46 Matching Annotations
  1. Sep 2019
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  2. Aug 2019
    1. When an assignment to some particular “towards-this” has been thus circumspectively aroused, we catch sight of the “towards-this” itself, and along with it everything connected with the work—the whole ‘work-shop’—as that wherein concern always dwells. The context of equipment is lit up, not as something never seen before, but as a totality constantly sighted beforehand in circumspection. With this totality, however, the world announces itself.

      Heidegger: lighting of the the "work-shop" ||

    2. A. The Concept of Phenomenon H. 29 The Greek expression φαινόμενον, to which the term ‘phenomenon’ goes back, is derived from the verb φαίνεσθαι, which signifies “to show itself”. Thus φαινόμενον means that which shows itself, the manifest [das, was sich zeigt, das Sichzeigende, das Offenbare]. φαίνεσθαι itself is a middle-voiced form which comes from φαίνω—to bring to the light of day, to put in the light. Φαίνω comes from the stem φα—, like φῶς, the light, that which is bright—in other words, that wherein something can become manifest, visible in itself. Thus we must keep in mind that the expression ‘phenomenon’ signifies that which shows itself in itself, the manifest. Accordingly the φαινόμενα or ‘phenomena’ are the totality of what lies in the light of day or can be brought to the light—what the Greeks sometimes identified simply with τὰ ὄντα (entities). Now an entity can show itself from itself [von ihm selbst her] in many ways, depending in each case on the kind of access we have to it. Indeed it is even possible for an entity to show itself as something which in itself it is not. When it shows itself in this way, it ‘looks like something or other’ [“sieht”… “so aus wie…”]. This kind of showing-itself is what we call “seeming” [Scheinen]. Thus in Greek too the expression φαινόμενον (“phenomenon”) signifies that which looks like something, that which is ‘semblant’, ‘semblance’ [das “Scheinbare”, der “Schein”]. Φαινόμενον ἀγαθόν means something good which looks like, but ‘in actuality’ is not, what it gives itself out to be. If we are to have any further understanding of the concept of phenomenon, everything depends on our seeing how what is designated in the first signification of φαινόμενον (‘phenomenon’ as that which shows itself) and what is designated in the second (‘phenomenon’ as semblance) are structurally interconnected. Only when the meaning of something is such that it makes a pretension of showing itself—that is, of being a phenomenon—can it show itself as something which it is not; only then can it ‘merely look like so-and-so’. When φαινόμενον signifies ‘semblance’, the primordial signification (the phenomenon as the manifest) is already included as that upon which the second signification is founded. We shall allot the term ‘phenomenon’ to this positive and primordial signification of φαινόμενον, and distinguish “phenomenon” from “semblance”, which is the privative modification of “phenomenon” as thus defined. But what both these terms express has proximally nothing at all to do with what is called an ‘appearance’, or still less a ‘mere appearance’.22

      Heidegger: "The Concept of Phenomenon" ||

    3. The work produced refers not only to the “towards-which” of its usability and the “whereof” of which it consists: under simple craft conditions it also has an assignment to the person who is to use it or wear it. The work is cut to his figure; he ‘is’ there along with it as the work emerges. Even when goods are produced by the dozen, this constitutive assignment is by no means lacking; it is merely indefinite, and points to the random, the average.

      Heidegger: craftsman's "work is cut to his figure; he ‘is’ there along with it as the work emerges" ||

    4. Proximally and for the most part, de-severing69 is a circumspective bringing-close—bringing something close by, in the sense of procuring it, putting it in readiness, having it to hand. But certain ways in which entities are discovered in a purely cognitive manner also have the character of bringing them close. In Dasein there lies an essential tendency towards closeness. All the ways in which we speed things up, as we are more or less compelled to do today, push us on towards the conquest of remoteness. With the ‘radio’, for example, Dasein has so expanded its everyday environment that it has accomplished a de-severance of the ‘world’—a de-severance which, in its meaning for Dasein, cannot yet be visualized.

      Heidegger: radio and the "conquest of remoteness" ||

    5. The ready-to-hand is not grasped theoretically at all, nor is it itself the sort of thing that circumspection takes proximally as a circumspective theme. The peculiarity of what is proximally ready-to-hand is that, in its readiness-to-hand, it must, as it were, withdraw [zurückzuziehen] in order to be ready-to-hand quite authentically. That with which our everyday dealings proximally dwell is not the tools themselves [die Werkzeuge selbst]. On the contrary, that with which we concern ourselves primarily is the work—that which is to be produced at the time; and this is accordingly ready-to-hand too. The work bears with it that referential totality within which the equipment is encountered.12

      Heidegger: "The work bears with it that referential totality within which the equipment is encountered" ||

    6. The upshot of this is that if in our analysis of dealings we aim at that which is dealt with, then one’s existent Being alongside the entities with which one concerns oneself must be given an orientation not towards some isolated item of equipment which is ready-to-hand, but towards the equipmental totality. This way of taking what is dealt with, is forced upon us also if we consider that character of Being which belongs distinctively to equipment that is ready-to-hand—namely, involvement.xvii We understand the term “involvement” ontologically. The kind of talk in which we say that something has with it an involvement in something, is not meant to establish a fact ontically, but rather to indicate the kind of Being that belongs to what is ready-to-hand. The relational character of involvement—of its ‘with… in…’—suggests that “an” equipment is ontologically impossible. Of course just a solitary item of equipment may be ready-to-hand while another is missing. But this makes known to us that the very thing that is ready-to-hand belongs to something else. Our concernful dealings can let what is ready-to-hand be encountered circumspectively only if in these dealings we already understand something like the involvement which something has in something. The Being-alongside which discovers circumspectively in concern, amounts to letting something be involved—that is, to projecting an involvement understandingly. Letting things be involved makes up the existential structure of concern. But concern, as Being alongside something, belongs to the essential constitution of care; and care, in turn, is grounded in temporality. If all this is so, then the existential condition of the possibility of letting things be involved must be sought in a mode of the temporalizing of temporality.

