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Stuggle can even change primmos (apparently)

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nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 03:54
Arbeiten wrote:
If it is all 'only narrative' what is the point in changing the 'narrative' in the first place'.

I'm not saying "change the narrative". I'm saying that narratives are culture specific; I'm saying that narratives are only "facts" within the context of the particular culture that they are told. If we abandon this one industrial culture in favour of multiple primitivist cultures (which I AM saying), then the narratives of Science will not necessarily be considered as "facts" in those cultures anymore, but instead seen as "myths". This is because narratives about the world don't create the culture, the culture creates the narratives. And that is why I said in my previous posts that Scientific narratives (knowledge about genes etc.) would have no affect on whether or not a primitivist future was possible.

How this undermines my whole project, I don't understand.

nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 04:34
Jordan wrote:
Can you address my more serious points, rather than getting distracted by minor, pretty pointless points?

Like what?

Jordan wrote:
Different irrigation techniques can get around a lot of the problems you're talking about - such as those employed in Yeomans type designs, where areas are flooded using rain water collected in ponds for a period and then not done again for a period of time, rather than small amounts of water being moved into fields lots of times during the season.

Sure, the Yeomans ploughing technique is one irrigation method practiced by permaculturists, but I don't necessarily condone it. Does it use industrial technology? Yes. Can the Yeomans technique be done without industrial technology? Not that I know of. But does that mean it can't? Not necessarily. Does every technique utilised by Permies necessitate industrial technology? No.

So strategies within permaculture that rely on industrial technology can be sifted out or abandoned. Yeomans, I would suggest, would be on that list.

Jordan wrote:
How do you intend to do anything Permaculture-wise without industrial goods? You couldn't even keep livestock in without netting or some sort of fencing.

You are assuming that "keeping" livestock would necessitate enclosures. Why? Did nomadic pastoralists need fences? You are also assuming that livestock would even need to be "kept". Domestic chooks that have been rewilded in a food forest, for example, look after themselves. Where's the upkeep? Where's the netting and fences here?

Jason Cortez
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Jan 12 2012 09:21
nathorange wrote:
Arbeiten wrote:
If it is all 'only narrative' what is the point in changing the 'narrative' in the first place'.

I'm not saying "change the narrative". I'm saying that narratives are culture specific; I'm saying that narratives are only "facts" within the context of the particular culture that they are told. If we abandon this one industrial culture in favour of multiple primitivist cultures (which I AM saying), then the narratives of Science will not necessarily be considered as "facts" in those cultures anymore, but instead seen as "myths". This is because narratives about the world don't create the culture, the culture creates the narratives. And that is why I said in my previous posts that Scientific narratives (knowledge about genes etc.) would have no affect on whether or not a primitivist future was possible.

How this undermines my whole project, I don't understand.

permaculture is based on guess what?....... science. Whilst 'knowledge' is embedded in culture and that shapes what can be said and how it can be said. There are difinitely advantages in transferring knowledge in particular ways. So not all ways of transferring and understanding 'knowledge are equally useful."And that is why I said in my previous posts that Scientific narratives (knowledge about genes etc.) would have no affect on whether or not a primitivist future was possible." No but it would have an effect on what was possible in such a future. And we know that for a primitivist future to exist it would involve a massive reduction in population from seven billion to a few millions and since we are apparently losing the knowledge of science oh sorry narrative, I can only imagine you expect this to happen in a collapse of biblical proportions. "This is because narratives about the world don't create the culture, the culture creates the narratives." ermm in what way are the narratives not culture?

nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 11:56
Jason Cortez wrote:
permaculture is based on guess what?....... science.

You might interpret it that way, but I (and other permaculturists I know) certainly do not.

