Saturday, October 18, 2008

An explanatory post

In hindsight, it might have been a defensive reaction to the Palin-led anti-intellectual nosedive of acceptable public discourse (who would'a thought one could nose-dive from the Bush-era level of discourse) at a time of obvious crisis- my reading tastes shifted some 10 days ago. Out went the recently written "how did we get here" expositions. In came the work of David Bohm and David Foster Wallace.

Overkill? Sure. But a balm to the mind all the same.

In a world where deliberation, planning and forethought have been deemed passé (from the Iraq War through the current economic crisis, policy makers have, in my view, reacted like drunk drivers- ignoring upcoming problems and then over-correcting, sometimes too late) filling my mind with prose that is complex, deliberate and well-planned has been a joy.

Revisiting Wallace's Infinite Jest has been equally joyful and tragic. The intensity of his prose reminds me of van Gogh's late work. The world must have been leaping at these minds all the time- like an Acid trip that never ended. I enjoy losing myself in both artists' work, and empathize with their reaction. Fortunately the spell is broken when I put the book down or turn away from the painting.

Yesterday, I got a break from home-schooling duties and I couldn't put the book down, thus the lack of contact, both via phone or blog.

Bohm's work, for practical purposes, has been most enlightening. His notion of an "implicate order" of reality-and-our-experience-thereof (for Bohm the distinctions are more artifacts of language than real) has implications for the more prosaic and pressing issues about which I opine.

Expect to see frequent use of Bohm's focus on context in upcoming arguments.