The Systematic Future of this Blog

For Quick Navigation:

  1. my credentials (¶1)
  2. my systematic thinking and its Hegelian character (¶2-3)
  3. the three methodological premises of the Premissive System (¶5)
  4. the limits of my system (¶6-7)
  5. the future of the blog, its use within the overall future of my work online via my General System (¶9)
  6. the ideal end of the System: an academically-repeatable theory of mass praxis (¶11)

¶1. I am now an “educated man,” so to speak. This past May, I graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor of arts in Philosophy and a unique major entitled “The Program of Liberal Studies,” with a minor in Business Economics. I also took courses in finance, marketing, management, and business ethics during my time there.

¶2. While the entirety of that time was dedicated to reflection about myself and my self-conceived life purposes, it was only in the last year that I set out to concretely examine what it is I am doing online and why I am doing it. I began by organizing my life into a series of projects:

And, within my general project entitled “YouTube,” I set out to write nigh everything that I could imagine concerning what it was I wanted to do online:

Much of this was mixture of personal reflection and writing intended for public distribution, eventually here on this blog. However, over the past few months, I realized that what I set out in my reflections was too narrow, and that it had to be broadened, or situated, within a broader project of entertainment. Why? Because all that anyone does online is ultimately entertainment, as it now stands. What entertainment might be is the point of departure for all of my reflections. This was the situation I required.

¶3. I hereafter sought to construct a multi-part structure encompassing the entirety of my life insofar as it is related to all of my public work, what I have called the “meta-structure” of my YouTube channel and online persona. This structure I divide into three parts: (A) inspiration (B) Whole and (C) Recollection. Part (B) encompasses A and C as pieces of itself, making the entire structure fractal-like. I took, and continue to take, deep inspiration in this organizational frame from the philosophical system of GWF Hegel, whose thoughts are, in toto a fractal:

Hegel calls this method of thinking the union of the part and the whole, so that each instant of thought is a recollection of its conditions, each condition dependent on that instant. This is no place for a detailed exposition of what Hegel calls his “speculative” thinking but, suffice it to say, I find it quite fruitful. I have always been a systemic and systematic thinker – everything, for me, must be oriented towards a complete, self-sufficient whole. My gravitation to Hegel’s thought has only been an attempt to more clearly elucidate this obscure aspect of my thinking.

¶4. This excursus on Hegel is crucial, however, as it determines how I conceive of what thought is and what it ought to be. Since Kant, the question of thought as such has been open to philosophy – he re-opened it after the scholastics used Aristotle to close it. Arguably Hegel closed it again, but with Marx and Nietzsche it re-opens once more. For this reason, my thinking is by no means final. However, because I couch myself at this time in a Hegelian scheme I must, at some point explain what precisely that means. It was this obligation, to be clear to the public about what it is I am thinking and how it is I am thinking, that led me to move beyond the reflections hitherto conceived into something more, namely, a public exposition of reflection in the form of a more or less self-consistent whole. I have termed this a System of Premissive Philosophy in General Outline.

¶5. The system, as I conceive of it, rests on 3 methodological premises. (1) All communicative thought must be translatable into a premise with referable semantics. That is, anything worth saying must be sayable as a thought complete unto itself. I deny, for the purposes of my system, that any thought is communicable except as a premise, that is, a subject-predicate relation. Might other thoughts be discoverable? Perhaps. For now, I limit myself to that which I am certain of, namely, the subject-predicate premise. Moreover, the semantics of each term must be localized within a reference, or else the term is meaningless. Any language must be self-consciously situated in a public reference or a reference that can be checked by anyone. (2) Complex communication emerges only through inferences; whatever depends on more than one premise must be inferential, or else it is incommunicable. “Implicit” arguments are, for my purposes, null. Whatever I do not explicitly write is, for me, empty of meaning. (3) Wholes are conceivable and practicable. That is, inferences can be enchained to each other as argumentation so that a totality of thought can be conceived. Not only this: totalities of thought can be practiced, insofar as the conclusions of the argumentation furnish actions through what Aristotle calls a “practical syllogism.” Whatever is unactionable, whole or otherwise, is not, for me, a concern.

¶6. So far, these premises only bear a public character trite moral commitments. I might well have put my hand over my heart like a dumb schoolboy and said to my teacher: “I promise not to lie!” Such empty moralism is worthless. My system attempts to go beyond this. I conceive of it as a working out of the grammar of practice whereby the above premises are implemented. It, therefore, traces out the conditions and consequences of the premises. It does so a priori, or absent of empirical data. That is, it attempts to prove how such premises are universally justifiable and thereby necessary.

¶7. This system is not merely a working out of ethical grammar, however. No, more than this, it is a system for the criticism of action. By defining the necessary limits of communicable behavior (what Jürgen Habermas has called “discourse ethics,”) I believe that one traces out canons of criticism whereby action which falls short of my premises can be apprehended. The aim of my grammar, like that of linguistic grammar, is to put the “mobile army of metaphors” that is language (to use Nietzsche’s phrase) into rigid laws. It is only by overlaying such a grid that predictions can be made and that human action can advance. Admittedly, I am a bit pompous in this consideration. It is for this reason that the critical aspect is, as I see it, an after-thought. Revisions will likely continue until the day I die.