      Heidegger: ontological meaning of "involvement" || Return to the claim that "'an' equipment is ontologically impossible"

    7. The context of assignments or references, which, as significance, is constitutive for worldhood, can be taken formally in the sense of a system of Relations. But one must note that in such formalizations the phenomena get levelled off so much that their real phenomenal content may be lost, especially in the case of such ‘simple’ relationships as those which lurk in significance.

      Heidegger: context of reference and the 'leveling' of phenomena ||

    8. Regions are not first formed by things which are present-at-hand together; they always are ready-to-hand already in individual places. Places themselves either get allotted to the ready-to-hand in the circumspection of concern, or we come across them. Thus anything constantly ready-to-hand of which circumspective Being-in-the-world takes account beforehand, has its place. The “where” of its readiness-to-hand is put to account as a matter for concern, and oriented towards the rest of what is ready-to-hand. Thus the sun, whose light and warmth are in everyday use, has its own places—sunrise, midday, sunset, midnight; these are discovered in circumspection and treated distinctively in terms of changes in the usability of what the sun bestows. Here we have something which is ready-to-hand with uniform constancy, although it keeps changing; its places become accentuated ‘indicators’ of the regions which lie in them. These celestial regions, which need not have any geographical meaning as yet, provide the “whither” beforehand for every63 special way of giving form to the regions which places can occupy. The house has its sunny side and its shady side; the way it is divided up into ‘rooms’ [“Räume”] is oriented towards these, and so is the ‘arrangement’ [“Einrichtung”] within them, according to their character as equipment. Churches and graves, for instance, are laid out according to the rising and the setting of the sun—the regions of life and death, which are determinative for Dasein itself with regard to its ownmost possibilities of Being in the world. Dasein, in its very Being, has this Being as an issue; and its concern discovers beforehand those regions in which some involvement is decisive. This discovery of regions beforehand is co-determined [mitbestimmt] by the totality of involvements for which the ready-to-hand, as something encountered, is freed. The readiness-to-hand which belongs to any such region beforehand has the character of inconspicuous familiarity, and it has it in an even more primordial sense than does the Being of the ready-to-hand.64

      Heidegger: "inconspicuous familiarity" of the "region" || familiarity of mind maps / infographics

    9. The psychological Interpretation according to which the “I” has something ‘in the memory’ [“im Gedächtnis”] is at bottom a way of alluding to the existentially constitutive state of Being-in-the-world.

      Heidegger: inwardness of memory ["Gedächtnis"] as an allusion to "Being-in-the-world" ||

    10. Taken strictly, there ‘is’ no such thing as an equipment. To the Being of any equipment there always belongs a totality of equipment, in which it can be this equipment that it is. Equipment is essentially ‘something in-order-to…’ [“etwas um-zu…”]. A totality of equipment is constituted by various ways of the ‘in-order-to’, such as serviceability, conduciveness, usability, manipulability.

      Heidegger: "Taken strictly, there ‘is’ no such thing as an equipment" || c.f. Enframing

    11. Αἴσθησις, the sheer sensory perception of something, is ‘true’ in the Greek sense, and indeed more primordially than the λόγος which we have been discussing. Just as seeing aims at colours, any αἴσθησις aims at its ἴδια (those entities which are genuinely accessible only through it and for it); and to that extent this perception is always true. This means that seeing always discovers colours, and hearing always discovers sounds. Pure νοεῖν is the perception of the simplest determinate ways of Being which entities as such may possess, and it perceives them just by looking at them.34 This νοεῖν is what is ‘true’ in the purest and most primordial sense; that is to say, it merely discovers, and it does so in such a way that it can never cover up. This νοεῖν can never cover up; it can never be false; it can at worst remain a non-perceiving, άγνοεῖν, not sufficing for straightforward and appropriate access.

      Heidegger: truth of "aesthesis" ||

    12. In characterizing the change-over from the manipulating and using and so forth which are circumspective in a ‘practical’ way, to ‘theoretical’ exploration, it would be easy to suggest that merely looking at entities is something which emerges when concern holds back from any kind of manipulation. What is decisive in the ‘emergence’ of the theoretical attitude would then lie in the disappearance of praxis. So if one posits ‘practical’ concern as the primary and predominant kind of Being which factical Dasein possesses, the ontological possibility of ‘theory’ will be due to the absence of praxis—that is, to a privation. But the discontinuance of a specific manipulation in our concernful dealings does not simply leave the guiding circumspection behind as a remainder. Rather, our concern then diverts itself specifically into a just-looking-around [ein Nur-sich-umsehen]. But this is by no means the way in which the ‘theoretical’ attitude of science is reached. On the contrary, the tarrying which is discontinued when one manipulates, can take on the character of a more precise kind of circumspection, such as ‘inspecting’, checking up on what has been attained, or looking over the ‘operations’ [“Betrieb”] which are now ‘at a standstill’. Holding back from the use of equipment is so far from sheer ‘theory’ that the kind of circumspection which tarries and ‘considers’, remains wholly in the grip of the ready-to-hand equipment with which one is concerned. ‘Practical’ dealings have their own ways of tarrying. And just as praxis has its own specific kind of sight (‘theory’), theoretical research is not without a praxis of its own. Reading off the measurements which result from an experiment often requires a complicated ‘technical’ set-up for the experimental design. Observation with a microscope is dependent upon the production of ‘preparations’. Archaeological excavation, which precedes any Interpretation of the ‘findings’, demands manipulations of the grossest kind. But even in the ‘most abstract’ way of working out problems and establishing what has been obtained, one manipulates equipment for writing, for example. However ‘uninteresting’ and ‘obvious’ such components of scientific research may be, they are by no means a matter of indifference ontologically. The explicit suggestion that scientific behaviour as a way of Being-in-the-world, is not just a ‘purely intellectual activity’, may seem petty and superfluous. If only it were not plain from this triviality that it is by no means patent where the ontological boundary between ‘theoretical’ and ‘atheoretical’ behaviour really runs!

