(Davidic Aphorisms Pt.1) “Personally, I prefer the Hegelian distinction between true and spurious infinity.”

What follows will not make immediate sense, or even later sense.  But I’ve discovered that comment threads by my brother David on the Guardian newspaper website (no less), are a work of art.  They are (or have become) a bunch of genuine aphorisms that will betray a sense of the sublime in the ordinary.  It’s not easy to say this, since he is my brother after all, but they have made me laugh out loud, despite their often serious points, and they deserve a wider audience…..


While cooking is a pleasure, and eating it even more so, Ellen is right to highlight the kind of narrowing of horizons that poverty engenders. Clearly many middle-class people work as hard, if not harder, than poor people, but the point is that having access to cash or credit greatly expands the range of options and a sense that life has a purpose for yourself and your family. Being poor strips away many of the motivations for living healthily because, well, what’s the point in trying. It’s not an excuse, but it might go some way to explaining why poor people eat worse more generally.

It’s weird how the most violent people and the most anti-violent people share the common characteristic of having no sense of humour.  The world would be a better place if we just felt freer to take the piss out of each other more of the time.

What you’re saying only makes sense if you thought that religious belief was automatically opposed to evolutionary science, which I don’t think it is. As with Genesis, its the meanings to which it has been put (racism for one) that is important. It’s all about interpretation.

Nietzsche would be disgusted.

And yet, by the same logic, christian bakers are obliged to bake cakes celebrating gay marriage because to not do so is discrimination. It seems oddly inconsistent…

What I love about philosophy is the way it unsettles our commonsense view of reality. Everything, even the most mundane, is up for grabs. If only I could find a way to teach it in schools, colleges or universities! I’d do it for peanuts if I could.

Not being funny, but I’d hazard the guess that you haven’t read much theology, have you?

Hard to know what to think about this, its either an interesting way of revealing unconscious bias towards belief, or completely fatuous. Either way, I wouldn’t say it, not because I have a superstitious belief in the power of words, but because I don’t think it’s a relevant way to pray (mainly because I believe that God is love).

Maybe, but it is possible that you have misjudged the situation somewhat. I’m not convinced that having low expectations/aspiration is automatically connected to a sense of entitlement by virtue of being male and white (that is a bit of a leap, and not one which I feel is justified). Not seeing the relevancy of striving in school could more easily be explained by a sense that striving academically is a potential cul-de-sac career wise. Speaking for myself, it never entered my head to strive for anything beyond factory/shop work because I didn’t know anyone in my social circle who did anything different. My experience may not be exemplary in this, but I think that the idea that white boys have low expectations because they feel entitled (for what and by whom?) simply because of their ethnicity and gender is a bit bizarre and insulting.

Possibly the issue is not so much that you commented on white males being inherently privileged, but that you suggested that young, working class white boys had imbibed this privilege and had a sense of the entitlement which reality failed to deliver on.

In my own experience as someone who grew up working-class, it is the sense of entitlement that I encounter in the middle-class (male and female) which strikes me as the greatest difference between us and them.

To be honest, I see your point, it is repellent, but it accurately describes the reality.

Being poor sucks!

Personally, I prefer the Hegelian distinction between true and spurious infinity (the former being a dialectical relation, the latter a mere endless progression onwards and upwards). Hegel’s true infinity is quite similar to the Kantian infinitude of aesthetic judgement.

One thing I love about Kant is that he was intelligent enough to recognise that the most important questions can be convincingly argued as either yes or no.

I’m a christian, and I have no idea what you’re on about.  I also choose not to wear a poppy because it clashes with my red eyes. Freaks people out.

Well, I enjoyed the article at least. Star Wars may not be Macbeth – and Lucas is no Shakespeare – but as a massively popular story, its interesting to analyse it this way.

I strongly doubt that robots will ever replace humans in any significant way.


You mean ‘apathy’, surely?  Loyalty and commitment is a two way street. Where employers pay the minimum they are required by law, they can expect the bare minimum back.

To be honest, my boredom comes from the hypersensitivity surrounding perceived microaggressions due to the proliferation of polymorphous sexual identities. It all seems to be breeding endless new orthodoxies with permutations which immediately consider it violent not to be recognised.  It’s all very People’s Front of Judea.

The levels of anger about arcane degrees of gender differentiation makes me feel quite sleepy.   It’s a bit like living in a really boring and otherworldly satire about something unimportant…

I agree (in theory) with everything you said, though I would add that secular multiculturalism/pluralism is only meant to provide a civic space for competing truth claims – religious or otherwise – and is not a truth claim itself, which is what it has become.