Science is a particular way of interpreting and explaining our observations about the world. Permaculture is, like science, a way of interpreting observations about the world. But the two are based on vastly different value systems: Permaculture stems from intimate reciprocal social relations between the World and the human individual/community; Science stems from linear detached reason. Science and Permaculture may appear to draw similar conclusions about what is observed in the world, but that's not always the case! (I'm thinking here of companion planting, flow forms, biodynamics etc). Permaculture takes its cues from Nature and adopts methods and techniques that work in tandem with Her; it has an ethical framework based on relationships of care. Science does not. On what do you base your assertion that Permaculture is based on Science? I'm curious.

Jason Cortez wrote:
And we know that for a primitivist future to exist it would involve a massive reduction in population from seven billion to a few millions and since we are apparently losing the knowledge of science oh sorry narrative, I can only imagine you expect this to happen in a collapse of biblical proportions.

Boy oh boy, so many assumptions! You forgot to realise that time is a factor. Yes, human population sizes and densities will have to decrease in the long run (but, if we want a habitable world, population will have to decrease in ANY future scenario, primitivist or otherwise). I think it is a mistake to assume that a transition period is impossible. And why does "population decrease" automatically mean "trillions of people are going to die"? Why can't it mean "trillions of new people are not going to be born"?

Jason Cortez wrote:
"This is because narratives about the world don't create the culture, the culture creates the narratives." ermm in what way are the narratives not culture?

My point was etiological, a matter of what comes first. I wasn't saying "narratives are not culture". I was saying that culture creates narratives about the world, not vice versa.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 12 2012 12:14
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Her

Says all you need to know really. Will people please stop feeding the numpty? I'm all for inclusivity but this kind of shit makes me nostalgic for Wayne.

Jason Cortez
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Jan 12 2012 13:18

Permaculture draws on the practical application of ecological theory to analyze the characteristics of a farm, garden or home site. Whilst the ethics and princples of Permaculture are clearly not scienitific, the knowlegde base quite clearly are, to a substantial extent.. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren's Permaculture One drew heavily on scientific knowledge. Of course there are elements that do not.

Interesting debate about Permaculture HERE Including whether there is enough scientifically tested data to validate many of the claims promoted by permaculture advocates. Reply is actually here

BTW my ex-partner was a Permaculture designer and i was a member of the South East London Permaculture group.

nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 13:24
Rob Ray wrote:
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Her

Says all you need to know really. Will people please stop feeding the numpty? I'm all for inclusivity but this kind of shit makes me nostalgic for Wayne.

What kind of "shit" do you mean, Rob? Let's be specific.

Jason Cortez
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Jan 12 2012 13:30

"My point was etiological, a matter of what comes first. I wasn't saying "narratives are not culture". I was saying that culture creates narratives about the world, not vice versa." But in what meaningful way do you ascertain which fragment of culture comes first? Culture is both form and content. Your cultrual narratives tell what is, what can be said and in what way.

nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 14:38
Jason Cortez wrote:
Permaculture draws on the practical application of ecological theory to analyze the characteristics of a farm, garden or home site. Whilst the ethics and princples of Permaculture are clearly not scienitific, the knowlegde base quite clearly are, to a substantial extent.. Bill Mollison and David Holmgren's Permaculture One drew heavily on scientific knowledge. Of course there are elements that do not.

I agree with you, more or less. But I would argue that the "scientific" aspects of permaculture (especially in Mollisons' and Holmgrens' texts) are not really foundations - they are more products of appeasement than anything else; a means to give more "weight" to the philosophy. Permaculture is in essence a philosophy, a practical philosophy. An ecocentric philosophy. If it contains aspects of the Scientific, it's wholly incidental.

Jason Cortez wrote:
Interesting debate about Permaculture HERE Including whether there is enough scientifically tested data to validate many of the claims promoted by permaculture advocates. Reply is actually here

Interesting debate! The fact that someone is crying foul about a lack of scientific data sort of proves my point that Permaculture is only incidently concerned with the rigors of Science. It is a practical philosophy first and foremost.

