Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« In Case You Missed It... | Like A Good Catfight? »

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Clarification

posted by on March 15 at 15:02 PM

A comment posted by Ben on my post Reality-effects, made this point:

Charles, forgive me, but if reality effects are the effects our actions (physical and mental) have on reality, AND if all human experience is mediated, then we can’t actually get at the reality effects any more than we can get at the rest of reality. Our access to the reality effects would be mediated like our access to the rest of reality. Why would we have special non-mediated access to just this part of reality? If you grant that we don’t, then what’s the big deal with reality-effects as an object of study over any other part of reality?

How are reality-effects different from reality itself? This is what I think Ben wants me to clarify, because if I can’t clarify this point then what exactly is so special about the concept (or password) of reality-effects?
This is the clarification: I do not confuse reality with truth. The truth is not out there. The truth is not out in the wilderness or desert of the real. What doesn’t exist outside of the human is truth of any kind. A man who dreams he is a king every night might in truth be a king but not in reality. The only home truth has in the whole universe is in fictions fashioned by humans (or human modes). As a consequence, there is no evil or good in the world as such. There are stars, clouds, George Bush, bullets, Arabs, sand. They all in fact happen to be here. So, if you want to be moral, you must make a story for yourself and others to act morally. Morals, like truth, are within fictions that can be applied, be affected by, the inhuman (or the indifferent to human) Real.

What one satellite drifting over Southern California in 1992 registered as “a heat anomaly” was a riot in Los Angeles. The “heat anomaly” was the reality; the riot was the “reality-effect.” The truth was only a matter of the conflicting fictions: one fiction ending in the “Rodney King Uprising”, the other in the “LA Riots.”

RSS icon Comments


Actually, the problem is that you currently reside in Hades and what you perceive to be real is being misinterpreted by both your mind and your optic nerves as being real.

But it's all an illusion.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 15, 2007 3:22 PM

Humans amount to a single species, this is a fact; that we contine to behave as competitive individuals rather than a collective organism is a reality effect.

Posted by M | March 15, 2007 4:12 PM

pff... read some real philosophy.

Posted by ben | March 15, 2007 5:34 PM

There is only one reality we are always in it. The rest is Fantasy we create to distract us from the fact that there is only one reality and all that fantasy creating is part of it.
To think there is other realities is just a fantasy designed by people that can't or do not deal well with the one single reality we live in. There is no Heaven or Hell, middle earth, after life that is cool... That is all fantasy all there is is what you see and feel when you look around you each day no mater where you go and when you die you break down physically into food for other organisms which are also part of this one reality.

Posted by -B- | March 15, 2007 9:19 PM

Hey Charles, thanks for the follow-up! This is the Ben from the previous post, not to be confused with the ben above in these comments who suggests that you go read some real philosophy. I appreciate your expanding on your previous remarks on reality and reality-effects, though I must admit I find the distinction between reality as human-independent and truth as human-dependent a rather odd place to build on. If there is a George Bush in the world, then it is true that there is George Bush in the world. This is just the Tarski equivalence, pretty modest stuff.

All the same, thanks for expanding.

Posted by Ben | March 15, 2007 10:51 PM

I confess that I'm a little confused as well by the clarification, not so much that it was a bad clarification, but that I am easily confused.

One possiblity for this confusion is that, in spite of everything, the design that Mudede has created is indeed only something that has been created, that is to say: fabricated.

Nevertheless, at the same time it does illuminate the human condition rather clearly, even if this illumination is only a provisional one. And what is this thankfully provisional human condition we are a part of? It is the one in which we are in control of the demonic fields of fiction-writing. Witholding truth, witholding meaning, so that the apparatus, in the end, will have thankfully derailed reality.

Posted by Billy Sauce | March 16, 2007 4:04 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).