¶8. What is necessary, first and foremost, in my view, is that I set before myself and the public a complete system of my self-understanding, so that I need not be speculated on. Of course, speculation will proceed regardless. What my system will allow, however, is clear and distinct reference (to use Descartes’ phrase) to the grounds for each and every action I take. I achieve this in three ways. First, through the publication of the work for all to see – nothing I intend to act on is occult. Second, through the enumeration of paragraphs. Anyone can refer to what I say cleanly and clearly by referring to the name of my publication, its relative section, and the paragraph in which I said what I did. There is no room for lazy implications. (Aside: there is only room for intense implications, much as Derrida conducts through his method of deconstruction.) Third, through serial outlining. Before and after each publication I now place an outline: the first for navigation, the second for a summary of claims made. Hereby I attempt to rid my readers of the burdensome task of reading all of my prose! It is quite wordy, windy, and dry. I cannot help this. What I intend to publish here and elsewhere are technical pieces on issues of deep concern to me. Briefer, more terse and entertaining works will be reserved for YouTube and (eventually) TikTok.

¶9. With all this in view, I can now finally get to this post’s title: the future of this blog. I have, for a long time, separated my private writings according into the categories “personal” and “technical”. The first concerns data from my own life – my feelings, my activities, and so on. The second concerns technical theories about academic areas of interest to me. I intend to do the same here. Last year I created a tab for “Reflections” on my blog. By the time of this post, you will see two further tabs for “Fragments” and “Speculations.” Reflections I intend to be personal, Speculations technical. Fragments are for all minor thoughts, aphoristic and otherwise, which I don’t want to place in either category.

¶10. At some point, a special place will be given to the complete first iteration of my Premissive System on this website. In its initial stages, I intend it only for those who (1) are interested in philosophy and will gain through reading it (2) those in my audience who are deeply critical of me and (3) any fan of mine which wishes to probe more deeply into my thoughts. A fourth group I admit of only in an auxiliary sense – those who are looking for tools with which to criticize society, the public, and public actors. My system as it currently stands is not ready for such a weighty task – namely, to bear responsibility as grounds for public action. I fear, at this point, it will crack under the pressure of worldwide opinion. For this reason, I ask that whoever in (1) and (2) in my reader base who wishes to read it to do and contact me. I will win greatly from anyone and everyone who sees flaws in my work. Such flaws must be patched up – the system is only made stronger thereby.

¶11. The introductory remarks on systematizing presented in ¶2-3 were placed so that I could return to them here, after the idea of my System and its place on my blog had been clarified. Implicit in my Premissive System is my social philosophy or, in technical terms, my a priori understanding of social data. It is with this understanding that I intend to lay the groundwork for a long-term academic project involving my YouTube channel, a project which will take that channel and its consequences up at every step. This project is not yet fully conceived in my mind. Suffice it to say, I intend it as an empirical study on the conditions of mass action and the conditions of the attempt to take such action. I want to keep a scrupulous record of this. I can only do this if I have a general groundwork in place which anticipates what it is I ought to track. This social philosophy, as presently conceived, culminates in a theory of voluntary associations. For this reason, the Inspiration-Whole-Recollection aspect my prior theorizing is incorporated into my Premissive System, as are pieces of the “Whole” which delve into the criteria for effective dialogical activity. In short, in the initial phase, I have conceived of my system as a complete a priori framework for (1) my own ethical commitments (2) the explication of my social reasonings (3) the justification for the voluntary association as mediated by internet media. In the secondary phase, I intend to complete the system by readying it for mass use by anyone who would attempt to repeat my steps. I have in mass view, here, a constellation of associations, a network of unions, enjoined according to their scrupulous admission of first premises. This is an ideal view, but it is what is, at present, driving me. The end hereof is to enter that niche which capitalism refuses to touch: the face-to-face. Where businessmen enjoin men to products I intend to enjoin men to men. Can it be done? This is the million-dollar question.

summary outline:

  1. my credentials (¶1)
  2. my systematic thinking and its Hegelian character (¶2-3)
    1. as determining the character of thought as such, and its culmination in a General Premissive System (¶4)
  3. the three methodological premises of the Premissive System (¶5)
    1. the premise as the foundation of communicable thought (¶5)
    2. argumentation as universally reducible to premises (¶5)
    3. the really-practicable character of wholes (¶5)
  4. the limits of my system (¶6-7)
    1. morally (¶6)
    2. its critical ends (¶7)
    3. its discursive ends – clear and distinct reference (¶8)
  5. the future of the blog, its use within the overall future of my work online via my General System (¶9)
    1. the blog as home base for the system (¶10)
  6. the ideal end of the System: an academically-repeatable theory of mass praxis (¶11)

Of Social Power

All social possibilities are only possibilities of power. Whatever is not enforced is nothing at all – the dog with no teeth merely bloodies his gums as he bites. The law with no sanction says but does not do.

If towards the king subjects must obey, his soldiers will beat all men submiss. If towards the group one must submit, then dissenters’ benefits will be withheld.

In brief: If respect towards one is due, respect can only be expected if, and only if, something compels it. Otherwise, one can expect the stone left unturned.

“Gifts” are earned, compelled out of a sense of propriety. Where no such compulsion exists, no consequences can be conceived.

Can even one counter-example be given? The child must be disciplined, the lover reminded of their worth, the friend shown affection. Whatever does not bind, loosens.

I can imagine no world without my bindings: love toward my family, “faith” in my religion (of which I do not practice), “patriotism” towards my country (undue, for its imperialist rot). In a word, I am nothing without the straitjacket of expectancy: without love I am homeless; without “faith” my mind is vacuous; without “patriotism” I am adrift in international waters. Does this justify such regressive, uncritical practices? No, but they persist because most, myself included, cannot even conceive of themselves without them. This is the final power, the final compulsion.