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Old 05-08-2013, 09:39 PM   #61
ecbritz
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I regularly take a vow never to return to this particular thread. But unfortunately the exchanges here are too interesting to give them a miss. Sorry about that.

Ms Hitch, you are a feast. But it's a pity you can't laugh at yourself as well. Then again, those that laugh at themselves and at the world don't have your can-do powers. I suppose that a force to be reckoned with, has no use for a sense of humour, and would be weakened by it.

I need to tweak my theory about parasitism in the light of what Ms Hitsch has written about herself.

This theory is not my own but I read about it in an article on the French school of deconstructivism. The article "rewrites" the concept of parasitism, thus demonstrating deconstruction.

Normally the word "parasite" carries a strongly negative moral meaning. But shocking as this might be, you can think of for instance a baby as a perfect example of a parasite. The mother also "feeds off" the baby in a physical, psychological and even spiritual sense. While the baby fills itself with mother's milk, the mother "fulfils" herself in having and nurturing the baby.

Another shocking example is a couple of lovers working up to an orgasm. In orgasm, I read, a person actually forgets for a few seconds about the other person completely. The rupture is experienced entirely within the self. So the give-and-take of lovemaking might seem like a kind of altruism, a passionate "sharing". But at its peak its actually the epitome of parasitism.

How Ms Hitch and the Sigil Forum fits into this deconstructivist mode of thinking I'm not sure anymore. But there is some kind of deal akin to my two examples being played out here. "I tolerate your voice, your public indulgence in your own opinions. You tolerate my advertisements", MobileRead might say. But this is not doing the deal justice, especially when the newbie-member, the beginner in search of enlightenment, is taken into account. "You learn all about Sigil (I hope). But in return you also glance over my adverts -- so I can put bread on my table." Note how the whole deal picks up moral rectitude when the service provided to beginners is taken into account.

I've just read at Wikipedia that parasitism is actually "a non-mutual relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the other, the host". There goes my story about the mother/baby and lover+lover relationships. Then again, Wikipedia is an amateur encyclopaedia. It does not provide the kind of profound insights that French philosophers do.

Well, I'm ready for the daily rantings, bring it on. Perhaps we are in a process of learning WHAT to say using Sigil, not only HOW to say it by coding HTML.

Be that all as it may, I take my hat off to Ms. Hitch.

Last edited by ecbritz; 05-08-2013 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:09 AM   #62
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Normally the word "parasite" carries a strongly negative moral meaning. But shocking as this might be, you can think of for instance a baby as a perfect example of a parasite. The mother also "feeds off" the baby in a physical, psychological and even spiritual sense. While the baby fills itself with mother's milk, the mother "fulfils" herself in having and nurturing the baby.
You don't have to twist the meaning of "parasite". It means an unequal symbiotic relationship. There are also equal ones.


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Another shocking example is a couple of lovers working up to an orgasm. In orgasm, I read, a person actually forgets for a few seconds about the other person completely. The rupture is experienced entirely within the self.
I think you need to stop READING about it and DO it a few times instead.

p.s. if you got a rupture, you're doing it wrong. Or, possibly, very right.
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:00 AM   #63
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You don't have to twist the meaning of "parasite". It means an unequal symbiotic relationship. There are also equal ones.




I think you need to stop READING about it and DO it a few times instead.

p.s. if you got a rupture, you're doing it wrong. Or, possibly, very right.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:33 PM   #64
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I won't make an appeal to the Holy Mother of God to express my frustration at misspelling "rapture", as we have recently seen a forum member do after being driven up the wall. I've read somewhere that if you arrive in heaven and God asks difficult questions, you may always say: "May I have a word with Your Mother?". So better not sour your relations with Her. Especially since some of us here are not too far removed from the Pearly Gates. (This is a reason, I suspect, for some of the grumpiness.)

The wombat's observation that you don't have to twist the meaning of the word parasitism to attach a more morally-neutral value to it, is interesting to me because it was used as a case-in-point in an article about deconstruction.

Deconstruction is all about twisting meaning. We are conditioned to associate the words we know with fixed meanings. But while the sign (the word as it sounds) might be more or less fixed, the meaning can go this way and that in the natural course of using language.

The value of a sense of humour is that it allows certain kinds of deconstruction to occur. Deconstruction means that one construction is destroyed while another construction simultaneously takes its place. Suppose somebody says something very seriously and you can't help laughing about it, then the thing said is deflated by your amusement and becomes ridiculous rather than weighty. It's part of our human intelligence that we laugh and start "deconstructing" as soon as meaning is presented too gravely. Laughter is one way for the mind to avoid being intimidated by predominant assumptions. And so forth.

