Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Robert Musil and Paul Ulrich Villard

Is the "Ulrich" of "Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften" from Paul Villard, namely, Paul Ulrich Villard ?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Ernst Nolte on the modern West

An effective reply to Ernst Nolte advancing Heidegger's whitewash of the Nazi regime in Poland would be that the modern Pole's had defeated the Bolshevik army - and decisively so, as demonstrated by the terms of the Peace of Riga.

This leaves untouched the assessment of the mechanization of increasingly remote warfare with the persistence of mass human slaughter.

It also should be replied that the "West" has its roots in the the geometry of Egypt, the arithmetic of Babylon, the Semitic script and the Arab numerals : these are what the technical inventors in Asia did not produce.

The very possibility that a Jew named Jeshua, a former stone-cutter called "Nazarene" raised in Roman-occupied territory, was an itinerant healer formed further east in adulthood as a Buddhist healer, should put Heideggerian history to rest.  The realization of what Heidegger borrowed from the teacher of his Japanese student should complete the reassessment of Heidegger, original thinker, as a perverter of Luther-convert Husserl's later phenomenology.

That leaves all of the interesting issues open: why modern science did not emerge in China, Korea or Japan; the evolutionary role of aggression within groups in the perpetuation of slaughter; the fate of other hominid species; why the elephant could not be respected in western China in light of the fate of mega-fauna elsewhere; today's Japanese resistance to the facts of genetics and the migrations in southern Asia; the explanation of the racial myths of the nation-states; ...

The formulas of the butchers in Kampuchea were from doctrines out of Germany taught in forming doctoral students of economics in Paris.  The fanatic suppression of representative democracy and individual dissent in the name of inspired doctrines and personality cults is what unites the regimes of Bolshevik Moscow and Nazi Berlin.  The intolerance of even suspected or merely possible dissent has itself no connection to "technique" or "modernity".  Lenin's Cheka and the restored death penalties have their parallel in Germany less than 2 decades later as does the suppression of Mensheviks with that of the SA.

A more useful comparison than the SS with Khmer Rouge would be Stalin and Mao in the extermination of peasants prosperous enough to have time for opinions and policies in local matters and in fostering a provincialism incompatible with central dictates.

And to come full circle: the Russian attitude to the Poles cannot be equated to that of the Nazi racialists on the fate for all Slavs.

As for the big question: the German cities closed to Jews had not needed Cossacks to invent Pogrom - and long before the Reformation.  So much for the Swabian insights of Martin and Ernst Juenger in philosophy of world historical process according to an imagined Heraclitus and an imagined Parmenides.

Footnote: that the doctrine of the Tao became a religion with a godly pantheon might have troubled Herr Heidegger in his version of Buddhism at second-hand.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Aida/Web markup in Smalltalk (again)

I hate reinventing the wheel ... as the man said, you are likely to get a flat. It should be a Unicode character: the wheel with one part of circumference 'flat'.

Here is some AidaWeb Smalltalk code:
streamHtmlTo: aStream for: aRequest on: aSession
| tag |
self prepareToHtmlStreamingOn: aSession.
type = #paragraph ifTrue: [tag := 'p'].
type = #break ifTrue: [tag := 'br'].
type = #ruler ifTrue: [tag := 'hr'].
aStream nextPutAll: self ident, '<', tag.
self streamAttributesTo: aStream for: aSession.
aStream nextPutAll: self tagClosing, self eol.
But Curl markup uses "hrule" and not "hr" and a '{' and not a '<'.

Markup neutrality is not so hard to achieve - without massive duplication of classes - especially in a language such as Pharo Smalltalk with Traits as mix-ins.