I suppose that my point was that the idea of secularism seems to be presenting itself less as a neutral civic space for society to function (which broadly speaking I agree with), and more as a kind of fantasy of value/ideology-free, neutral objectivity. It shouldn’t be used to keep religious claims outside of the state, but rather to enable competing claims to pursue their own good within society in a way that does no harm to others. I’m not sure that this is currently true.

Yes, very droll, though I think your (admittedly impeccable) logic is somewhat flawed.

Really enjoyed going to uni when I was 29. Seemed the perfect age for me, and wasn’t made to feel odd by anyone, even though I was a good five+ years older than everyone else. Hasn’t done me any favours careerwise, but was a brilliant thing to have done.   It all culminated with graduating with a doctorate in York minister this time last year!  Life can be very strange….

I think it’s about £14K, which doesn’t seem very much now I read other people’s – but then, it isn’t a competition (unless it is).

And I thought it was just a rhetorical device…

With your wide experience (no offence), you ought to be able to spot the idiots now a mile off; they’re not hard to find. Unless you’re somehow drawn to them….

Towards the end of my BA at Bath Spa, I confided in my dissertation supervisor about the difficulties I was having completing the work. Without batting an eye, she looked at me and said, ‘I believe you can do this.’ Regardless of whether or not that was true, knowing someone believed in me made it possible.  I passed with a First, and won a cash prize for best dissertation that year.

I think someone from Onion News has escaped and infiltrated the Guardian.  Sympathy for the rich is just an ideological version of Stockholm syndrome.

I’m sure ISIS would be glad to lend you some explosives to get the job done quicker…

Even if it were better for you, who would want to add a year to their life by foregoing Full Fat Milk? I’d rather die young(ish) than that!

Skimmed milk is an ABOMINATION!

Interesting, but disgusting.

What on earth is the service you provide to provoke so many people?

The difference is that the Roman state no longer exists, so is hardly culpable, whereas the UK does. Clearly, having once been a colony with a large slave population will have detrimental effects on a country in the long term, but I think that having independence and self determination allows the people to change that. Reparations would only hammer home a sense of grievance and entitlement.

The argument of course is that such shoes raise womens sexual capital as consumer products for men. It doesn’t matter that men don’t care/notice these things, or that women largely dress for other women. Nor does it matter that many men have to work in horrible jobs for years for little pay in order to afford a woman in plimsolls. Either way, the whole way of thinking is based on an almost purely economic, bean-counting attitude to human affairs.

From what I can gather from Heidegger, boredom of the most profound kind is the experience of the flatness of things, when we approach things without any conception of their usefulness to us. In this state, the fact or miracle that there is something rather than nothing manifests itself. In boredom we are bored by nothing, because everything has flatlined, and this gives us an opportunity to experience being in a radically different way.  Or something like that anyway…

If the media are behind the undoubtedly paranoid misrepresentation of Muslims in the UK and abroad, leading to a general mistrust, then I would ask why that group is being unfairly singled out. Considering that Britain is home to a huge array of different ethnicities and beliefs, why don’t the others get a mention?

The media definitely over egg the pudding on the threat that Islam represents to the UK, but even if you could strip away all the lies, half truths and misrepresentations, you would still be faced with what is essentially an Arabic supremacist faith which originated in the bloody conquest of the (Christian) Eastern Empire.

Probably 21-22. Left home, made loads of new friends, became uncharacteristically popular, and worked like a dog in a pasty shop. Life felt amazing!

I think you must be confusing the CoE with 1970s comedic representations of the same. I know plenty of vicars, and – believe me – what you have claimed is far, far from the truth.

You make two astonishing claims: that Jesus sought to set himself up as a kind of political/religious ruler; and the other, in comparing him to ISIS.  Are you on drugs? Is that a serious claim? Why do atheists, who are often so thoughtful when it comes to so many subjects, suddenly go insanely simplistic and black and white when it comes to religious belief or practice?

Aside from the brutal crucifixion of an innocent man for political-religious expediency by the powers that be, which bits of the New Testament are “nasty”?

The “people.”  Is that code for the mafia or something?

Good for them, though 80 hours a week (aside from being akin to slave conditions) is hardly suitable for raising a family – unless the tax harvested is able to pay for free child care.  People’s unwillingness to work at that level is not due to laziness, but because it is impractical.

Part 1 has ended.  Part 2 will begin shortly…..

Beauties; acrylic on canvas by Basel El Maqosui
This stunning picture is called Beauties –  an acrylic on canvas by Basel el Maqosui


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