Jason Cortez wrote:
my ex-partner was a Permaculture designer

So am I! smile

nathorange
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Jan 12 2012 16:04
Jason Cortez wrote:
But in what meaningful way do you ascertain which fragment of culture comes first? Culture is both form and content. Your cultrual narratives tell what is, what can be said and in what way.

What I mean is culture as a sort of 'Heritable Mind' (for want of a better term) that weaves and shapes the physical manifestations of what we call 'culture',...I guess it's sort of like an unconscious collective value system that underpins the culture itself and that is shaped by the World from which it springs: Culture as "pre-form", if you will. The contents of a culture, then, including its narratives, are determined by that 'Heritable Mind', that 'value system': they belong to it. In otherwords, the narratives only have meaning in their cultural context. If that 'Heritable Mind' is ruptured or superseded (either deliberately or otherwise), the narratives inevitably change (or disappear) accordingly.

This is important, I think, in understanding how Western Civilisation can be overcome (abandoned) and why Primitivists do not envision Science or Technology as even possibly being part of a future in which the 'Heritable Mind' of this Industrial Culture is ruptured or annihilated.

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Arbeiten
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Jan 12 2012 16:17
nathorange wrote:
Arbeiten wrote:
If it is all 'only narrative' what is the point in changing the 'narrative' in the first place'.

I'm not saying "change the narrative". I'm saying that narratives are culture specific; I'm saying that narratives are only "facts" within the context of the particular culture that they are told. If we abandon this one industrial culture in favour of multiple primitivist cultures (which I AM saying), then the narratives of Science will not necessarily be considered as "facts" in those cultures anymore, but instead seen as "myths". This is because narratives about the world don't create the culture, the culture creates the narratives. And that is why I said in my previous posts that Scientific narratives (knowledge about genes etc.) would have no affect on whether or not a primitivist future was possible.

How this undermines my whole project, I don't understand.

Because, it seems to me, if your key epistemological premise is that everything (including science) is a narrative, you can't intervene in any concrete way. Firstly, without science there is no proof we are destroying the earth. Secondly, what you are saying 'if we abandon this one' looks to me more like a narrative preference rather than a concern for the earth and its relation to humanity.

The problem with this sort of, what should we call it, 'extreme' social constructionist epistemology is that it is paradoxical. When argued like this it gets right up my nose because i think social constructionism can teach us some valuable lessons. When argued like you have done it here, it is easy to refute and shrug off.

bzfgt
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Jan 12 2012 18:47
Rob Ray wrote:
Quote:
Her

Says all you need to know really. Will people please stop feeding the numpty? I'm all for inclusivity but this kind of shit makes me nostalgic for Wayne.

Actually I think this is an interesting conversation. It's sad that someone or other on Libcom always tries to circle the wagons around some normative idea of sanity or common sense whenever something gets too far 'outside'; in such a way, a lot of good opportunities for discussion are smothered in the cradle.

I wouldn't think science is a "narrative," but more like a set of methodological assumptions loosely termed a "method." The method itself is justified by a narrative that is not itself strictly scientific, and in its most dogmatic manifestations is called 'scientism.'

It's just as ridiculous, if not more so, to be dogmatic about something called "Heritable Mind" as the source of narratives when it is itself, of course, a narrative. The difference between HM and scientific explanations is that the former cannot be tested. Testing at least establishes efficacy, if not absolute truth. Efficacy is itself justified on the basis of narratives.

Therefore science exists in an uneasy but inextricable relation with myth. Instead of rejecting science as a bad myth, it may be better to disambiguate science from myth to the greatest extent possible and see where that gets us. Of course put this way the problem remains on entirely "idealist" (in the Marxist insult sense) terrain.

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888
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Jan 12 2012 20:20
nathorange wrote:
888 wrote:
The difference is that genes actually do physically exist and knowing about them has an impact on what people can do.

