The last two days were hiking days. Yesterday I did a 4.2 mile loop in state game lands adjacent to Big Pocono State Park, where I did a 5.6 mile loop today. Both trails are next to Camelback Ski Resort, which doubles as a water park in the summer. Incidentally, in the parking lot I ran into someone I went to high school with, always a jarring experience. Yesterday’s hike wound past two bodies of water, Deep Lake and Wolf Swamp (photos here).
From the top of Big Pocono you can see High Point New Jersey, the Catskills of New York (on a clear day), as well as plenty of the Poconos. While the trek yielded neither bear nor rattlesnake, it was perfectly timed for ripened blueberries and raspberries.
The Canadian produced TV show How It’s Made has the most diverse set of items in each show. For those who don’t know, the program delivers just what the title indicates. Here are the litanies for three episodes airing tonight.
1. Pipes, rock-climbing gear, leather bike saddles, luxury sports cars
2. Underwater robots, lasagna, band saws, ski trekking poles
3. Laminated wood beams, off-road vehicles, veggie burgers, augers.
For anyone looking for litanies, you’re welcome.
I’m not a huge R&B fan, but I was immediately hooked by this FREE album by The Weeknd.
Following on the heels of the discussion regarding the relation between OOO and process theology, Jason from Immanent Transcendence invited a friend to respond to my call for clarification from the PT camp. The post can be found here for those interested.
As the first rain in a week comes down and the 100 degree days fade from memory, my good friend Jacob Graham heads back to Pittsburgh after spending the weekend with me here in the Poconos. The highlight of the visit was certainly our 10 mile hike on Friday, the hottest day of the summer thus far. It was well worth it since we were fortunate (?) enough to come upon a Timber Rattlesnake. Fortunately, the snake rattled its warning before I got too close to it and stopped me in my tracks. Normally I’m on the alert for this kind of thing, but it was hot, humid and the tail end of our trip. My mind was wandering and Jacob was relating some story that was instantly erased from our memory once we heard the rattle. It was an intense experience.
I’m now catching up on reading some email and checking blog posts, including these comments on the process theology posts/debate from the last couple weeks. Also watching this Radiohead set from Glastonbury. I’ll take some time with Jason’s comments and the comments from his guest blogger, and eventually get back to them. With any luck I’ll have a chance to catch up with Leon to hear about his Maine trip.
Borders is liquidating. To mark the event, I went browsing for a couple hours in Carroll & Carroll Booksellers. I’m in a cafe across the street right now. In my hands is a copy of John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse, a collection of short stories from the ’60s. The book was recommended by the proprietor after I told her that I came in to buy a book whose existence I was unaware of. I nearly walked out with Walser, which would have defeated my purpose. Long live the independent bookstore, in whichever form it assumes.
Mark Lance has a good post up at New APPS discussing the flare up over the new Pluralist’s Guide. Despite all of the likely shortcomings of the new guide, it’s hugely important to perpetuate the debate over the guide’s usefulness, legitimacy, and accuracy. Most important, it’s necessary to do this in a nonreactionary way. It’s time that the PGR is no longer the only guide out there, not because it is bad (which it’s not), but because of its lone existence lends it a power that would diminish were there other guides available.
I like Lance’s idea of ‘queering’ the continental/analytic divide, which is perhaps the only kind of divide that exists (a queer one, that is).
Walking to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail, I glance over at the neighbor’s house and notice on his garbage can what has been called in a hilarious episode of Seinfeld a ‘Jesus fish’. Upon closer inspection I notice that the neihbor’s trash is serviced by a company called Christian Waste, whose logo and phone number you can see in this picture I snapped. This must be something new because I don’t remember seeing these when I was growing up.
Somehow I failed to know about Mark Z. Danielewski‘s House of Leaves until last summer. It took a conversation with Miles Kennedy for me to learn about the book. Recently I noticed on Twitter that Pete Wolfendale (Deontologistics) had finished the book and noted its chilling effect. So, I headed down to Carroll and Carroll and found a used copy for $10. I left also with a copy of W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn. Now I’m committed to working through House of Leaves, but I’m drawn to Rings constantly and read a few pages of it here and there. This isn’t fair to either book, as both deserve complete immersion.
In light of the present discussion of nihilism and the compatibility of OOO and process theology, I’d like to hear from the process theology people. This is something I know little about, and this seems like a great opportunity to get two disparate wings of philosophy to reach some kind of understanding. Here’s a question I’d like answered, and I am happy to accept links to already extant posts as responses:
What does process theology give us that a (process) naturalism cannot? Or, put otherwise, how does one get from nature to divinity without begging the question?
[Update: After reading a post at Immanent Transcendence, I would speculate that the theological and naturalist dogs in the SR/OOO fight will inevitably be lead to an impasse over causality. It will come down to whether or not you accept the reality of final, formal, and perhaps material cause in addition to efficient (and, for Harman, vicarious) causality. The theological wing will invoke Aristotle and Peirce to talk about several forms of causality, whereas the naturalist wing sticks to efficient and vicarious (perhaps material, anyone?). Once final and formal causality are set loose, many avenues are opened up for the theological argument. It's possible to simply deny these things, as (again) Spinoza does. Boringly, we must 'agree to disagree' about causality because we're now working at the level of first principles, right?]