Recreating (and advancing) pk’s censored domains:
Knatz.com / Teaching / Scholarship /
I while back I started a file of favorite this and thats, launching with funeral home as a favorite euphemism and public education as a favorite oxymoron. New Years day I started to add a few other examples. Today’s similar impulse made me pull back. No: they belong here: in the shade of my thesis on meta-oxymoron in Shakespeare’s sonnets. What the hell: my Macroinformation skips right past meta-information, going directly into Macroinformation; my doctoral thesis skipped right past oxymoron into meta-oxymoron. I should step back down and show the rungs below occasionally.
Note that a good euphemism often is an oxymoron.
I’ll list, occasionally commenting:
(almost anything with the word “free” in it)
Hey, how ‘about this one?
|2004 06 16
Oh, man: somedays something you’ve seen, commented on for decades, stands naked before you with what looks like a fresh glow: like you’re seeing it for the first time. (Maybe you are; maybe you’re memory isn’t so good after all.) Here’s what came and stood before me a moment ago: its nudity pure oxymoron:
Tell the truth!
Perhaps to see what I’m seeing you too have to have steeped yourself in Korzybski’s map / territory distinction. “Tell” refers to symbolic representation: words, depictions … Truth! Now that’s ambiguous. Do we mean words? Or do we mean the territory? the actual universe? something of an utterly different kind of existence from symbols?
(Think of some idiot director telling Marlon Brando, “Be Fletcher Christian.” “Be Terry Doyle.”)
Society is a competing collection of directives: Marry one woman, work hard, save … Don’t eat pork, don’t pull your pudding … How does anyone in a society so glibly talk about freedom? Engineers have the sense to talk about degrees of freedom: the freedom is never claimed without reference to neighboring restraints.
At FLEX I talked about free learning: but clearly I was talking about it as a utopia, an ideal contrasting with all evident examples of learning. Theorists talk about the free market: but can they point to an example? No: the examples are limited to our imaginations: what could be: we think, we hope.
So much of social discourse is us pulling wool over our own eyes.
Don’t think that list represents my life-list: I’ve merely relieved a bit of the itching to start.
2015 06 03 How ‘about this one?
“Roman” is a specific city, a distinct ethnicity; “catholic” means universal. general. genus, not individual. general, not peculiar.
2004 10 14 One can hear an oxymoron (or a euphemism …) all one’s life without realizing that it is an oxymoron (or a euphemism …). I just thought of a candidate: I’m not altogether sure of it yet: what do you think?
We know lots of things. One may know French, one may know JLo … What we do not know (and may never know) is the universe. (I don’t think we’ll know god either: or anything really important).
Note that the concept of oxymoron is essential to my reading of Shakespeare’s Sonnets