      Heidegger: "just as praxis has its own specific kind of sight (‘theory’), theoretical research is not without a praxis of its own." ||

    13. And if we are inquiring about the meaning of Being, our investigation does not then become a “deep” one [tiefsinnig], nor does it puzzle out what stands behind Being. It asks about Being itself in so far as Being enters into the intelligibility of Dasein. The meaning of Being can never be contrasted with entities, or with Being as the ‘ground’ which gives entities support; for a ‘ground’ becomes accessible only as meaning, even if it is itself the abyss of meaninglessness.45

      Heidegger: "‘ground’ becomes accessible only as meaning, even if it is itself the abyss of meaninglessness." || The metaphorical "ground" of meaning only makes sense within the context of an equally metaphorical space of ideas that impend / depend / build / undermine one another. The metaphor which grants conceptual / theoretical language this spatiality (this sine qua non of reason) is itself meaningless or, as de Man / Schlegel would say, arbitrary. The "arbitrariness" of irony / language, the mechanicity of the "text machine" are related to this Abgrund of Grund.

    14. However much this understanding of Being (an understanding which is already available to us) may fluctuate and grow dim, and border on mere acquaintance with a word, its very indefiniteness is itself a positive phenomenon which needs to be clarified.

      Heidegger: "indefiniteness is itself a positive phenomenon..." || c.f. algorithmic visibility of unreadability

    15. With regard to the awkwardness and ‘inelegance’ of expression in the analyses to come, we may remark that it is one thing to give a report in which we tell about entities, but another to grasp entities in their Being. For the latter task we lack not only most of the words but, above all, the ‘grammar’.

      Heidegger: lacking a "grammar" of Being ||

    16. When we talk in an ontically figurative way of the lumen naturale in man, we have in mind nothing other than the existential-ontological structure of this entity, that it is in such a way as to be its “there”. To say that it is ‘illuminated’ [“erleuchtet”] means that as Being-in-the-world it is cleared [gelichtet] in itself, not through any other entity, but in such a way that it is itself the clearing.2 Only for an entity which is existentially cleared in this way does that which is present-at-hand become accessible in the light or hidden in the dark. By its very nature, Dasein brings its “there” along with it. If it lacks its “there”, it is not factically the entity which is essentially Dasein; indeed, it is not this entity at all. Dasein is its disclosedness.

      Heidegger: "lumen naturale" / Dasein "is itself the clearing" ||

    17. Its own past—and this always means the past of its ‘generation’—is not something which follows along after Dasein, but something which already goes ahead of it.

      Heidegger: future past of a "generation" ||

    18. So if it is said that ‘Being’ is the most universal concept, this cannot mean that it is the one which is clearest or that it needs no further discussion. It is rather the darkest of all.

      Heidegger: Being as "darkest" concept || c.f. "lumen naturale" (below)

    19. In the question which we are to work out, what is asked about is Being—that which determines entities as entities, that on the basis of which [woraufhin] entities are already understood, however we may discuss them in detail. The Being of entities ‘is’ not itself an entity

      Heidegger: "The Being of entities ‘is’ not itself an entity." ||

    20. We can make clear the connection of discourse with understanding and intelligibility by considering an existential possibility which belongs to talking itself—hearing. If we have not heard ‘aright’, it is not by accident that we say we have not ‘understood’. Hearing is constitutive for discourse. And just as linguistic utterance is based on discourse, so is acoustic perception on hearing. Listening to… is Dasein’s existential way of Being-open as Being-with for Others. Indeed, hearing constitutes the primary and authentic way in which Dasein is open for its ownmost potentiality-for-Being—as in hearing the voice of the friend whom every Dasein carries with it. Dasein hears, because it understands. As a Being-in-the-world with Others, a Being which understands, Dasein is ‘in thrall’ to Dasein-with and to itself; and in this thraldom it “belongs” to these.60 Being-with develops in listening to one another [Aufeinander-hören], which can be done in several possible ways: following,61 going along with, and the privative modes of not-hearing, resisting, defying, and turning away. It is on the basis of this potentiality for hearing, which is existentially primary, that anything like hearkening [Horchen] becomes possible. Hearkening is phenomenally still more primordial than what is defined ‘in the first instance’ as “hearing” in psychology—the sensing of tones and the perception of sounds. Hearkening too has the kind of Being of the hearing which understands. What we ‘first’ hear is never noises or complexes of sounds, but the creaking waggon, the motor-cycle. We hear the column on the march, the north wind, the woodpecker tapping, the fire crackling. H. 164 It requires a very artificial and complicated frame of mind to ‘hear’ a ‘pure noise’. The fact that motor-cycles and waggons are what we proximally hear is the phenomenal evidence that in every case Dasein, as Being-in-the-world, already dwells alongside what is ready-to-hand within-the-world; it certainly does not dwell proximally alongside ‘sensations’; nor would it first have to give shape to the swirl of sensations to provide the springboard from which the subject leaps off and finally arrives at a ‘world’. Dasein, as essentially understanding, is proximally alongside what is understood. Likewise, when we are explicitly hearing the discourse of another, we proximally understand what is said, or—to put it more exactly—we are already with him, in advance, alongside the entity which the discourse is about. On the other hand, what we proximally hear is not what is expressed in the utterance. Even in cases where the speech is indistinct or in a foreign language, what we proximally hear is unintelligible words, and not a multiplicity of tone-data.62 Admittedly, when what the discourse is about is heard ‘naturally’, we can at the same time hear the ‘diction’, the way in which it is said [die Weise des Gesagtseins], but only if there is some co-understanding beforehand of what is said-in-the-talk; for only so is there a possibility of estimating whether the way in which it is said is appropriate to what the discourse is about thematically. In the same way, any answering counter-discourse arises proximally and directly from understanding what the discourse is about, which is already ‘shared’ in Being-with. Only where talking and hearing are existentially possible, can anyone hearken. The person who ‘cannot hear’ and ‘must feel’63 may perhaps be one who is able to hearken very well, and precisely because of this. Just hearing something “all around” [Das Nur-herum-hören] is a privation of the hearing which understands. Both talking and hearing are based upon understanding. And understanding arises neither through talking at length [vieles Reden] nor through busily hearing something “all around”. Only he who already understands can listen [zuhören]. H. 165 Keeping silent is another essential possibility of discourse, and it has the same existential foundation. In talking with one another, the person who keeps silent can ‘make one understand’ (that is, he can develop an understanding), and he can do so more authentically than the person who is never short of words. Speaking at length [Viel-sprechen] about something does not offer the slightest guarantee that thereby understanding is advanced. On the contrary, talking extensively about something, covers it up and brings what is understood to a sham clarity—the unintelligibility of the trivial. But to keep silent does not mean to be dumb. On the contrary, if a man is dumb, he still has a tendency to ‘speak’. Such a person has not proved that he can keep silence; indeed, he entirely lacks the possibility of proving anything of the sort. And the person who is accustomed by Nature to speak little is no better able to show that he is keeping silent or that he is the sort of person who can do so. He who never says anything cannot keep silent at any given moment. Keeping silent authentically is possible only in genuine discoursing. To be able to keep silent, Dasein must have something to say—that is, it must have at its disposal an authentic and rich disclosedness of itself. In that case one’s reticence [Verschwiegenheit] makes something manifest, and does away with ‘idle talk’ [“Gerede”]. As a mode of discoursing, reticence Articulates the intelligibility of Dasein in so primordial a manner that it gives rise to a Potentiality-for-hearing which is genuine, and to a Being-with-one-another which is transparent.