In the course of reading French philosophy I have stumbled upon some remarkable stuff, especially in feminist theory. The self-sufficiency of the female, as opposed to the dependency of the male, was once related to the "lips caressing each other" distinguishing the female organ, in stark contrast to the pitifully lonely organ of the male.

I do not recommend these subversive French ideas to forum members. Rather get on with coding those HTML's.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:44 PM   #65
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Semiotics can be great fun. They infest drama courses now - maybe because the tutors embrace them as something vaguely academic and examinable, justifying the degree status of their courses! But I keep coming back to Sir Laurence Olivier's advice to a young Dustin Hoffman, up to his eyes in technique and theory while filming "Marathon Man". "Why not just ACT, dear boy?"

Why not just let words mean what they mean?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #66
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I'm sorry ecbritz but with all these very deep philosophical speculations, you are not going to learn Sigil soon (or decipher the way to do so)!

Now, it is possible that I try to "déconstruire" your "discours" but not without a bit of irony (hope you don't mind ).

I know, I lack of humour as I have not read Foucault, Derrida or Deleuze, (and the most recent ones) since a long time: there were times for fun and now I use all my free time for coding (a simple way to parasite the deconstructivism).

(BTW, the newest French theory is to put as much things as you can in brackets: you have a better control over the reality this way).
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:57 PM   #67
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Thanks to all for the crazy fun conversation. I added some more of the same but decided to scrap it. Party's over.

It seems my suggestions about how a beginner should learn Sigil has been generally accepted, except for Huey Tsen’s book which was not recommended. I at least will follow my own advice.

One remark by Hitch has remained stuck in my mind. She says that the days of eBooks (only ePubs?) are numbered. Does this simply mean that it's not commercially successful enough? Or is there another technology looming on the horizon?

Last edited by ecbritz; 05-10-2013 at 05:19 AM.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:06 PM   #68
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Thanks to all for the crazy fun conversation. I added some more of the same but decided to scrap it. Party's over.

It seems my suggestions about how a beginner should learn Sigil has been generally accepted, except for Huey Tsen’s book which was not recommended. I at least will follow my own advice.

One remark by Hitch has remained stuck in my mind. She says that the days of eBooks (only ePubs?) are numbered. Does this simply mean that it's not commercially successful enough? Or is there another technology looming on the horizon?
I don't think the number of days for eBooks is numbered and I don't believe that is what she said. I think that the technology will reach the point that an ePub can be generated automatically from a word processor and her job of hand crafting an ePub will be much less needed.

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Old 05-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #69
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I don't think the number of days for eBooks is numbered and I don't believe that is what she said. I think that the technology will reach the point that an ePub can be generated automatically from a word processor and her job of hand crafting an ePub will be much less needed.

Dale
Yes. I didn't, um...see the previous suggestion that I meant that the days of ebooks were numbered.

I meant simply that the days of ebook conversion houses are numbered. The huge publishers have all outsourced the work offshore, and don't even proof what they get back, particularly for backlist books (I know this factually, not anecdotally) and the "Kindle Gold rush" is patently over, as an unintended consequence of the KDP Select program. Existing authors that were making a living now aren't; would-be or hopeful authors read about this and have put off publishing.

And we all know that the lack of quality control in the industry, of any kind at all, means that more and more people will use tools like Calibre (nothing against it for its intended purpose) rather than either do the work properly or pay someone to do it properly, or worse, get taken advantage of by the rip-off artists we've seen come through here who don't even know how to extract the content or spell HTML, much less work in it. So...yes, I think quality companies like mine will indeed go out of business, whilst scammers, as always, will thrive. Just like cockroaches.

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Old 05-10-2013, 11:20 PM   #70
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Thanks, I misunderstood you. You touch on a terrible problem. I read on Yahoo a few days ago that one of the endangered species in terms of jobs available in America is reporters, journalists. Whether they work for right- or left wing newspapers, or some other journal, quality journalism, quality writing and quality publications are absolutely essential for a quality America to subsist.

Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World is forgotten today for being a quaint, slanted view of the future. But what Huxley was concerned about, was whether technology was going to advance human civilization or demolish it, in unforeseen ways. We are enjoying information technology as we speak. But you can also see the advance of the cockroaches wherever you look on the internet. So you have my sympathy, even if I misrepresent your point again, to some degree.

Let me stop right here. Please say something utterly uninteresting so I can finally say goodbye to this thread.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:36 PM   #71
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Don't know if you do agree, but I sincerely believe that the last posts here (# 67-69) deserve the creation of a new thread (because it is an important one).

Indeed, we no longer speak of ways to use a tool, but its future value. And this can be strategic reflexion upon a crucial matter: who does it, for which reasons and how it can "cost" (and not just in a $ point of view)?
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