kind of dirty weld.


There should be a word for a phobia of old films of places you know. Nostalgiavideophobia. Sublime, other, haunted. And people younger than you ever knew them in life. It’s horribly close and so far. And it shows us how rooted everything is in difference and history.


Cheerleaders like their team, but don’t and probably shouldn’t have special influence over its game strategy solely due to that fact. The same goes for patriots and the planning of their country’s state.


Dictionaries, as is well documented, only tell us so much about how we use language. Language itself tells us more.


To be provocative: What does grammar have to do with pronouns? Given that grammar, in one sense, has nothing to do with meaning except tangentially – being the set of forms that are endorsed by linguistic authorities as being proppah, as spellings are. We use pronouns that feel right, that function for us, but that’s not necessarily a sign of their ‘grammaticality’ or not.

‘They’ll arrive soon’ sounds fine to me. Never questioned it. But some people I knew would think – ‘But you said one person?’ And I would say, ‘yes? She’ll be here soon.’ But I used they rather than she because she wasn’t known to those I was talking to. I brought a friend along and they (my family) didn’t know them (my friend).

Another example : ‘My friend’s late!’ then, ‘They’re taking their sweet time!’ then, ‘but it’s a he.’ And then finally: ‘He’s taking his time, then.’

Here, in this archaic form, they is a placeholder used before you know which to use. There is no particularly grammatical problem with it having been extended to be an indefinite form as a positive pronoun, a genderless pronoun, beyond a placeholder.

‘They’ doesn’t have a plurality in cases like the above, it has an uncertainty. And that’s possibly what gave it the function of a genderless pronoun. The undetermined gender being not the others, but not certainly expressed by any one characteristic. After all, it’s never been the case that all the meanings of a word must apply at once.

Think: what would happen before a dictionary or grammar existed, in this case? You’d probably talk it out with your linguistic community until you agreed along main points (bit optimistic…). And that’s still what happens for the most part. The dictionaries take part in it or have to catch up after it’s done. Nothing can stop it.


The aesthetic of light can be an aesthetic of the good future. I now feel like I’m in that future simply because I have a fair few lights in my room. And music playing from this device in my hands.

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