      Heidegger: hearing / hearkening [Horchen] / keeping silent || This fascinating ontological exposition needs to be considered in the context of modern communication technology (e.g. social media). What does it mean when the force shaping the sphere of Gerede is no longer primarily one of embodied interpersonal communication? Does Dasein's relation to others undergo a primordial transformation when the interval / caesura / epoche / possibility of silence is foreclosed / enframed? It would be useful to explore this alongside Habermas' theory of the public sphere and his quarrel with Derrida (Limited Inc.)

    21. Inauthentic understanding temporalizes itself as an awaiting which makes present [gegenwärtigendes Geswärtigen]—an awaiting to whose ecstatical unity there must belong a corresponding “having been“. The authentic coming-towards-oneself of anticipatory resoluteness is at the same time a coming-back to one’s ownmost Self, which has been thrown into its individualization. This ecstasis makes it possible for Dasein to be able to take over resolutely that entity which it already is. In anticipating, Dasein brings itself again forth into its ownmost potentiality-for-Being. If Being-as-having-been is authentic, we call it “repetition“.10 But when one projects oneself inauthentically towards those possibilities which have been drawn from the object of concern in making it present, this is possible only because Dasein has forgotten itself in its ownmost thrown potentiality-for-Being. This forgetting is not nothing, nor is it just a failure to remember; it is rather a ‘positive’ ecstatical mode of one’s having been—a mode with a character of its own. The ecstasis (rapture) of forgetting has the character of backing away in the face of one’s ownmost “been”, and of doing so in a manner which is closed off from itself—in such a manner, indeed, that this backing-away closes off ecstatically that in the face of which one is backing away, and thereby closes itself off too.11 Having forgotten [Vergessenheit] as an inauthentic way of having been, is thus related to that thrown Being which is one’s own; it is the temporal meaning of that Being in accordance with which I am proximally and for the most part as-having-been. Only on the basis of such forgetting can anything be retained [behalten] by the concernful making-present which awaits; and what are thus retained are entities encountered within-the-world with a character other than that of Dasein. To such retaining there corresponds a non-retaining which presents us with a kind of ‘forgetting’ in a derivative sense. Just as expecting is possible only on the basis of awaiting, remembering is possible only on that of forgetting, and not vice versa; for in the mode of having-forgotten, one’s having been ‘discloses’ primarily the horizon into which a Dasein lost in the ‘superficiality’ of its object of concern, can bring itself by remembering.12 The awaiting which forgets and makes present is an ecstatical unity in its own right, in accordance with which inauthentic understanding temporalizes itself with regard to its temporality. The unity of these ecstases closes off one’s authentic potentiality-for-Being, and is thus the existential condition for the possibility of irresoluteness. Though inauthentic concernful understanding determines itself in the light of making present the object of concern, the temporalizing of the understanding is performed primarily in the future.

      Heidegger: "remembering is possible only on that of forgetting, and not vice versa" ||

    22. The fact that, even though states-of-mind are primarily disclosive, everyday circumspection goes wrong and to a large extent succumbs to delusion because of them, is a μὴ ὄν [non-being] when measured against the idea of knowing the ‘world’ absolutely. But if we make evaluations which are so unjustified ontologically, we shall completely fail to recognize the existentially positive character of the capacity for delusion. It is precisely when we see the ‘world’ unsteadily and fitfully in accordance with our moods, that the ready-to-hand shows itself in its specific worldhood, which is never the same from day to day. By looking at the world theoretically, we have already dimmed it down to the uniformity of what is purely present-at-hand, though admittedly this uniformity comprises a new abundance of things which can be discovered by simply characterizing them. Yet even the purest θεωρία [theory] has not left all moods behind it; even when we look theoretically at what is just present-at-hand, it does not show itself purely as it looks unless this θεωρία lets it come towards us in a tranquil tarrying alongside…, in ῥαστώνη and διαγωγή.iv Any cognitive determining has its existential-ontological Constitution in the state-of-mind of Being-in-the-world; but pointing this out is not to be confused with attempting to surrender science ontically to ‘feeling’.

      Heidegger: theoretical moods || theory 'dims' the deep texture of equipment / stuff / pragmata / zuhandenheit (i.e. its projection into and weaving within time / history) into the merely present-at-hand. Heidegger's acknowledgment of a "new abundance of things" here is interesting. Does this refer to the prior equipmental totality that has been dimmed by theoretical insight or is he suggesting a new layer of readiness-to-hand that emerges only when that totality has been grasped theoretically. Might this "new abundance" of theory suggest what de Man calls the "generative" power's of trope. It will be especially helpful to contrast this theoretical dimming with de Man's theory of theoretical blindness and insight since that latter was formulated earlier in de Man's career when he was (arguably) more swayed by the rhetoric of Heideggerian temporality. Certainly this discussion also approaches the crux of pathos in de Man / Derrida / Rousseau. At the moment, though, I'm more concerned with the possibility of mapping the "psycholinguistic" dimension of tropes that de Man alludes to in Allegories of Reading. Heidegger gives us this gives us this theory of pathos / pathos of theory which are clearly never far from de Man's mind. Both want to install "rhetoric" in a space that isn't simply inside or outside the world...

