Monday, November 28, 2011

Confucian Analects of Confucious in Curl

At there is now a Curl-markup version of this text the understanding of which is crucial to assessing the political climate in China.

The above version includes Chinese Kanji  for critical passages. Another version in Enlish only and with a Serif font can be found at

Both require the Curl RTE browser plugin from

Both pages use the identical source SCURL file but each main Curl file provides a different definition of {c } which is a text format procedure whose expression wraps each piece of Chinese content. In one page it returns the content and for the other page it returns en empty {text } expression.

The table of contents in the left panel indexes the chapters of the 20  books.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Georg Misch

There are now two versions of Georg Misch Geschichte der Autobiographie over at the philosophy pages.

I have added a version with over 800+ footnotes partially restored at
The footnotes are being handled by a script, so they are now sequential, but they also show the old fn number in the note itself.

The available text scan OCR is so poor and was ANSI and not Unicode, some many footnotes are yet to be restored. There are some places where italics and quote indentations would also be helpful.

I will work on dynamic user annotations later when time and new code permits.

The same web page links to a version with no footnotes which loads and processes faster.

The text sources are the same SCURL file, but the parent Curl files each their own definitions of {fn } and {footnote }.

Given the OCR issues, anyone noting text oddies is invited to drop me a line.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Kant Mind

The term used by Kant in the first Kritik is Gemüte. While the English word 'mind' ties back to "gemynd" it has largely lost the immediate penumbra of memory and recollection (as in 'bring to mind') and has a aura of Latin "mens": the Greek had close links with memory.

The loss of the prefix in English means a real loss in translation.

Present-day English-speaking poets relying on Kemp-Smith are in serious neglect of the words of Kant: Vorstellung, Verstand, begreifen, Begriffe, Anschauung. No one would dream of so neglecting the word of Heidegger or Rilke.

Poets with a command of French can readily see English as a lost Germanic dialect: they need not learn to speak German, but they have no excuse for not reading the text which they cite in translation.

What did the angel say (as recorded in Hebrew) when he found himslef beind the door of Lot's house?  I have a link to Luther's version at

Readily accessible on the web: Mit Gemüt meint Kant den gesamten (bewussten und unbewussten) Umfang ...

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Penn Riots

Milosz reports that the Polish universities were the hotbeds of antisemitiism.

Here at UNB, the Fredtown university is already truly "occupied" — by cars. Automobiles. Trucks. SUV's. Diesel buses. The food is shuffled in and out, from building to building, in large cargo trucks (unlike the tunnels of Laval University.)

They map the oceans while banking on Exxon and the "tar sands" of Exxon's North America.

How long since students last lined up to "thumb a ride"? (Regina campus, 1972-74, at College Avenue.)

And then there are the two visitors to North Africa, Oscar Wilde and André Gide — surely they paid those boys … 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MIT Processing

While I do prefer the MIT Curl web language, the MIT Processing language deserves attention.

If you try processing and the graphical element of the IDE windows are flawed, try increasing your screen resolution.  I overcame my relutance when the nVidia driver update screen showed similar flaws ...

Just as there is Smalltalk in JavaScript (Jtalk is now Amber Smalltalk) so there is also processing.js

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Dryer Kant

The characterization of science in the opening of D.P. Dyer's Kant's Solution for Verification in Metaphysics (U. Toronto) is a vexation.

Sixty years after the death of Boltzmann, the battle for atomism at the turn of the century should have given pause.

At the time Dryer was writing, were not the Petroleum Engineers of America battling against plate tectonics just as they now battle against global warming (geology, geography and meteorology strike me as very much sciences close to Kant's own lectures and interests) ?

Today a massive revision of the Linnaen tree of species is underway - arguably as significant a revision in biology as that stirred by Darwin, the structure of DNA/RNA and the electron microscope (and many others that come to mind only with regard to biology which were fresh at the time he was writing.)

And then there is the role of important "thought experiments" in physics which do not fit easily into his brief portrait of the "success" of science (to use Dryer's term.)

The ability of suggestions by Murray Gell-Mann to keep String Theory in constant revision without yet succumbing has troubled at least one Harvard philosopher.

For one glimpse of the current state of philosophy in relation to science and metaphysics, see the CMU work on causality associated with Clark Glymour.

For progress in philosophy in the last century, see the work of Hilary Putnam and John Searle among others.

That philosophy remains beset with sophistry may be evident in the life's work of Habermas when see in relation to Hegel, Marx, Weber and then Searle.

Economics is no doubt the most difficult to assess, with psychology and sociology following close behind (as one might expect.)

Perhaps a present day figure of Kant's stature would being with the problems besetting economics as a science in the sense of organic chemistry or genome-based botany.

For credit to Habermas, see the opposition to GM botany and GM fisheries versus GM mosquitoes.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Joy of Freud

Freud may have been the sophist of the last century: as the winner of a Frankfurt Goethe prize (1930), his rhetoric merits attention in the original German.

One delight is the opening of Beyond the Pleasure Principle. The term "Spannung" is interwoven with walking, running, falling. Today it may be hard to capture how this may have delighted some female readers in its day.  The term, of course, covers both 'tension' and 'voltage'. The "Spann" is intimate to the exposed ankle.

Only a few decades ago, Canada's Eli Mandel was trumpeting the family triangle.  Today I prefer Gruenbein's Im Zweieck, the two-cornered polygon which escaped Escher.