Monthly Archives: October 2007

Headachy Night

I woke in the middle of the night with a sharp headache. Some Excedrin is taking the edge off but no way can I lay down. I pounded a bottle of water and a coke and am hoping the fluid and caffeine work some magic. It takes me back to the period where I had a migraine that lasted for years. I somewhat got used to it. I somewhat just took a lot of painkillers – codeine, morphine, fentanyl. I don’t ever want to go through that again.


Thought at its Limits

Foucault praises linguistics and psychoanalysis as examples of thought at its limits which discovers at the center of knowledge not humanity, but a sort of anti-humanity, a dead end if you will. Both linguistics and psychoanalysis find humanity suspended in a web of language, a language which mediates humanity and allows humanity to constitute an image of itself. But language is not such a stable support network; rather language’s promise of solidity is something like quicksand, an infinitely regressing system which cannot comprehend its own foundation since it has no center or originary meaning to rest on. “From within language experienced and transversed as language, in the play of its possibilities extended to their farthest point, what emerges is that man has ‘come to an end’, and that, by reaching the summit of all possible speech, he arrives not at the very heart of himself but at the brink of that which limits him; in that region where death prowls, where thought is extinguished, where the promise of the origin interminably recedes.” If humanity reveals itself only in and by language, humanity must accept a certain condemnation of silence to never be able to speak of its own origins and ends. Humanity is thrust into the foreground only to be distanced from its foundations, its background, a horizon which cannot speak and which, when approached, undoes thinking (as meaning is undone at the roots of language, the self at the roots of psychoanalysis), leaving only a horizon of the dead.

It is, then, in this context that Foucault speaks of humanity as a recent invention. Only with the elaboration of specific systems of thought which could inquire not into humanity’s ideal or essence, but the functioning of the foreground and the silhouette of humanity against the enabling background. “We shall say, therefore, that a ‘human science’ exists, not whenever man is in question, but wherever there is analysis – within the dimension proper to the unconscious – of norms, rules, and signifying totalities which unveil to consciousness the conditions of its forms and contents.” The subject of humanity was constituted during a certain moment in history which “dissolved” language, that is, an era which knowingly constructed its understanding of humanity “objectively,” in between the spaces of representationality which show how humanity is deployed. According to Foucault, the human sciences address humanity in so far as people live, speak, and produce (biology, philology, and economics), and create its model by isolating and questioning the functioning of humanity when the norms and rules break down, and on that basis rebuild knowledge by showing how a functional representation of humanity can come into being and be deployed (and thus, Foucault will later argue, perfect the techniques of normalization and socialized encoding of rules via totalizing methods of power).

As language is now re-coalescing at its limits, combining thought and unthought, the Other of knowledge must give itself over to the Same. Where the limits of thinking reveal its own basis as its foundational limitations, a new way of thinking is constituted which, as Levi-Strauss says, “dissolves humanity.” Foucault writes, “Since man was constituted at a time when language was doomed to dispersion, will he not be dispersed when language regains its unity?” The “death of man” seems a relatively peaceful event, not where humanity explodes with enormous violence, but a moment where humanity withdraws into the background such that a new array of knowledge can be foregrounded. Foucault does not yet have the advantage of a fully elaborated theory of language; however, if such a unity of language is not philosophized, humanity will forever find itself in a dying state, undoing itself by its own logic without our awareness. Foucault seems to ask that humanity die gracefully so that we can direct our energy to elaborating what is not yet thought, and approach a new horizon of articulation.


The Discourse of Mastery and Unlimited Responsibility

A “discourse of Mastery” is by definition ontologically (study of Being) penetrating. By this I mean that it gets at the totality of its subject matter in such a way as to have conquered it. To take an example Euclidean geometry, which carves pure space into dimensions, angles and arcs, is a discourse of Mastery of spatiality. As such it is repressive, in that it subsumes other perceptions of spatiality.

This repression can be very much freeing. Euclidean geometry frees the architect to do what he does knowing the basics will work, knowing the rules of the game. What happens when we bring quantum spatiality into the equation?

Essentially nothing, because while the architect may nod to quantum spatiality it doesn’t have ontological penetration for him. It doesn’t describe the beings he works with and utilizes on a day to day basis. Another Master’s Mastery is as such only of a similarly comprehensive interest to myself or to my slaves. It might well be a discourse of Mastery, but it is not mine.

Mineness is a human trait, a trait of human being itself, that it is in each case mine. Or rather, is in the first place, but with the possibility of being given to another. This “giving”, or “ giving up” is en-owning, a giving of one’s Being, an event (ereignis), an appropriation (bringing to the proper, to one’s own). This giving up brings en-slavement, the Master’s absolute subjugation of the slave. This subjugation brings its kind and tenor of Mastery.

With Mastery comes unlimited responsibility through the “ Mineness” of the slaves new mode of Being. The slave is, in totality, Mine as Master. I am therefore responsible for what my slaves do, say, imply, as much as I am for what I do, say, or imply from that event of enownment onward. From the event onward a slave is a human being with a difference, a modality of toolhood, they are some of the beings that I work with and utilize on a day to day basis. Mastery works itself out through the unlimited responsibility of using those tools daily, without hiatus. Mastery is a working through, a going through, and its workmanship is absolutely restless. It is restless in the way it moves and arranges its equipmental totality, its World, which is also the World of its slaves.