Sure. Any story about how the world is put together can influence what people can and can't do within their particular cultural milieu. There's nothing unique about genes there! If I am an Australian Aborigine and my culture tells me that Wallaroos are my totem - my spiritual ancestors - I'm not going to hunt them; I am going to honour them. Knowing this story shapes what I can and can't do. How is the story of genes any different?

With respect to your statement that "genes actually do physically exist", have you actually physically seen them with your own eyes? If not, how do you know they exist? Science tells us, right? Science is our culture's narrative-weaving machine that creates stories about the world (we like to call these stories "facts"; whether or not they are facts is beside the point). Other cultures have narrative-weaving machines too. If the culture is indigenous, we call their narratives "myths"; (whether or not they are myths is also beside the point; to the indigenous person, their "myths" are as much "fact" as Science is "fact" to us).

The stories that any narrative-weaving machine produces only make sense within their cultural context. So, in a primitivist future (a "post-civilised", "post-scientific" future), tell me, why will genes even be in my cultural lexicon when Science is no longer my narrative-weaving machine?

Genes aren't a story, they physically exist as molecules, unlike the spirits of your ancestors, which only exist in your imagination. It's not just a story you, it's not all equivalent. Your relativist bullshit is just plain wrong, get a grip and try to face reality. There are millions of ways to prove this, for you, I suggest eating uranium.

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Rob Ray
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Jan 12 2012 21:07
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It's sad that someone or other on Libcom always tries to circle the wagons

Sorry, but when it gets to the point that "it's just a story" is used as an excuse to shrug off modern society in favour of another story with even less to recommend it I lose my patience. Generally (and feel free to go back through my posting history about this) I'm on the side of allowing debate, but pointless grandstanding about the superiority of primitivism as though it's ever going to reach any kind of audience when its main premise is "you shouldn't be alive" is my limit.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 02:55
bzfgt wrote:
Actually I think this is an interesting conversation. It's sad that someone or other on Libcom always tries to circle the wagons around some normative idea of sanity or common sense whenever something gets too far 'outside'; in such a way, a lot of good opportunities for discussion are smothered in the cradle.

Thanks for your positive engagement, for showing an authentic interest in debating ideas. As you have already noted, it's a rare trait in these parts!

bzfgt wrote:
I wouldn't think science is a "narrative," but more like a set of methodological assumptions loosely termed a "method." The method itself is justified by a narrative that is not itself strictly scientific, and in its most dogmatic manifestations is called 'scientism.'

This is an interesting explanation. But wouldn't you say that a set of methodological assumptions is itself a narrative? There are other "methods", apart from Science, that have this same methodological quality: Rituals are a great example. Religious or tribal rituals are "methods" for the particular culture to which they belong in the same way that Science is a "method" for Western Culture. But if the "Scientific Method" is not a cultural narrative, as you suggest, then does it hold that Rituals are not either? In this universalised sense, I'm not sure how well your thought hangs together.

I guess what I am trying to do here is to investigate whether all human cultures - "Civilised" and "Uncivilised" alike - follow a sort of universal, primordial, blueprint. It seems to me that they do. And I think it's important to understand how this "blueprint" (if it exists) is composed - how particular cultures are formed from it, how the pieces fit together. Such an investigation is particularly important, I think, for Primitivists (and others) who want to create a totally new culture.

bzfgt wrote:
Instead of rejecting science as a bad myth, it may be better to disambiguate science from myth to the greatest extent possible and see where that gets us.