    23. That which is understood gets Articulated when the entity to be understood is brought close interpretatively by taking as our clue the ‘something as something’; and this Articulation lies before [liegt vor] our making any thematic assertion about it. In such an assertion the ‘as’ does not turn up for the first time; it just gets expressed for the first time, and this is possible only in that it lies before us as something expressible.38 The fact that when we look at something, the explicitness of assertion can be absent, does not justify our denying that there is any Articulative interpretation in such mere seeing, and hence that there is any as-structure in it. When we have to do with anything, the mere seeing of the Things which are closest to us bears in itself the structure of interpretation, and in so primordial a manner that just to grasp something free, as it were, of the “as”, requires a certain readjustment. When we merely stare at something, our just-having-it-before-us lies before us as a failure to understand it any more. This grasping which is free of the “as”, is a privation of the kind of seeing in which one merely understands. It is not more primordial than that kind of seeing, but is derived from it. If the ‘as’ is ontically unexpressed, this must not seduce us into overlooking it as a constitutive state for understanding, existential and a priori.

      Heidegger: "articulartion lies before [liegt vor] our making any thematic assertion about it || This is a typical enough evocation of the circularity of interpretation and perception / hermeneutic circle. Stiegler will question the extent to which this idea of articulation can include the tertiary retentions of technical being. As it concerns the question of thematization, Stiegler's question gives us occasion to ask whether thematic intervention is possible without such a mnemotechnical intervention

    24. If the question of historicality leads us back to these ‘sources’, then the locus of the problem of history has already been decided. This locus is not to be sought in historiology as the science of history. Even if the problem of ‘history’ is treated in accordance with a theory of science, not only aiming at the ‘epistemological’ clarification of the historiological way of grasping things (Simmel) or at the logic with which the concepts of historiological presentation are formed (Rickert), but doing so with an orientation towards ‘the side of the object’, then, as long as the question is formulated this way, history becomes in principle accessible only as the Object of a science. Thus the basic phenomenon of history, which is prior to any possible thematizing by historiology and underlies it, has been irretrievably put aside. How history can become a possible object for historiology is something that may be gathered only from the kind of Being which belongs to the historical—from historicality, and from the way it is rooted in temporality.

      Heidegger: seeking "the basic phenomenon of history" as object "prior to any possible thematizing" ||

    25. Nevertheless, our way of exhibiting the constitution of Dasein’s Being remains only one way which we may take. Our aim is to work out the question of Being in general. The thematic analytic of existence, however, first needs the light of the idea of Being in general, which must be clarified beforehand.

      Heidegger: "our way of exhibiting the constitution of Dasein’s Being remains only one way which we may take" || Baffling for many reasons, this statement throws the whole "necessity" of the questioning into suspension and adds a strange luminescence to the "thematic" idea of Being which doesn't clearly map onto the previous rhetoric of "lighting up" / "dimming down" / "lichtung" etc.

    26. That with which one’s concernful dealings fail to cope, either by producing or procuring something, or even by turning away, holding aloof, or protecting oneself from something, reveals itself in its insurmountability. Concern resigns itself to it.36 But resigning oneself to something is a mode peculiar to circumspectively letting it be encountered. On the basis of this kind of discovery concern can come across that which is inconvenient, disturbing, hindering, endangering, or in general resistant in some way. The temporal structure of resigning oneself to something, lies in a non-retaining which awaitingly makes present. In awaitingly making present, one does not, for instance, reckon ‘on’ that which is unsuitable but none the less available. “Not reckoning with” something, is a mode of “taking into one’s reckoning” that which one cannot cling to. That which one has “not reckoned with” does not get forgotten; it gets retained, so that in its very unsuitability it remains ready-to-hand.37 That which is ready-to-hand in this manner belongs to the everyday stock or content of the factically disclosed environment.

      Heidegger: "That which one has “not reckoned with” does not get forgotten; it gets retained, so that in its very unsuitability it remains ready-to-hand" ||

    27. The idea of historiology as a science implies that the disclosure of historical entities is what it has seized upon as its own task. Every science is constituted primarily by thematizing. That which is familiar prescientifically in Dasein as disclosed Being-in-the-world, gets projected upon the Being which is specific to it. With this projection, the realm of entities is bounded off. The ways of access to them get ‘managed’ methodologically, and the conceptual structure for interpreting them is outlined. If we may postpone the question of whether a ‘history of the Present’ is possible, and assign [zuweisen] to historiology the task of disclosing the ‘past’, then the historiological thematizing of history is possible only if, in general, the ‘past’ has in each case already been disclosed. Quite apart from the question of whether sufficient sources are available for the historiological envisagement of the past, the way to it must in general be open if we are to go back to it historiologically. It is by no means patent that anything of the sort is the case, or how this is possible.

      Heidegger: "Every science is constituted primarily by thematizing" || Just as Heidegger does not reject facticity outright he is equally careful in his critique of the limits of thematization. Indeed, the two discussions seem to correspond on many points. Is thematization a kind of meta-factualization? A factualization with a temporal component?

