Sunday, September 18, 2016

Marx-Engels on Hangovers as Evidence of Dialectical Process

I must admit that I’ve never expected to find humor in ‘The Collected Works of Marx and Engels’; but … never say never.

In a discussion on dialectic transformation of quantity into quality, V. Afanasyev observed that “quantity and quality are interconnected; in the process of development imperceptible, gradual quantitative changes pass into basic, qualitative changes.  This transformation takes form of the leap.  This is the essence of dialectical law of the passage of quantitative into qualitative changes.”   Marxist Philosophy, by Victor Afanasyev, Moscow: Foreign Languages Publishing House, 3rd Ed. 1968, p. 113.

Interestingly, Friedrich Engels offers a great example in “Dialectics of Nature.”  Marx-Engels Collected Works, Vol. 25, New York: International Publishers, 1987.

The law of the transformation of quantity into quality and vice versa… in nature, in a manner exactly fixed for each individual case, qualitative changes can only occur by the quantitative addition or quantitative subtraction of matter or motion (so-called energy.)”  Id., p. 367.

The sphere … in which the law of nature discovered by Hegel celebrates its most important triumphs is that of chemistry.  Chemistry can be termed the science of the qualitative changes of bodies as a result of changes quantitative composition. Id., p. 359

What quantitative difference can be caused by the quantitative addition of C3H6 is taught by the experience if consume ethyl alcohol, C2H6O, in any drinkable form without addition of other alcohols, and on another occasion take the same ethyl alcohol but with a slight addition of amyl alcohol, C5H12O, which forms the main constituent of the abominable fused oil.  One’s head will certainly be aware of it the next morning, much to its detriment; so that one could even say that the intoxication, and the subsequent “morning after” feeling, is also quantity transformed into quality, on the one hand of ethyl alcohol and on the other hand of this added C3H6.”  Id., p. 360
This confirms that the experience of Soviet communism was theoretically correct: The intermediate step between socialism and communism is alcoholism, a qualitative change [at least in theory]. 

As a practical matter, I suppose that it depends on what you drink.  I offer, purely in a spirit of scientific curiosity, a bottle of Chivas Regal to that end.

By:  Homeless with a Laptop, That is my Name
        Бездомный с ноутбуком, это мое имя

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Name

I guess you are kind of curious as to who I am, but I am one of those who do not have a regular name. My name depends on you. Just call me whatever is in your mind.

If you are thinking about something that happened a long time ago: Somebody asked you a question and you did not know the answer.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was raining very hard.
That is my name.
Or somebody wanted you to do something. You did it. Then they told you what you did was wrong—“Sorry for the mistake,””—and you had to do something else.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was a game that you played when you were a child or something that came idly into your mind when you were old and sitting in a chair near the window.
That is my name.
Or you walked someplace. There were flowers all around.
That is my name.
Perhaps you stared into a river. There was somebody near you who loved you. They were about to touch you. You could feel this before it happened. Then it happened.
That is my name.
Or you heard someone calling from a great distance. Their voice was almost an echo.
That is my name.
Perhaps you were lying in bed, almost ready to go to sleep and you laughed at something, a joke unto yourself, a good way to end the day.
That is my name.
Or you were eating something good and for a second forgot what you were eating, but still went on, knowing it was good.
That is my name.
Perhaps it was around midnight and the fire tolled like a bell inside the stove
That is my name.
Or you felt bad when she said that thing to you. She could have told it to someone else: Somebody who was more familiar with her problems.
That is my name.
Perhaps the trout swam in the pool but the river was only eight inches wide and the moon shone on IDEATH and the watermelon fields glowed out of proportion, dark and the moon seemed to rise from every plant.
That is my name.
And I wish Margaret would leave me alone.

Composed by Richard Brautigan; copied, pasted and posted, with love, of course, by Homeless with a Laptop, That is my name.

Monday, June 27, 2016

One goal

 Watching the Chile versus Mexico game reinforced my belief that you should never give up; NEVER.  After the third Chilean goal, the Mexican team basically gave up; and lost 7-0. 

Why should a team that is losing by a large margin keep playing?  Here’s one reason.

While in the Air Force, I regularly played soccer for my units’ teams.  During the winter, we played indoor soccer; which is a bit faster than regular soccer.   One time, we were playing against a really good team.   By the end of the first half, we were down 5-0.  Now, I don’t like losing at all… I was really frustrated that our team couldn’t see to get it together.

At the start of the second half, as we put the ball in play I fired a rocket; it went in.  5-1… the players on the other team started to get angry at each other because the defense didn’t stop the shot… hope rekindled???   We went to lose the game by 9-1…

At the end of the game, I was gloomy… then the goalkeeper from the other team came over and said to me:  “Over 8 games I have not allowed a single goal… Yet I never saw the ball from your shot…”  I laughed sympathetically, patted him on the back and parted our separate ways.

Despite our loss we did manage to dent the other team… The goalkeeper certainly thought so, and though we lost yet we managed to earn some respect from them.