Operating System Fun

I have given Fedora 8 three goes without success. Granted it is still in beta, Test 3 is the current edition. But rather obvious problems have prevented me from dual booting OpenSolaris and Linux on my laptop using it. Such as the wireless not working on Test 3. It worked on Test 1 and Test 2, now it doesn’t work. C’mon guys, this is almost as bad as Windows. Actually I expect that the hiccups will be fixed by November’s release date and at that point I will try dual booting again.

While, in fact, I have gotten Windows Server working on emmie’s laptop. Windows 2008 Server RC0, to be specific. And while it is slow as molasses compared to OpenSolaris it is reasonably stable and reliable. E. is getting along ok with Vista, it should be faster on his dual core than it in fact is, but he has enough hardware power to make it livable.

And I’m back to OpenSolaris. The next upgrade is a hardware upgrade for mitda’s laptop which is dying a slow death after quite a good amount of usage. Her new one should arrive any day now, and while I let her make the decision about what OS to run, she surprised me by saying OpenSolaris. She gets along with XP Pro ok but is in slight envy of the speed and stability I get with Solaris. And the fact that StarOffice (Sun’s supported version of OpenOffice) and GIMP and Firefox and Pidgin all come installed instead of requiring download and manual installation.


Self-Identity

Self-identification is a mysterious thing to me. People self-identify in all kinds of ways. For me it can be Master in an M/s relationship, bipolar, software architect, English-Canadian living in the US, all kinds of things that have overlapping and contradictory features.

For instance the English-Canadian background I have tends me towards socialist ideas. It can be difficult working out human ownership when one doesn’t fundamentally believe in private property. And the bipolar throws a huge curve into everything, especially when both of my slaves are also bipolar. But being a Dominant is obviously not a bipolar tendency, if only proven by the fact that my two slaves ARE also bipolar.

So we tell ourselves our self-identifying stories and try to make the best of our possibilities. I am enjoying things the way they are going and I very much credit my family (current) for that.


Sleepy …

After going out for coffee with emmie and Jubal I find myself too sleepy to think much on anything – mitda was too tired to even go out for coffee and stayed home.

Which isn’t to say I don’t have a lot on my mind. It’ll just have to wait to make it into the blogosphere.


My Conflagration had a little Conflagration

Last night mitda decided to try her luck grilling some chicken quarters. After all, it can’t be that hard to grill something, men do it!

So she caused a bit of a conflagration. By the time she called me out to

help the grill temperature gauge had hit its maximum of 800 degrees and the chicken was literally on fire. The bacon she had wrapped around the chicken didn’t help matters, but the fact that all three burners were on high and the lid was closed was the real issue.

After letting the grill cool I went ahead and baked the chicken at about 350 degrees to cook it through, and we had very blackened chicken for dinner. Surprisingly it didn’t turn out that bad. It was quite edible.


Counselling and Mastery

I had an interesting experience last night. Jubal is in grad school to get a Master’s degree in counselling (yes he plans a kink-aware practice). He interviewed me as part of his schoolwork. The particular thing he was training himself on was how to ask open ended questions. I found it quite neat that, despite knowing he was testing some technique, the technique remained effective.

With slave training I believe the same thing applies. Although the slave is aware of his/her training and the techniques applied the techniques still work just as well. In some ways they work better because the slave is involved and immersed in his/her training and is optimally working as hard at the training or harder than the Master.

I had a few criticisms of Jubal’s techniques but overall he did a good job. Talking about personal issues with a family member is never easy, and it worked quite well and helped me personally somewhat in figuring out an issue I have at the moment. Not that it’s a big issue like childhood molestation or anything, it’s a simple work issue. But it’s all the little issues that add up.. And it’s the little issues that slaves have that a Master has to take the most time dealing with.


My Conflagration had a little Conflagration

Last night mitda decided to try her luck grilling some chicken quarters. After all, it can’t be that hard to grill something, men do it!

So she caused a bit of a conflagration. By the time she called me out to

help the grill temperature gauge had hit its maximum of 800 degrees and the chicken was literally on fire. The bacon she had wrapped around the chicken didn’t help matters, but the fact that all three burners were on high and the lid was closed was the real issue.

After letting the grill cool I went ahead and baked the chicken at about 350 degrees to cook it through, and we had very blackened chicken for dinner. Surprisingly it didn’t turn out that bad. It was quite edible.


Counselling and Mastery

I had an interesting experience last night. Jubal is in grad school to get a Master’s degree in counselling (yes he plans a kink-aware practice). He interviewed me as part of his schoolwork. The particular thing he was training himself on was how to ask open ended questions. I found it quite neat that, despite knowing he was testing some technique, the technique remained effective.

With slave training I believe the same thing applies. Although the slave is aware of his/her training and the techniques applied the techniques still work just as well. In some ways they work better because the slave is involved and immersed in his/her training and is optimally working as hard at the training or harder than the Master.

I had a few criticisms of Jubal’s techniques but overall he did a good job. Talking about personal issues with a family member is never easy, and it worked quite well and helped me personally somewhat in figuring out an issue I have at the moment. Not that it’s a big issue like childhood molestation or anything, it’s a simple work issue. But it’s all the little issues that add up.. And it’s the little issues that slaves have that a Master has to take the most time dealing with.