As I mentioned, i'm not sure how a broad universal perspective on cultural phenomena can conclude that Science is anything other than a myth (I prefer the word narrative, but I take them as meaning the same thing here). How these narratives are viewed (i.e. as "good" or "bad") is determined by the scale of the viewer's cultural immersion. So scientists (and techie Westerners) don't consider Science to be "bad", just as tribal cannibals don't consider eating people to be "bad", because they are each completely immersed in their particular narratives. Cultural narratives are only really questioned and criticised, I would suggest, to the extent that the person making the assessment is removed, detached or separated (either physically or mentally) from the culture or "collective value system" that created the narrative. Btw, the fact that more and more people within our own culture are criticising and even condemning their cultural narratives - Economics (not just Capitalism!), science, Western politics, Western Religion - is evidence of this kind of alienation, which is promising! I guess the core of my critique is: What should a primitivist approach be? Do we change the collective value system in order to change the narratives? Or do we change the narratives in order to change the collective value system? I think the first one is right, but it looks to me like the majority of Primitivists go for the second.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 03:04
Rob Ray wrote:
Sorry, but when it gets to the point that "it's just a story" is used as an excuse to shrug off modern society in favour of another story with even less to recommend it I lose my patience. Generally (and feel free to go back through my posting history about this) I'm on the side of allowing debate, but pointless grandstanding about the superiority of primitivism as though it's ever going to reach any kind of audience when its main premise is "you shouldn't be alive" is my limit.

If you're at your limit, why do you keep interjecting into the debate?

And who here is saying that the main premise of primitivism is "you shouldn't be alive"? Where on earth did you get that from? If you actually look at what I am writing you'll see that I am as much critiquing Primitivism as I am endorsing it. I just don't tend to use your kind of colourful hyperbolic language.

bzfgt
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Jan 13 2012 05:06
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I guess what I am trying to do here is to investigate whether all human cultures - "Civilised" and "Uncivilised" alike - follow a sort of universal, primordial, blueprint. It seems to me that they do. And I think it's important to understand how this "blueprint" (if it exists) is composed - how particular cultures are formed from it, how the pieces fit together. Such an investigation is particularly important, I think, for Primitivists (and others) who want to create a totally new culture.

Have you read Derrida's "White Mythology"? You are basically affirming a scientific meta-perspective which underpins you're narrative/mythological perspective, ultimately there is something deeply conflicted going on here.

As for your question, no, I don't think a methodology is the same thing as a narrative, and no rituals aren't simply narrative, but they are usually related more directly to a narrative than scientific method is--many rituals enact a narrative whereas scientific method may implicitly rely on a narrative but does not directly enact it.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 08:05
888 wrote:
Genes aren't a story, they physically exist as molecules, unlike the spirits of your ancestors, which only exist in your imagination. It's not just a story you, it's not all equivalent. Your relativist bullshit is just plain wrong, get a grip and try to face reality. There are millions of ways to prove this, for you, I suggest eating uranium.

If you don't get it then you don't get it.

I'll try again. Humans exist in the world. They experience the world through their senses, through their bodies, through their conscious and unconscious minds. But they also have a deep-seated desire to make sense of what they encounter, to interpret the world "out there", to give it order and meaning. And so they weave narratives to fulfill this deap-seated urge. The narrative they weave may be mythical, religious, economic, scientific, whatever - it all depends on their culture, it depends on their collective value system. Whether or not the narratives are "factual" in a scientific sense is beside the point. They are still narratives. What's so difficult to grasp about this idea? Any explanation about the nature of the World is a narrative. That's the simple definition. Does Science make claims about the nature of the World? Yes. Therefore, it's a narrative. Does Capitalism make claims about the nature of the world? Yes. It's a narrative too. Does Christian theology make claims about the world? Yes. Narrative.

Why is this even important? Because the central tenet of Primitivist thought is that Civilisation itself is the root and cause of power structures and oppression in the World. That is, it's our culture that is the problem. Not some particular aspect of it that can be reformed. The whole culture. So if we are going to talk about Primitivism I think it's absolutely necessary to talk about culture, particularly in its generic sense: How cultures are structured, how they change. That's why I'm talking about "narratives".

I'm not using the word "narrative" to belittle your belief in Science, or whatever you think I'm doing. I'm trying to explore ideas.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 14:33
bzfgt wrote:
Have you read Derrida's "White Mythology"?

