Chomsky is not concerned with arguments against any particular thesis or text of Zizek’s but in sketching out a transcendental portrait of any-French-philosopher whatsoever, a generic conceptual persona that acts as a shadow figure, embodying all the traits of a negative image of thought that Chomsky wishes not so much to analyse as to denounce. His criteria for inclusion in this generic set: I don’t understand it, none of my friends can explain it, I don’t know what to learn so as to be able to understand. There is no understanding it and no path to understanding, no emirically available nor even conceivable pedagogy. One can call this the “No Comprendo” Argument.
There are many possible explanations for this non-understanding. There may be nothing to understand – this is Chomsk’s conclusion. The ideas may just be too difficult. Or the very words and concepts used may belong to a different…
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A friend once said to me, “Suicide leaves behind nothing but miserable people blaming themselves.” My psychiatrist, a wise eighty-seven-year-old woman who has been practicing six days a week for more than forty years, told me, “Think of the example it sets. For your children.” That remains the most compelling argument I’ve heard against suicide: it sets an example — for one’s children, of course, but for others too. It isn’t that we want people to “tough it out.” It isn’t that we think the suicide has acted out of moral weakness. It’s that, when we look at the people we knew who committed suicide, they were often the very people we most appreciated having around. We need more of those people, not fewer. The bad weather of depression can and does change. The argument for awaiting such a change presupposes that life is worth living for its own sake, which I think is the deeper point Camus was trying to make. As far as we know, life is the only game in town.
A signal develops conditions suitable for conviviality of noisy lines, conjunction of colored planes, convergence of pure volumes. Development emerges encoded from the remotest and most alien depths of the sea. Chaos filtered: decrypted or machined.
Evolution or the pure differentiation of a life? From a crystalline substrate, from the earth to the navigation of the world. Analysis of stratigraphic zones and synthesis of degrees of proximity. Integration of the night, the indifferent — the universe.
Organization overflows time. Death, or beginning without limit? Production or product? –But the simulacrum is mute. Enfolding infinity, life eclipses itself. The full body is annihilation. Every horizon collapses. Light dissolves. Time crumbles. Movement decelerates into imperceptibility. One becomes old. A word always turns to ashes; all books burn. Any duration elapses. Seas freeze. Channels fade into silence. Creation halts in the middle.
Between blindness and visionary dilation, the long winter of a dying cosmos…
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