    28. Indeed history is neither the connectedness of motions in the alterations of Objects, nor a free-floating sequence of Experiences which ‘subjects’ have had. Does the historizing of history then pertain to the way subject and Object are ‘linked together’? Even if one assigns [zuweist] historizing to the subject-Object relation, we then have to ask what kind of Being belongs to this linkage as such, if this is what basically ‘historizes’. The thesis of Dasein’s historicality does not say that the worldless subject is historical, but that what is historical is the entity that exists as Being-in-the-world. The historizing of history is the historizing of Being-in-the-world. Dasein’s historicality is essentially the historicality of the world, which, on the basis of ecstatico-horizontal temporality, belongs to the temporalizing of that temporality. In so far as Dasein exists factically, it already encounters that which has been discovered within-the-world. With the existence of historical Being-in-the-world, what is ready-to-hand and what is present-at-hand have already, in every case, been incorporated into the history of the world. Equipment and work—for instance, books—have their fates; buildings and institutions have their history. And even Nature is historical. It is not historical, to be sure, in so far as we speak of ‘natural history’;ix but Nature is historical as a countryside, as an area that has been colonized or exploited, as a battlefield, or as the site of a cult. These entities within-the-world are historical as such, and their history does not signify something ‘external’ which merely accompanies the ‘inner’ history of the ‘soul’. We call such entities “the world-historical“. Here we must notice that the expression ‘world-history’ which we have chosen and which is here understood ontologically, has a double signification. The expression signifies, for one thing, the historizing of the world in its essential existent unity with Dasein. At the same time, we have here in view the ‘historizing’ within-the-world of what is ready-to-hand and present-at-hand, in so far as entities within-the-world are, in every case, discovered with the factically existent world. The historical world is factical only as the world of entities within-the-world. That which ‘happens’ with equipment and work as such has its own character of movement, and this character has been completely obscure up till now. When, for instance, a ring gets ‘handed over’ to someone and ‘worn’, this is a kind of Being in which it does not simply suffer changes of location. The movement of historizing in which something ‘happens to something’ is not to be grasped in terms of motion as change of location. This holds for all world-historical ‘processes’ and events, and even, in a certain manner, for ‘natural catastrophes’. Quite apart from the fact that if we were to follow up the problem of the ontological structure of world-historical historizing, we would necessarily be transgressing the limits of our theme, we can refrain from this all the more because the very aim of this exposition is to lead us face to face with the ontological enigma of the movement of historizing in general.

      Heidegger: Dasein's "historicality" and "world-historicality" || I'm particularly interested in the line: "Equipment and work—for instance, books—have their fates; buildings and institutions have their history." So far as I can tell Heidegger would see the "fate" of the book springing from the fundamental historicality of Dasein. My question is whether this fate is compatible with the kind de Man assigns to texts a material events?

    29. In our first description of the genesis of the theoretical attitude out of circumspection, we have made basic a way of theoretically grasping entities within-the-world—physical Nature—in which the modification of our understanding of Being is tantamount to a change-over. In the ‘physical’ assertion that ‘the hammer is heavy’ we overlook not only the tool-character of the entity we encounter, but also something that belongs to any ready-to-hand equipment: its place. Its place becomes a matter of indifference. This does not mean that what is present-at-hand loses its ‘location’ altogether. But its place becomes a spatio-temporal position, a ‘world-point’, which is in no way distinguished from any other. This implies not only that the multiplicity of places of equipment ready-to-hand within the confines of the environment becomes modified to a pure multiplicity of positions, but that the entities of the environment are altogether released from such confinement [entschränkt]. The aggregate of the present-at-hand becomes the theme.

      Heidegger: "The aggregate of the present-at-hand becomes the theme." || Very interesting take on thematization especially in how it seems to clash with Heidegger's use of "thematic" in the language of the existential analytic itself ("...has not been grasped thematically"). Are these two uses of "theme" (for Dasein and for Us) really interchangeable? At stake would be the difference between Heideggerian and Hegelian phenomenology.

    30. The scientific projection of any entities which we have somehow encountered already lets their kind of Being be understood explicitly and in such a manner that it thus becomes manifest what ways are possible for the pure discovery of entities within-the-world. The Articulation of the understanding of Being, the delimitation of an area of subject-matter (a delimitation guided by this understanding), and the sketching-out of the way of conceiving which is appropriate to such entities—all these belong to the totality of this projecting; and this totality is what we call “thematizing“. Its aim is to free the entities we encounter within-the-world, and to free them in such a way that they can ‘throw themselves against’42 a pure discovering—that is, that they can become “Objects”. Thematizing Objectifies. It does not first ‘posit’ the entities, but frees them so that one can interrogate them and determine their character ‘Objectively’. Being which Objectifies and which is alongside the present-at-hand within-the-world, is characterized by a distinctive kind of making-present.xxiii This making-present is distinguished from the Present of circumspection in that—above all—the kind of discovering which belongs to the science in question awaits solely the discoveredness of the present-at-hand. This awaiting of discoveredness has its existentiell basis in a resoluteness by which Dasein projects itself towards its potentiality-for-Being in the ‘truth’. This projection is possible because Being-in-the-truth makes up a definite way in which Dasein may exist. We shall not trace further how science has its source in authentic existence. It is enough now if we understand that the thematizing of entities within-the-world presupposes Being-in-the-world as the basic state of Dasein, and if we understand how it does so. H. 364 If the thematizing of the present-at-hand—the scientific projection of Nature—is to become possible, Dasein must transcend the entities thematized. Transcendence does not consist in Objectifying, but is presupposed by it. If, however, the thematizing of the present-at-hand within-the-world is a change-over from the concern which discovers by circumspection, then one’s ‘practical’ Being alongside the ready-to-hand is something which a transcendence of Dasein must already underlie. If, moreover, thematizing modifies and Articulates the understanding of Being, then, in so far as Dasein, the entity which thematizes, exists, it must already understand something like Being. Such understanding of Being can remain neutral. In that case readiness-to-hand and presence-at-hand have not yet been distinguished; still less have they been conceived ontologically. But if Dasein is to be able to have any dealings with a context of equipment, it must understand something like an involvement, even if it does not do so thematically: a world must have been disclosed to it. With Dasein’s factical existence, this world has been disclosed, if Dasein indeed exists essentially as Being-in-the-world.43 And if Dasein’s Being is completely grounded in temporality, then temporality must make possible Being-in-the-world and therewith Dasein’s transcendence; this transcendence in turn provides the support for concernful Being alongside entities within-the-world, whether this Being is theoretical or practical.