No, I haven't. I'll check it out.

bzfgt wrote:
You are basically affirming a scientific meta-perspective which underpins you're narrative/mythological perspective, ultimately there is something deeply conflicted going on here.

I'm not sure I see the deep conflict. Can you explain it more specifically?

bzfgt wrote:
As for your question, no, I don't think a methodology is the same thing as a narrative, and no rituals aren't simply narrative, but they are usually related more directly to a narrative than scientific method is--many rituals enact a narrative whereas scientific method may implicitly rely on a narrative but does not directly enact it.

I think our disagreement here arises out of the fact that we have slightly different definitions of what constitutes a "cultural narrative". Can you explain your definition? My definition of a cultural narrative would be "any explanation or interpretation of the nature of the World plus the products of those explanations and interpretations". If methodologies are not themselves narratives, how would you characterise them? Are there other aspects of culture that you would not consider narratives? Cheers.

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Jan 13 2012 08:04

"Narratives" and "rituals" can't be tested to validity and changed according. The scientific method, on the other hand, is based on hard empirical data which builds and grows and can re-evaluated and conclusions changed based on new information.

Science is qualitative different and provides a means to rationally understand the world. I fail to see why this is such a hard concept to grasp.

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Jan 13 2012 08:13
Chilli Sauce wrote:
"Narratives" and "rituals" can't be tested to validity and changed according. The scientific method, on the other hand, is based on hard empirical data which builds and grows and can re-evaluated and conclusions changed based on new information.

Science is qualitative different and provides a means to rationally understand the world. I fail to see why this is such a hard concept to grasp.

Prove it.

Jordan
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Jan 13 2012 08:39

nath,

You're standing from a height and what you can see in front of you, those things you don't like and because you have been told they are Science and Civilisation, you label them this. You don't understand what these words mean.

And when you turn around, you think, this is not what I first saw, saw this must be non-science and non-civilisation. You imagine yourself standing on the ridge between civilisation and the primitive because you have not taken the time to really think about what you're saying and where you really are.

Instead, you're just on a minor little clod on the top of a flat field and all you can see looking out onto the horizon is civilisation. Every way you turn. Civilisation.

You don't understand the context you are in.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 09:02
Jordan wrote:
nath,

You're standing from a height and what you can see in front of you, those things you don't like and because you have been told they are Science and Civilisation, you label them this. You don't understand what these words mean.

And when you turn around, you think, this is not what I first saw, saw this must be non-science and non-civilisation. You imagine yourself standing on the ridge between civilisation and the primitive because you have not taken the time to really think about what you're saying and where you really are.

Instead, you're just on a minor little clod on the top of a flat field and all you can see looking out onto the horizon is civilisation. Every way you turn. Civilisation.

You don't understand the context you are in.

This is quite beautifully and evocatively written, Jordan. It feels like a gift actually. There are nuggets of wisdom here that speak to me about the enormity of what we face. It is the kind of vignette that I can't help but feel humbled by. A kind of lesson to every one of us. Cheers.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 17:30
Chilli Sauce wrote:
Science is qualitatively different [to any other narrative] and provides a means to rationally understand the world. I fail to see why this is such a hard concept to grasp.

Yes, of course Science provides a means to rationally understand the World. That's obvious. It is the nature of the narrative of Science. Science says: "The only correct way to understand the world is through cold hard rationality. No other way is valid".

But if a Kalahari Bushman makes observations and acts rationally (by, for example, tracking an animal and anticipating its next move in order to trap it), can he be said to be using Science to "rationally understand the world"? No. If you asked him, would he say he was using the Scientific Method? No. He would explain it in terms of his own cultural narrative. If a scientist makes observations and acts rationally (by, for example, running a double blind experiment to test a pharmaceutical), can she be said to be using Science to "rationally understand the world"? Yes. If you asked her, would she say she was using the Scientific Method? Of course, because that is her cultural narrative.

