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Civilization and Its Discontents

This is from Freud's book, Civilization and Its Discontents (1929).

Freud throws off in a footnote a rather wild speculation about the origins of the human use of fire.

I'll just paraphrase most of it, but I'll directly quote a bit at the end.

In primordial days, lightning would strike the branches of trees and set them ablaze in this primordial forest, and primitive people would see the branches, still burning, fall to the ground. Then usually, one or more men would step toward the branch and put out the fire with their urine stream.


Freud presumes that this was very pleasant for the men who did this: a form of sexual excitation, even. Why? Well … it was apparently an Oedipal thing. The father gods in the sky had sent the fire, the men of the tribe were conquering the father gods by pissing on the fire. Aaaaaah, feels good, eh? The real Prometheus? The real hero who tamed fire for the human species? That was a man who deprived himself of this pleasure by … NOT urinating. Inste…
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A clever blog post title

My own post titles are, I recognize, quite pedestrian. Today I'd like to recognize some cleverness on the point, from a philosopher writing about one of my regular obsessions, the mind-body problem.

Edward Feser, a Thomist, once headlined a post on his blog thus:

Animals are conscious! In other news, sky is blue, water wet.

Good one. "Woof."


What is the "State"?

Max Weber famously defined the State as the institution of a human community "that (successfully) lays claim to the monopoly of the legitimate use of physical violence within a given territory."

That definition had been very useful to anarchists, including anarcho-caps, as it has given us a nice definition of what we are saying we are against when we say we are against the State.

The definition raises certain immediate questions. For Americans, accustomed to arguments over the "state" (in the historically specific sense) and the federal government, the question naturally arises whether a state can agree to share its 'monopoly.' Should we define terms so that both Virginia and the USA have some say in deciding what is a legitimate use of violence in downtown Richmond? Is that a duopoly in one sense but still a monopoly in another?

Then there is the word "legitimate." The context indicates that Weber sees that state as self-defining in this sense. …

21st century job seeking: The fonts!

No, this doesn't personally concern me. Though I'm always looking to supplement my income, the sending-out-resumes thing? No.

Still, I came across this, and it appears the challenges of job seeking are changing in this millennium. One has to worry about resume fonts and something called the ATS.

https://www.forwardmotioncareers.com/resume-fonts-and-ats-the-facts/