      Heidegger: "thematizing of the present-at-hand" as "the scientific projection of Nature" || The crucial question is whether Dasein is capable of "transcend[ing] the entities being thematized." Especially the entities which have been prosthetically grafted onto its theoretical insight

    31. The world is already presupposed in one’s Being alongside the ready-to-hand concernfully and factically, in one’s thematizing of the present-at-hand, and in one’s discovering of this latter entity by Objectification; that is to say, all these are possible only as ways of Being-in-the-world. Having its ground [gründend] in the horizonal unity of ecstatical temporality, the world is transcendent. It must already have been ecstatically disclosed so that in terms of it entities within-the-world can be encountered. Temporality already maintains itself ecstatically within the horizons of its ecstases; and in temporalizing itself, it comes back to those entities which are encountered in the “there”. With Dasein’s factical existence, entities within-the-world are already encountered too. The fact that such entities are discovered along with Dasein’s own “there” of existence, is not left to Dasein’s discretion. Only what it discovers and discloses on occasion, in what direction it does so, how and how far it does so—only these are matters for Dasein’s freedom, even if always within the limitations of its thrownness. Thus the significance-relationships which determine the structure of the world are not a network of forms which a worldless subject has laid over some kind of material. What is rather the case is that factical Dasein, understanding itself and its world ecstatically in the unity of the “there”, comes back from these horizons to the entities encountered within them. Coming back to these entities understandingly is the existential meaning of letting them be encountered by making them present; that is why we call them entities “within-the-world”. The world is, as it were, already ‘further outside’ than any Object can ever be. The ‘problem of transcendence’ cannot be brought round to the question of how a subject comes out to an Object, where the aggregate of Objects is identified with the idea of the world. Rather we must ask: what makes it ontologically possible for entities to be encountered within-the-world and Objectified as so encountered? This can be answered by recourse to the transcendence of the world—a transcendence with an ecstatico-horizonal foundation. If the ‘subject’ gets conceived ontologically as an existing Dasein whose Being is grounded in temporality, then one must say that the world is ‘subjective’. But in that case, this ‘subjective’ world, as one that is temporally transcendent, is ‘more Objective’ than any possible ‘Object’.

      Heidegger: "The world is ...‘further outside’ than any Object can ever be" / the "'subjective' world...is 'more Objective' than any possible 'Object'" ||

    32. Dasein ‘is’ its past in the way of its own Being, which, to put it roughly, ‘historizes’ out of its future on each occasion.2

      Heidegger: "Dasein ‘is’ its past in the way of its own Being, which, to put it roughly, ‘historizes’ out of its future on each occasion.2" ||

    33. The historiological disclosure of the ‘past’ is based on fateful repetition, and is so far from ‘subjective’ that it alone guarantees the ‘Objectivity’ of historiology. For the Objectivity of a science is regulated primarily in terms of whether that science can confront us with the entity which belongs to it as its theme, and can bring it, uncovered in the primordiality of its Being, to our understanding. In no science are the ‘universal validity’ of standards and the claims to ‘universality’ which the “they” and its common sense demand, less possible as criteria of ‘truth’ than in authentic historiology. Only because in each case the central theme of historiology is the possibility of existence which has-been-there, and because the latter exists factically in a way which is world-historical, can it demand of itself that it takes its orientation inexorably from the ‘facts’. Accordingly this research as factical has many branches and takes for its object the history of equipment, of work, of culture, of the spirit, and of ideas. As handing itself down, history is, in itself, at the same time and in each case always in an interpretedness which belongs to it, and which has a history of its own; so for the most part it is only through traditional history that historiology penetrates to what has-been-there itself. This is why concrete historiological research can, in each case, maintain itself in varying closeness to its authentic theme. If the historian ‘throws’ himself straightway into the ‘world-view’ of an era, he has not thus proved as yet that he understands his object in an authentically historical way, and not just ‘aesthetically’. And on the other hand, the existence of a historian who ‘only’ edits sources, may be characterized by a historicality which is authentic. H. 396 Thus the very prevalence of a differentiated interest even in the most remote and primitive cultures, is in itself no proof of the authentic historicality of a ‘time’. In the end, the emergence of a problem of ‘historicism’ is the clearest symptom that historiology endeavours to alienate Dasein from its authentic historicality. Such historicality does not necessarily require historiology. It is not the case that unhistoriological eras as such are unhistorical also.

      Heidegger: "history is, in itself, at the same time and in each case always in an interpretedness which belongs to it, and which has a history of its own" || So much going on here: what seems like a critique of Hegelian history (i.e. "Africa does not have a history") and an anticipation of Nietzsche. I'm curious what is meant by the phrase "not just 'aesthetically," especially given that Heidegger has already tied a classical Greek conception of aesthesis with the truth of Dasein itself.

    1. Expression is the possibility of generalization, that is, of anticipation qua intellectualization. The symbol is always already an “intellectual,” “general” symbol, and never simply the “technical symbol” of a merely technical language— and it is always with such adverbs that thought deals offhandedly with its limits. Moreover, all operating sequences, qua combinatorics, already presuppose such a possibility.

      Stiegler: "technical symbol" / "it is always with such adverbs that thought deals offhandedly with its limits" ||

    2. The genetic/epigenetic relation is a dimension of différance qua the history of life. The question then is that of a specification of différance differing and deferred, of the possibility of such specification, if it is true that Leroi-Gourhan’s major point consists in putting into question a clear break between the animal and the human. His way of broaching this problem brings him back, in the final analysis, to the heart of a simple opposition, albeit one shifted to the also quite traditional level of faber/sapiens. He is brought back in the same stroke (the coup of the second origin) to the metaphysics of an opposition between the inside and the outside, the before and the after, of the animal human and the spiritual human, and so on. We are trying to preserve and to broach the aporetic impossibility of simply opposing the interior to the exterior in speaking of an instrumental maieutics that alone permits an understanding of how tools do not derive from a creation or from a consciousness present to itself, master of matter, but pursue a process engaged long before the rupture yet nevertheless constitute a rupture— a new organization of différance, a différance of différance. Now, if the central concept is in fact that of epiphylogenetic memory, allowing for both the contestation of oppositions and the description and preservation of differentiations, it does not seem to us to have any equivalent in grammatological deconstructions. We shall develop this question further on the level of linear writing. Without such a concept, it seems to us impossible to specify the différance, differing and deferring, with respect to différance in general qua the history of life in general, or to say what the human is or is not. We are left: with the ambiguity of the invention of the human, that is, of the subject of the verb “to invent,” that which holds together the who and the what, as being that which binds them while separating them; this is, then, différance— this double movement, this intersection of reflection, this reflecting whereby the who and the what are constituted as the twin faces of the same phenomenon.