Science is a social construct. It has unfortunately been universalised as some kind of absolute *gatekeeper of the* truth of reality (used as a weapon against other cultures' narratives, an affront to cultural diversity). The consequence has been "narrative colonialism": Science as the only "correct" way to interpret the world, just as Christianity and Western Political Economy have been the "only correct way to understand the world" in other sectors. Is this kind of cultural domination defensible? I would have thought anarchists would be all over this one. Or is Science too much of a sacred cow to even discuss?

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 15:41
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Trying to portray science as the hegemonic ideology of our era in a comparable way to western political economy (which still is) or Christianity is completely mental. You're not going to get very far with discussing it coming from that perspective.

The perspective I am coming from is an ecocentric one which does find Science to be a hegemonic ideology on par with western political economy and monotheistic religion. All three are manifestations of the same overarching value system: that humans are separate from and superior to the world; that the world out there is "other", "inferior", "ours", a collection of things, objects, commodities, without personhood or being, without rights.

Although this sort of perspective is not the norm in these parts, it is nonetheless a valid critique to consider.

nathorange
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Jan 13 2012 15:49
Tommy Ascaso wrote:
Isn't science trying to find an absolute truth of reality? It isn't one in itself.

You're right. I should have written: "an absolute gatekeeper to the truth of reality". Thanks for pointing out the need for a correction smile

bzfgt
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Jan 13 2012 16:57

1. The deep conflict is that you are talking about finding the truth of all cultures cross-culturally and understanding cultural narratives on that basis. In other words, you are trying to find a universal scientific basis for your relativization of science.

2. Based on your definition of narrative, in conjunction with the other things you've said, anything whatsoever would be narrative. Science does depend on a narrative but a method is a way of doing things, not identical with the story that underwrites that way of doing things. It seems better to have distinctions than to level things out, at least in my "narrative."

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Jan 13 2012 20:09
nathorange wrote:
I think it's absolutely necessary to talk about culture.

Culture?
Which culture?
Bourgeois or proletarian?

nathorange
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Jan 14 2012 02:52
bzfgt wrote:
1. The deep conflict is that you are talking about finding the truth of all cultures cross-culturally and understanding cultural narratives on that basis. In other words, you are trying to find a universal scientific basis for your relativization of science.

I understand your logic, but I don't see it as a problem per se. The paradox is inescapable, yes, but it doesn't shackle investigation. How else would you suggest to deconstruct the phenomenon of "culture"?

bzfgt wrote:
2. Based on your definition of narrative, in conjunction with the other things you've said, anything whatsoever would be narrative. Science does depend on a narrative but a method is a way of doing things, not identical with the story that underwrites that way of doing things. It seems better to have distinctions than to level things out, at least in my "narrative."

In a purely rational sense, I understand your desire for distinction. But in the messiness of reality I don't see how the "story" and the "acting-out of the story" can be segregated. The only way we know there is a story at all is through its enactment. The story is mixed into it. If you decontextualise the actiing-out of the story from the story itself, the meaning of the interaction and their relationship as a kind of indivisible polarity is lost. That's why my idea of "narrative" includes both together.

nathorange
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Jan 15 2012 10:27

What I'm about to say here is not meant to dis anyone but to add something to the discourse about production.

Communists say: There's

Rob Ray wrote:
Nothing wrong with flatscreens and burgers, it's how they are produced that needs changing.

Capitalists respond just as doggedly with the inversion of this narrative and say: "There's nothing wrong with how things are produced, it's what is produced that needs changing". When it comes to addressing the problem of production, it seems to me that Communism and Capitalism represent two sides of the same coin, a sort of perpetual "action/reaction" loop, each caught up in the other's reality, both tied to the same contingency. The Communist's concavity from one angle is the Capitalist's convexity from the other, North and South polarities of a single magnet. What this means is that neither one can accept the possibility that any kind of production might itself be the problem because the result would be self-immolation.