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Cartas entre Groucho Marx e T.S. Elliot ... a sério.

03.12.11

 

 

Groucho cannot resist the compulsion to remind one of literature’s most famous expatriates of his origins: “Dear Tom…I think I read somewhere that your first name is the same as Tom Gibbons’, a prizefighter who once lived in St Paul.” He is quite open about his ignorance of the very public details of the poet’s life: “My best to you and your lovely wife, whoever she may be.” He pushes Eliot’s origins in his face. In another letter he calls him an “early American, (I don’t mean that you are an old piece of furniture, but you are a fugitive from St Louis)…” In the same letter he relays to Eliot that “the name Tom fits many things. There was once a famous Jewish actor named Thomashevsky. All male cats are named Tom—unless they have been fixed.” He concludes by assuring the famously buttoned-down author that “I would be interested in reading your views on sex, so don’t hesitate. Confide in me.”

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Humberto Maturana - "The Nature of Time"

03.12.11

 

I have maintained, and I think shown, in other publications, that language is a manner of flowing in living together in recursive consensual coordinations of behavior, and that languaging consists in operating in a network of consensual coordinations of consensual coordinations of behaviors, in a relational dynamics of consensual coordinations of behaviors that is constitutively open to endless recursions (Ref.1 and 2). Moreover, we are, as living systems, structure determined systems, and nothing external to us can determine or specify what happens in us. So, the external agents that at any instant impinge upon us can only trigger in us structural changes determined in us by our structure at that instant. As a result, all that we do at any instant arises in us determined in us by our structure in that instant, either as a result of our closed internal structural dynamics, or as a result of the modulation of that internal structural dynamics by the structural changes triggered in us by the interactions in which we participate. In these circumstances, we would have to say that we are constitutively "blind" to the intrinsic features of the medium as an independent reality , if to speak about the intrinsic features of an independent reality had any sense. This situation has the following basic consequences for understanding what we do and what happens in us as languaging beings.

(...)

We become aware that we do not experience things as features of an independent world, an that as we speak of experience we refer, as I said above, to that which we dfistinguish as happening to us as we operate in language attending to what happens to us as we live. At the same time, we become aware that as experiences happen to us, they happen to us out of nothing, out of nowhere, in a manner that we live in the confort of living them as part of a knwon domain of experiential coherences, or in a manner that surprises us because they seem to take place outside the coherences of our other known experiences. If the latter is the case we may want to explain them, and we shall explain them when we make those experiences part of an already known domain of experiences, otheerwisee we shall remain in awe until we do so.

d). As we become aware that we find ourselves already living that which we distinguish as happening to us we distinguish it, and that our experience arises out of nowhere, we become aware that as we explain our experience with the coherences of our experiences. That is, we become aware that all our explanations take place in a closed domain, and that reality and other explanatory notions are a priori assumptions that do not

take out of the explanatory domains in which we exist as languaging beings.

(...)

Or, in other words, knowledge is something that we atribute to ourselves or to some other when we see what we consider adequate behavior in a particular domain in ourselves or in the other, and we frequently use the attribution of knowledge for doing something together in some domain of coordinations of behaviors. If we are not aware of this situation, we act treating knowledge as a manner of referring to entities that are assumed to exist in reality, that is, in a domain of entities that exist with independence of what we human beings do. In these circumstances the search for knowledge becomes a never ending quest of the thing in itself.

(...)

We belong to a culture that lives mostly, and particularly in the domains of science, philosophy and technology, in the explicit or implicit acceptance of some kind of independent reality as the ultimate reference for all explanations. This attitude permeates our manner of asking question and our listening for answers. Thus. in our culture as we ask the question what is time, we expect an answer with the form of a reference to some kind of independent entity, in the implicit understanding that such reference will give universal validity to our answer. According to what I have said that reference cannot be done, not due to a limitation in our capacity for knowing, but as a feature of the nature of the phenomenon of cognition. Therefore, that which we connote with the word time cannot be a thing in itself.

(...)

Once time arises as a distinction in the domain of the experiences of the observer it becomes an operational entity that in our culture appears as having independence from what the observer does. An this is so because once time has arisen it can be used by the observer (any one of us as a languaging being) in his or her reflections on the regularities of his or her experiences precisely because it arises as an abstraction of the regularities of his or her experiences. With the notion of time, therefore, happens the same as with the notion of structural determinism that is also an abstraction from the regularities of the experiences of the observer, which can be use to deal with the regularities of the coherencees of the observer precisely because it arises as an abstraction from them.

(...)

Unidirectional time and reversible time arise as theoretical notions in physics as abstractions that the observer makes of his or her experiential coherences and that he or she denotes with the words time and reversibility. As theoretical notions unidirectional time and reversible time can be handled as entities that have operational effectiveness in the experiential domain from which they are abstractions. That seems obvious. What is not so obvious, however, is that we frequently forget that unidirectional time and reversible time are indeed abstractions of the experiential coherences of the observer as I have indicated above. When the latter happens, we treat unidirectional time and reversible time as if they were entities that exist independently from what we do as observer, or as if they were reflections or representations of such independent entities, and we generate conceptual and operational conflicts. When the latter happens we do not even see that mathematical formulations in theoretical propositions arise only as effective in their coherences as the abstraction of the coherences of the experiences that they represent.

 

 

 Obrigado MCosta

 

 

 

 

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