Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Kangas writes, "The ordeal expresses an event that is neither temporal nor eternal. It is not the direct presence of the eternal within time, which would annihilate temporality, but rather an interruption of it" (p. 116). He also says, "Receiving time is the most basic work of the of the living subject" (p. 105, his emphasis).

Does the living subject interrupt temporality in order to receive it? What relation might there be between the event, which could be cosmic, or material in the extreme, and exchange, a social relation? The gap of reciprocation, which is not exactly the gap of return, that is, the lag between the reception and the sending of gifts, stands out as a practical, coexistential temporality. The art of interruption—is it itself an interruption

What role is there for patience to play in the constitution of the event of the ordeal? Must it always remain yet to be determined—or is that already too much of a determination? Is it really so hard to wait and see?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 11:25 AM. 0 comments

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Elephant Listening Project

The Elephant Listening Project was on the popular American television show 60 Minutes last weekend. A little surfing on seismic communication among elephants turned up reporting on research by Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell: (1), (2) and (3). Also, see O'Connel-Rodwell's review article, Keeping an "Ear" to the Ground: Seismic Communication in Elephants.

A couple of lines of inquiry. First, is "listening" at bottom a too comfortable metaphor for conceptualizing how elephants perceive seismic vibrations, how they live with vibration? In any case let's ask ourselves what listening could possibly be. Second, elephants can apparently recognize each others' "voices." (This too, this thing we call "voice," among the metaphorical—even as we learn that voice may be something that develops "in" nature, as if nature had no concourse with imagination.) "I know you." "I recognize your vibration." "I hear your voice." And already I have gone too far. Does an elephant say "I"?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 5:35 PM. 11 comments