      Stiegler: (partial) critique of "différance" || interested to know whether Derrida ever responds to this point directly

    3. The question is time, becoming qua the bringing into play of the non- programmed, the improbable, and destiny qua nonpredestination. The temporality of the human, which marks it off among the other living beings, presupposes exteriorization and prostheticity: there is time only because memory is “artificial,” becoming constituted as already-there since [from the point of: depuis] its “having been placed outside of the species.” And this “since” must be taken literally: inheriting the name “human” is inheriting the entire past already there, everything that has taken place, since the “appallingly ancient.”

      Stiegler: "there is time only because memory is "artificial" ||

    4. Accounting for the technical dynamic non-anthropologically, by means of the concept of “process,” means refusing to consider the technical object as a utensil, a means, but rather defining it “in itself.” A utensil is characterized by its inertia. But the inventiveness proper to the technical object is a process of concretization by functional overdetermination. This concretization is the history of the technical object; it gives the object “its consistency at the end of an evolution, proving that it cannot be considered as a mere utensil” (Simondon 1958, 15). The industrial technical object is not inert. It harbors a genetic logic that belongs to itself alone, and that is its “mode of existence.” It is not the result of human activity, nor is it a human disposition, only registering its lessons and executing them. The lessons of the machine are “inventions” in the ancient sense of the term: exhumations.

      Stiegler > Simondon: "genetic logic" of the "technical object" / "invention" as "exhumation" || "concretization by functional overdetirmination" is an interesting way of restoring a sense of facticity to something that is untraceable causally. Just because the causal knot cannot be untangled does not prevent it from being registered (here again I have in mind an algorithmic mapping of rhetoric). It seems necessary to compare the "genetic logic" of the technical object with the generativity of the trope (c.f. de Man). Also, thinking of the rhetoric of the en-abyme / abground surrounding the "understanding" Being and Time, one might ask what, exactly, is this "ground" from which technical "inventions" are exhumed?

    5. There is here an actual techno-logical maieutic. Certainly, what is invented, exhumed, brought to light, brought into the world by the object exists in the laws of physics. But in physics they exist only as possibilities. When they are freed, they are no longer possibilities but realities, irreversibly— pure possibilities that have become effects which must from that point on be taken into account. They become reality only through the technical object’s potential of inventiveness, in the process of concretization characterized by the fact that the human has no longer the inventive role but that of an operator. If he or she keeps the inventors role, it is qua an actor listening to cues from the object itself, reading from the text of matter. To draw further on the metaphor, the actor is not the author— and that is why existing technical objects are never thoroughly concrete; they are never consciously conceived and realized by the human from out of this “logic,” which is strictly speaking empirical, experimental, and in a sense quasi-existential (it is the object’s mode of existence), the sense, namely, that this logic is revealed only in its realization, in the experience of the object itself, or, as it were, on stage, and not at the time of conception. In this move the logic of invention becomes in essence unpredictable, as in Maunoury; and this is why “the technical object is never totally known.” For this very reason, it is never totally rational nor “ever totally concrete, except in the quite rare case of a fortuitous encounter” (Simondon 1958, 35). Thus does concretization call on technics to transform itself into technoscience and on technoscience to replace science. But this means that concretization calls for technoscientific experimentation to replace scientific deduction.

      Stiegler: the "techno-logical maieutic" || My understanding is that the human attends the "labor" of the machine but I'm a bit lost when he adds the performative dimension of the actor to this metaphor. Perhaps it is the relay from the metaphor of birth (where the "technical object" would seem to be personified as child if personification weren't already superseded by this point) to the metaphor of performance (where the human acts semi-autonomously improvising upon "the text of matter") that we actually touch on what the strangeness of the maieutic. It is a mixed metaphor wherein each scene the central figure (child / actor) is a concretion of man and machine (mixed parentage) while the more one-sided tutelary figures are exchanged (from the distinctly human "midwife" to the overtly technical "text of matter"). Or is it, rather, that the reading of the text of matter is the becoming-human of the machine (language) and the becoming-machine of the actor. C.f. Benjamin's idea of being on camera as a performance of one's humanity

    6. It must of course be understood in the cybernetic sense, but cybernetics is itself intelligible only in terms of a history of the possibilities of the trace as the unity of a double movement of protention and retention. This movement goes far beyond the possibilities of “intentional consciousness.” It is an emergence that makes the grammē appear as such (that is to say according to a new structure of nonpresence) and undoubtedly makes possible the emergence of the systems of writing in the narrow sense. (Derrida 1974, 84) The grammē structures all levels of the living and beyond, the pursuit of life by means other than life, “since genetic inscription’ . . . up to the passage beyond alphabetic writing to the orders of the logos and of a certain Homo sapiens.” And it must be thought from out of the process of the “freeing of memory” described by Leroi-Gourhan: “an exteriorization always already begun but always larger than the trace which, beginning from the elementary programmēs of so-called ‘ instinctive’ behavior up to the constitution of electronic card indexes and reading machines, enlarges différance and the possibility of putting in reserve” (Derrida 1974, 84).

      Stiegler > Derrida: the "program...must... be understood in a cybernetic sense" ||

  3. Jul 2019
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  7. Mar 2017
  8. Mar 2015
    1. Machines that Make The Machine that make project at the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms seeks to develop low-cost machines that can be made using CNC equipment, like available in fab labs.