Fake Texts to Summarize. Unit 7, Post 1, Leen K

CHARACTERS: Skylar, Olivia, Emily Evans, and Leen.

(None of these texts were really sent, but I did this as a way to summarize the texts we circulated)

Plenary Reflection:

Exclamation Point: I am very interested in exploring the possibilities of using poetry as a legitimate and official form of political discourse in contrast to the weight and prestige given to the academic essay within the ‘Western’ canon.

Questionmark: and apologies for repeating this question for the millionth time, but, in regards to Sophia Petrovna, what sort of effect does having a narrator who is gullible to the regime have on the (Soviet/Russian) readers who obviously were aware of the brutalities and injustices taking place.

Unit 2 Post 3 – Leen Khasawneh

Appiah argues that the distinctive features of formal philosophy are not possible without written language. What are these features? How convincing is Appiah’s argument? Is he being unfair to nonliterate cultures?

According to Appiah, the development of formal philosophy requires the ability to re-read and “thus re-think” traditional ideology over the course of time. Therefore, Appiah argues that writing is the reason why formal philosophy has come so far; stating that it all began with Plato. Another element of writing that Appiah views as essential would be the specific nature of writing; whereby writers avoid generality and indexicals in order “to cater to” a reader who may not know as much about context. To this point, I disagree because some texts, such as works of protest catered to locals, or books created for people advanced in a particular field, do not avoid language that may be misleading to readers who do “not share the… assumptions of the writer.” Such texts are not even meant to be “translated” into other contexts.

What’s the most effective way to reduce the amount of bullshit in contemporary discourse? Be sure to use Frankfurt’s specific notion of bullshit—so in that sense, the question is really asking: What’s the best way to get people to care about truth when they speak or write?

I think people are so obsessed with the hyperreal that it becomes almost impossible to even think about getting people to care about reality. Once we consider people’s incentives, it becomes futile it is to expect honesty from people in positions in power – this could be a parent, politician, or really anyone. Yet at the same time, another conflict arises when considering public wellbeing. Yet again, when considering conceptual schemes like utilitarianism, we begin to realize why we can’t even expect honesty from people like flight attendants. Hypothetically speaking, even if it were possible for people to someday reach a point where they seek and appreciate the truth, the challenge then becomes a question of whether or not people are ready for the truth. The global population in Arrival was definitely not prepared for the truth.

A question I have: I am having trouble identifying the line between BS and lying.

Unit 2 / Post 2 / Leen Khasawneh

Properties of hrönir, based on my understanding of the reading:

  1. Hrönir are duplicates of lost things (although appear somewhat larger in size than the ‘original’),
  2. Consciousness appears to be a central element in the production of hrönir,
  3. Duplicates of duplicates can exist.
Image: Alma Haser – URL https://fstoppers.com/fine-art/portraits-puzzles-study-identical-twins-223804

An example to illustrate this:  Let’s say my grandmother visits her home town that she has not set foot in for decades. During her visit, she recalls a tree that she used to climb as a child. Unaware that that tree had been cut down years before her visit, she goes out searching for it and eventually finds the exact tree she was looking for. The tree she finds would be an example of a hrönir; since it is not an original but a duplicate of the tree that she was searching for. The abstract and mythical flavor of this concept could prompt us to ask whether knowledge of the hrönir would have been considered a subject of magia naturalis in Europe of the 13th century.

Connecting the Two Readings for Tuesday:

It can be argued that Plato’s take on objects of knowledge functions in a similar manner to Borge’s discussion regarding physical objects. On page 26, Borge examines how, although not visibly observed by anyone, the coins exist “in some secret way” in the space between the day they were dropped and their rediscovery. This way of thinking fits into Plato’s division between the visible realm and the intelligible realm in his Allegory. “According to Plato’s metaphysical theory, there is an aspect of reality beyond the one which we can see,” just like the hrönir before we discover them. This unseen/intelligible realm is considered “an aspect of reality even more real than the one we see” that can only become ‘unhidden’ through the powers of our intellect. On another note, I feel that consciousness/intellect and the idea of multiple realities coinciding are core elements of both Plato’s allegory and Borges’ hrönir discussion. Therefore it can also be argued that Plato might view Borges’ hrönir as the mediators between the visible and the intelligible; allowing our minds and thoughts to manifest material realities. The source I quote in this paragraph: http://sites.millersville.edu/tgilani/pdf/Fall%202017/PHYS%20302/Plato’s%20Republic-2.pdf


In the same way that the ideas of ‘The New World’ and the identity of ‘The New White Man’ are central to Morrison’s argument on enlightenment, I found that Principe’s book, although very ‘colour-blind’, holds a similar recurring emphasis on this common idea of ‘The New World’ in the way that the author unfolds his version of ‘enlightenment’ to the readers.

Unit 2, Post 1 – Leen Khasawneh

The connected world, to me, is a world of chaos. A leaf falling from a tree in North Carolina may lead to someone halfway across the world to choose to attend Davidson College. Any alteration in the present moment can lead to changed results in the world of the future; without restrictions of time and space. Understanding quantum entanglement becomes even trickier when envisioning parallel universes, and how the butterfly effect could manifest across the boundaries of these worlds. On a different note, the connected world approach can be found in the way contemporary scientists think of laws of conservation. In believing that energy and matter are conserved, physicists are assuming that there exists some sort of connection that binds all matter and antimatter (and their energies) together. What really excites me when I think of this is the possibility of our thoughts, consciousness, and energies as humans as existing as part of this connected scheme.

My question: Did Europeans steal Arab/Muslim scientific discoveries and claim them as their own? (A question that came to mind while reading through pgs 6,7 and 12)